This should be the simplest thing in the world. My workplace is having a party next month and I volunteered to do a dummy cake (and 400 cupcakes on the clock and with them paying for the ingredients).
I've never had this much trouble with the dummy cake before.
It's bad enough they changed the date two weeks earlier (while I will be on vacation!!!) but I thought I'd be able to get the dummy cake out of the way this week. Easy right?
I'm experiencing the worst fondant problems I've ever had in my entire life lol.
Because no one is going to eat it, I opted for the super crappy recipe:
gelatin, glucose, icing sugar. I've never actually added glycerin before because it's unavailable where I live. It's never posed a problem.
I ran out of icing sugar and tried to use it when it was a little soft yesterday, but it got elephant skin (I thought that was a symptom of dryness???) and was too sticky. I took a break.
This morning I got more icing sugar, tried to fix it, rolled it out. Elephant skin again. Also: tearing.
Maybe it was still too soft. Added more sugar. This time I rubbed a little bit of crisco into the surface before putting it on. Same problems. Started crying lol.
I've tried covering this little dummy tier four or five times now and it's not getting better. In fact, it's getting worse. How can I save this? It's a large batch of fondant and I don't want to make new stuff because I'm not getting paid for this. I tried working some of the unused fondant in, in case it was just getting overworked, but it didn't make a difference at all.
fyi: I cover the dummy tiers with saran wrap and mist it with water. Is that an issue? It was suggested here, and I took it because I also can't get piping gel. It does seem to stick fairly well so I don't think that's the problem...
Sorry I can't help much but I have some ideas for you:
1) Maybe your hands are too hot which is making it sticky. You might try running your hands under cold water before kneading.
2) It seems the "elephant skin" indicates dryness. If you consider the fondant already "ruined" then why not try adding something else to it such as a bit of corn syrup? (just tell yourself it's already ruined so you won't feel bad. Actually, some great discoveries are made by mistakes!)
Don't be too discouraged. Take a deep breath and try again. Good luck!
I don't know what you can do to salvage what you've made already. Are craft store coupons available where you are? I always find a Michaels, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby coupon in my Sunday paper for 40% off any regular priced item. If you have such a coupon, I'd suggest buying a box of Wilton fondant and only add as much of your original fondant as you need to cover the dummy. (Personally, I'd probably pay regular price just for peace of mind. Cake is a happy thing and should not make a person cry!)
You don't need to cover your dummy with Saran Wrap. Just give it a spritz of water or rub on a coat of shortening. If you want to resuse your dummy, just soak it until the fondant dissolves enough for you to help it off. Your dummy may be a bit discolored, but it won't hurt any future projects.
thank you! Your enthusiasm is really encouraging.
I might try again in a few minutes. At first read I was like "yes corn syrup!" and then I remembered that I'd run out of it during the making. Maybe there wasn't enough corn syrup to begin with?
Though I have to admit I'm not really sure what the purpose of corn syrup is in the recipe. I thought it was mainly used in these things to prevent crystalization as it's an inverted sugar?
Oh thanks, diane!
hehe we do have a Michaels just down the street but it's been in it's "opening" phase for MONTHS. I'M GETTING IMPATIENT! lol
Seriously, every day I walk past and press my nose against the window and they're always doing silly things like installing lights and posting job ads. It's taking soooooooo long. So no premade fondant in this area yet! Maybe I should just buy a tub of playdough. Oh except that cracks... heh, look at me actually considering it.
Good to know about the styrofoam thing. It's not a bother to use the wrap. I actually thought that would be the hardest part of this whole endeavour. It's just what we did in school so I guess it's habit.
oooh okay, so after resting I ran to the store to get more corn syrup and adding a bunch of it to the fondant did help a tiny little bit!
It was still being difficult and I still got some elephant skin, but I think I can work with this. It's not good at all, but it's hopeful!
It's so strange how much harder it is to smooth down the sides. It's like there's not enough "structure" to it to hold it together. Usually when I pull on fondant it resists/stretches, but this stuff just pulls away like cookie dough. Not enough kneading maybe.