abchambers Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 4:29am
post #1 of

I love fondant...so easy to work with! However, when I cover my cakes in fondant, they tend to have a more rounded look, rather than the crisp edges I prefer. How do you guys get a more crisp look? Could it be that I've rolled the fondant too thick (I feel like I get it thin, but maybe not thin enough)? Do different brands create different results? Help!!

22 replies
FleurDeCake Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 4:58am
post #2 of

Roll your fondant as thin as you can, and if you are using buttercream underneath the fondant, try putting your cake in the freezer long enough ..15minutes .. for the buttercream to harden this will help keep the edges crisp .

zespri Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:08am
post #3 of

are you talking about the edges? If so, I suggest the upside down technique, by Jeff Arnett.
http://cakecentral.com/tutorial/upside-down-icing-technique-for-perfectly-smooth-icing

Don't be put off by the steps, in my opinion it's faster than doing it the old way once you've got it sussed. Here are some other links from people which are pretty similar:

http://sugarsweetcakesandtreats.blogspot.co.nz/2011/01/baptism-cake.html
http://www.notquitenigella.com/2010/11/04/how-to-make-a-two-tier-wedding-cake-with-faye-cahill/
http://sugarsweetcakesandtreats.blogspot.co.nz/2010/05/covering-cake-in-ganache.html
http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/video-tutorial-upside-down-frosting.html

jennajane Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 2:34pm
post #4 of

I am a big fan of ganache under fondant. You can get your edges super square, let the ganache harden, then lay on the fondant.

howsweet Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 7:19pm
post #5 of

There is no need to spend that much time icing a cake. If you learn alternate methods, you'll never master the correct method. http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/cake-boss-icing-a-cake-buddy-style.html I apologize, there's a commercial, but the 30 seconds you spend on that will save you hours down the road. He used a really light icing, so it went even faster. The video is not quite 3 minutes long and the whole cake gets iced. For a heavier icing the regular cake icing tip is probably preferable.


Your issue is probably icing hardness, just put the cake in the frig first and fondant thickness.

zespri Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 7:50pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

There is no need to spend that much time icing a cake. If you learn alternate methods, you'll never master the correct method.




lol.... there are no cake laws which state the 'correct' methods. As long as the result pleases you, then any method that suits you is the correct one.

Debbye27 Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:17pm
post #7 of

I second the ganache - I just tried it last week...and loved the effect!!

mcaulir Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:20pm
post #8 of

OP - there is no 'correct' method to ice a cake. If you asked 100 members here how they do it, you'd get 100 different answers.

dawnybird Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:53pm
post #9 of

I hope this question doesn't sound stupid, but ganache is chocolate, so what if your cake flavor isn't compatible with chocolate - say, lemon, for instance. Or what if people say they want "birthday cake icing" or "wedding cake flavor icing" (which is usually vanilla, butter, almond)? Also, if you do use ganache, do you use a spreadable or pourable type? Just chocolate and cream, or butter as well?

zespri Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnybird

I hope this question doesn't sound stupid, but ganache is chocolate, so what if your cake flavor isn't compatible with chocolate - say, lemon, for instance. Or what if people say they want "birthday cake icing" or "wedding cake flavor icing" (which is usually vanilla, butter, almond)? Also, if you do use ganache, do you use a spreadable or pourable type? Just chocolate and cream, or butter as well?




course it's not stupid icon_smile.gif you could always make white chocolate ganache (different ratio of choc to cream, and not quite as firm, but easier to work with as it sets up slower). Then add lemon oil to it.

Try watching Michelle's ganache videos, there are three of them, this is the first. She is very thorough and easy to follow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFtm8q4m4Bk

Debbye27 Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 9:20pm

ooohhh, lemon white chocolate ganache!?!?
sounds amazing- I hadn't thought that far, since I just started using the ganache!

I use plain ganache, no butter, no whipping, I just made it, let it cool, and crumb coated my cake, stuck it in the fridge, smoothed it with a hot knife (that was where I fell in love), then back in the fridge, then fondant!

However, my next big task is to master smoothing buttercream...that is probably why I fell in love w/ganache- but I have to admit the ganache tasted delish with the fondant- but a batch doesn't go very far on a cake-I'd love to have had a thicker layer....

mcaulir Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 11:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbye27

but a batch doesn't go very far on a cake-I'd love to have had a thicker layer....




You can use as much as you like! I usually make a batch melting 1.2kg (2.6lb) of chocolate to fill and cover an 8 or 9inch cake.

abchambers Posted 10 Feb 2012 , 12:32am

I usually stick my cake in the freezer for awhile before covering in fondant but I still end up with rounded edges icon_sad.gif Haven't tried ganache; I've always used BC as my frosting. Wondering how to still achieve the sharp edges without switching from my BC. I'm thinking I'll try and roll it thinner next time and see how it turns out.

howsweet Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 2:32am
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

There is no need to spend that much time icing a cake. If you learn alternate methods, you'll never master the correct method.



lol.... there are no cake laws which state the 'correct' methods. As long as the result pleases you, then any method that suits you is the correct one.


lol... as long as the result pleases you? But it can take about 5 minutes or 30 minutes. I was just thinking most people would want to get it over with. I can't fathom taking the extra time to turn the cake upside down, bother with a hot knife or make templates(???) for icing a cake.

zespri Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 3:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

There is no need to spend that much time icing a cake. If you learn alternate methods, you'll never master the correct method.



lol.... there are no cake laws which state the 'correct' methods. As long as the result pleases you, then any method that suits you is the correct one.

lol... as long as the result pleases you? But it can take about 5 minutes or 30 minutes. I was just thinking most people would want to get it over with. I can't fathom taking the extra time to turn the cake upside down, bother with a hot knife or make templates(???) for icing a cake.




I wasn't saying your method isn't fast for you, obviously it is. Your method is the first one I used when I was starting out, and it's fine. I still do it if I'm not worried about perfect edges.

I was just amused that you felt it was the only valid method, that all others were a waste of time. Each method brings it's own pro's and con's. Using the upside down method (not sure what you mean about templates, unless you mean Sharon Zambito's method?) is actually faster for me. You smear icing on top, so do I. Then I flip upside down (takes make 30 seconds max). You smear icing on the side, so do I. It's really not a huge difference in time actually applying the icing. the time saving comes in getting it looking neat and even. You can do it quick as a wink without even thinking when the cake is upside down with cake boards to guide you.

Neatness isn't important all the time, so in those cases you can skip the steps you want to, and only do the bits that suit you.

Just keep an open mind icon_wink.gif

howsweet Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 3:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir

OP - there is no 'correct' method to ice a cake. If you asked 100 members here how they do it, you'd get 100 different answers.


OP, while I'm sure you would get a hundred answers, a whole bunch of them would be less than helpful.

I watched the upside down method video posted above and I would have been finished icing the whole cake by the time she got out her level. There are a lot of non professionals who come up with creative ways to achieve an end goal. But why spend double and triple the time doing it the hard way?

All that's needed for sharp edges is thin enough fondant and refrigerating the cake.

howsweet Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 3:59am
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

There is no need to spend that much time icing a cake. If you learn alternate methods, you'll never master the correct method.



lol.... there are no cake laws which state the 'correct' methods. As long as the result pleases you, then any method that suits you is the correct one.

lol... as long as the result pleases you? But it can take about 5 minutes or 30 minutes. I was just thinking most people would want to get it over with. I can't fathom taking the extra time to turn the cake upside down, bother with a hot knife or make templates(???) for icing a cake.



I wasn't saying your method isn't fast for you, obviously it is. Your method is the first one I used when I was starting out, and it's fine. I still do it if I'm not worried about perfect edges.

I was just amused that you felt it was the only valid method, that all others were a waste of time. Each method brings it's own pro's and con's. Using the upside down method (not sure what you mean about templates, unless you mean Sharon Zambito's method?) is actually faster for me. You smear icing on top, so do I. Then I flip upside down (takes make 30 seconds max). You smear icing on the side, so do I. It's really not a huge difference in time actually applying the icing. the time saving comes in getting it looking neat and even. You can do it quick as a wink without even thinking when the cake is upside down with cake boards to guide you.

Neatness isn't important all the time, so in those cases you can skip the steps you want to, and only do the bits that suit you.

Just keep an open mind icon_wink.gif


Are you saying Buddy Valastro's cake in the video I posted above wasn't neat and even?

If you can get a cake iced that way in about 3-5 minutes, then I take back what I said, but what I saw in that video was that it took her 3 minutes to tape down the wax paper and spread the icing.on.

zespri Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 5:16am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Are you saying Buddy Valastro's cake in the video I posted above wasn't neat and even?





No, not at all. That man has done probably thousands of cakes that way, he's very practiced and it looked fantastic. I believe I acknowledged it was a good method. I was actually trying to address the way you have disparaged others opinions, including my own.

Sassyzan Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 6:24am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imfDvvSZn5I

mcaulir Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 8:48am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir

OP - there is no 'correct' method to ice a cake. If you asked 100 members here how they do it, you'd get 100 different answers.

OP, while I'm sure you would get a hundred answers, a whole bunch of them would be less than helpful.

I watched the upside down method video posted above and I would have been finished icing the whole cake by the time she got out her level. There are a lot of non professionals who come up with creative ways to achieve an end goal. But why spend double and triple the time doing it the hard way?

All that's needed for sharp edges is thin enough fondant and refrigerating the cake.




I find an upside down method, slightly different to the one in the video, to be a very helpful method.

It's great you can ice a cake using Buddy's method so quickly. I can't. I can't get it looking even vaguely smooth, no matter how long I spend, so for me, the upside down method is much quicker. Plus, I manage to get my cakes much more level using this method, which is important when I'm stacking. That's why I spend time doing it the 'hard way'.

I can't refrigerate my cakes, due to mostly using ganache and fondant, and high humidity, so your method, using refrigeration, wouldn't work for me at all.

Although, I'm not a professional, so feel free to disregard my opinion. Ask all the professionals here how they smooth their icing. Maybe not a hundred different ways, but I think you'll find that there is no consensus on the 'correct' way.

MKC Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 2:41pm

Has anyone used this product? It is now available in North America for $15. I'm just not sure if it's worth it. http://www.edgers.co.uk/new_html/sharp_top_edger_new.html

FromScratchSF Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 5:21pm

I sincerely hate to disagree with my Aussie pals (or anyone else over this), but there is a "correct" way to ice a cake. It's taught in every pastry school and practiced in every professional bakery anywhere. It's how Buddy demonstrates with buttercream and how Michelle gets ganache on her cake in her ganaching video. It takes practice and tools that not everyone has (turntables, angled spatulas etc).

That doesn't mean other ways of icing a cake is the "wrong" way, but it is not the classically taught, textbook way of icing a cake. So if the only way you can get icing on your cake or you don't have 100 cakes to practice on so you need to turn it upside down or whatever, then more power to you!

No need to feel disparaged if you don't ice your cakes "correctly", I can't make a textbook rose with 1-3-5-7 petals on a flower nail. I am happy to get any buttercream to resemble a rose and I have to pipe it on a stick. If someone pointed out that it was not a "correct" buttercream rose I would 100% agree - it's not. But it looks like a rose and that's good enough for me icon_biggrin.gif

Now, I say this as someone that is a big looser and can't work AT ALL with American crusting buttercream. I tried, it was a disaster and couldn't get it smooth either. Was damn funny how frustrated I got (you know, hindsight, because at the time I was ready to chuck the whole cake). I can only work with meringue buttercream and I think it's easy to smooth, level and get crisp corners!

mcaulir Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 5:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

I sincerely hate to disagree with my Aussie pals (or anyone else over this), but there is a "correct" way to ice a cake. It's taught in every pastry school and practiced in every professional bakery anywhere. It's how Buddy demonstrates with buttercream and how Michelle gets ganache on her cake in her ganaching video. It takes practice and tools that not everyone has (turntables, angled spatulas etc).

That doesn't mean other ways of icing a cake is the "wrong" way, but it is not the classically taught, textbook way of icing a cake. So if the only way you can get icing on your cake or you don't have 100 cakes to practice on so you need to turn it upside down or whatever, then more power to you!

No need to feel disparaged if you don't ice your cakes "correctly", I can't make a textbook rose with 1-3-5-7 petals on a flower nail. I am happy to get any buttercream to resemble a rose and I have to pipe it on a stick. If someone pointed out that it was not a "correct" buttercream rose I would 100% agree - it's not. But it looks like a rose and that's good enough for me icon_biggrin.gif

Now, I say this as someone that is a big looser and can't work AT ALL with American crusting buttercream. I tried, it was a disaster and couldn't get it smooth either. Was damn funny how frustrated I got (you know, hindsight, because at the time I was ready to chuck the whole cake). I can only work with meringue buttercream and I think it's easy to smooth, level and get crisp corners!




I'm not trying to be disagreeable either icon_biggrin.gif but I find it interesting that you put quotes around every use of the words, 'correct', 'correctly' and 'wrong'. Kind of implies that you know there's no official correct way to do it.

And as a buttercream rose done the 'wrong' way looks good enough to you, so does this method of icing a cake look good to me - regardless of what is taught where.

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