I'm a nouveau cake decorator and it's been 5 months since I took cake decorating courses, though I've been making desserts almost my entire life.
Let me give you an introduction of my situation so that you know what I'm talking about. I live in a country where only the basic cake decorating materials exist so I mostly have to think of alternatives. i.e no marshmallow so I make it from scratch and hence make my fondant from this marshmallow so on. No pre-made fondant or gumpaste is available. Has anyone tried making fondant from a home made marshmallow???
Problem 1: I have tried 5 different fondant recipes (from scratch) and non seemed to work. All of them would tear the moment I roll it. The only one which worked for me is Jacques Torres' recipe and it wasn't so great. I don't have glucose so I use light corn syrup, I don't have glycerin (and I can't have any access to it (at least for a couple of months) so I tried the recipes without it. Whenever I make Jacques' recipe it's always too soft that I can't even smooth the fondant covered cake with the fondant smoother fearing it would tear to pieces. I even tried making marshmallow from scratch and made fondant with it. However, when I placed it on top of the cake, it had too many wholes and cracks and the Swiss meringue butter cream melted because of heat (although AC & fan were on) so I had to remove it and throw it away.
Problem 2: The same thing happened with my made from scratch gumpaste. It is too soft, I can't roll it as it would tear, I can only make figures and handmade flowers with it. Tried 3 different recipes.
Could it be that I need to add more powder sugar to the recipes but when I do I feel that the paste (fondant and/ or gumpaste) is too dry. When I took the cake decorating courses I remember the instructor specifying 2 types of powder sugar one with cornstarch and one without. Do you think this could be the reason why my fondant and gumpaste aren't working out for me cause I'm using PS with corn starch?? Would you even believe me if I said that since I can't find PS without cornstarch I even grind sugar to see whether it is the problem. Just how desperate a person can be &_&
Please help me with any advice, idea or simply any thought that you have cause I don't like to give up on anything and I want to really become a great cake decorator and do wonderful cake designs.
I really appreciate your help and deeply thankful in advance.
Could you order what you need online and have it shipped to you? Of course the final cost of your product would be reflected in the price your customer's pay...
Thank you akaivyleaf for your reply,
I am shipping fondant from a neighboring country at the moment but I also want to know what am doing wrong and I really want to do it right. I basically needed the input of the highly experienced society of Cake Central ladies so that I can perfect my abilities. An awesome lady was kind enough to send me her fondant recipe which she used for several years I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
I can't help w/making fondant or MM but I have made Nic Lodge's gumpaste often with great success. Do you have or have access to Tylose? If so it should be easy to make gp.
if you are in a humid climate , it is actually better to use the icing sugar with the cornflower in it. I don't use pure at all and I make all my own flowerpaste so I doubt that would be the problem.
Many thanks kakeladi,
I can get my hands on Wilton's Gumtex but not Tylose wonder if they're the same??
I am living in a very humid climate and if I may ask how would cornstarch help in such a climate?? And if powdered sugar isn't the problem then to be honest I don't know what I'm doing wrong........It is very frustrating...... Thank you so much for your help
the cornflower seems to help with the moisture and stickiness. when I am rolling out my fondant I actually use icing sugar and cornflower about a fifty fifty mix to roll out on.
I also find you have less clumps and lumps so the sugar seems to dissolve better when making paste.
Thank you soooo much Chellescakes for getting back to me. I remember that when I took the cake decorating courses our instructor told us about the 50-50 powder sugar and cornflour method for dusting the surface when rolling the paste but she also told us that using PS with anti caking agent (cornflour) would affect the consistency of fondant and buttercream. At the same time I noticed that all the fondant recipes never specified the different types of PS so I'm confused. The only changes I made to every recipe were using light corn syrup instead of Glucose and using a PS with cornflour already mixed with it other than that I would sick literally to the recipe.
So confused because of fondant and don't know what to do.
I think it would be the glucose , syrup substitution rather than the icing sugar . I do know some of the older decorators in our club were almost scandalised when I said that I never use pure . However I think most of them have come over to the darkside now .lol
The Glycerin is what stops the fondant from cracking and drying out too quick and gives it a bit more stretch. So that is probably the problem.
I often add glycerin to bought fondant when I have had to colour it a deep colour as it helps stop the crazing.
lol, they've changed sides ha ^_^
I guess you are right, cause the closest I get to a successful fondant is Jacques Torres' recipe which calls for:
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shortening
8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
But still, the paste is too soft, full of air bubbles and can turn into disaster when colored. I know that it's not the recipe it must be me, I must have been doing something wrong and it's very frustrating that I can't point it out.