Should I take the fondant class? I've taken the basic and the royal icing classes but not sure about the fondant. I don't plan on doing this for a business, although I may do something for friends here and there. How often would I really use fondant anyway?
And if I did use fondant, would my instructor know if I came in with the marshmallow fondant instead of her regular fondant recipe? I'd rather make something that tasted halfway decent but I've never made regular fondant so I don't really know the difference.
I would say yes to the fondant class. I do most of my cakes in fondant, although now that my buttercream skills are shaping up, I plan to do some of those in the future, too. But you can do such a lot and have so much fun with fondant that I think you'd enjoy it. Marshmallow and non-marshmallow fondants don't taste all that different, simply because they're made of the same ingredients: in one kind of recipe, certain ingredients are already contained in the marshmallows and in the other you put the ingredients in individually. Look up a recipe for home-made marshmallows and you'll see what I mean. So I don't think it would be a problem if you took in a marshmallow-based fondant, but I'm assuming you've already made it at one time or another if you already like the taste. I think I'd be tempted to make the class recipe, assuming it's a non-marshmallow fondant (and it's not something gross like Wilton's ready-made), just to get the experience of doing it. Then you could compare the two to see if there was an appreciable difference and which one you like the best.
You can use fondant as much or a little as you like. I took the class; enjoyed doing it; but I haven't made a fondant cake since then. To me it is just one more step in decorating a cake. And usually I don't want to do one more step. Perfect your buttercream skills, smoothing, borders , flowers, writing, etc. Later on you may want to expand your horizons. I do admit that I really liked draping and marbling.
Of all the Wilton classes, I really enjoyed the fondant class the most. I have not perfected covering a cake in fondant yet. Still a work in progress and usually hit or miss for me. I totally enjoy making the fondant flowers. I get better each time I try a flower. I use bc frosting and then decorate with the fondant flowers, etc. Very versatile product and you can make any thing you want out of fondant. Also great because you can make the decorations well in advance when your schedule allows and just keep covered until you need them. Sometimes, I just make flowers to keep on hand and I store them. That has come in handy several times. Of course, Wilton hosts the classes because they want you to use their products but if you want to make your own fondant then I would say do it. You paid them for the class and you have probably bought every other product they requested for the class, so one final cake not made with their product probably won't hurt. Flavor and having fun is important! HTH
I didn't realize that you could store fondant like royal icing - and just keep them covered until needed. That sounds fun! Ok, maybe I will take it.
I would encourage you to take the fondant class. I rarely cover a cake in fondant but I do TONS of cakes with fondant decorations. There are so many things you can do with it (it is the adult Play Dough, you know) And I have dried fondant flowers, put them in an airtight container and kept them for a very long time! You will enjoy it too, I think.