I'm making a cake this weekend that will incorporate sort of a checkboard pattern. The cake will be 9" square and I plan to cover it, entirely, with 1/2" fondant squares (probably 7-8 different colors).
I've never done anything quite like this before, so I thought I'd ask for tips in advance. If you have general advice, it would be very welcome. Alternatively, some specific questions that occurred to me:
1) Do I need to cut and apply the squares in small batches, to prevent drying out?
2) Or, should I cut all the squares and let them dry, anyway, to prevent stretching when I pick them up and place them?
3) Is there a surefire method to prevent stretching?
4) I plan to apply directly to chocolate ganache that I have hardened in the refrigerator. Should I let the cake come to room temp first? Should I not refrigerate in the first place? Do I need to apply anything to get the squares to stick to the hardened ganache?
5) Anyone happen to have a conversion for the fondant--i.e., 2lbs of fondant = X # of 1/2-inch squares.
Thanks for any help!
I have done a checkerboard pattern quite a few times for the display board for my cakes.
If your using ganache make sure it's perfectly smooth so the squares sit flush. You can let it harden and then apply some water or edible glue as adhesive. I'm worried if the ganache is slightly warm, the squares will be stained with chocolate as you place them and slide them into place.
When I do the pattern I cut my squares and then directly apply them so some stretching does occur how ever I knock them back into shape. There are inconsistencies here and there in the completed pattern but you do not notice it because its so busy.
Pre-cutting the squares could work really well - I can't think of any issues with that except that the squares are prone to cracking if your not careful. Perhaps do a plan of the sqaure pattern for the cake to make sure that you don't have to bend squares around the edges and the squares perfectly finish at each edge.
I don't know any conversion rates (sorry) and I think everyone has a preferred method to creating the pattern and whether they pre-cut squares or cut them as they go and your about to find out which one you like - which is a good learning curve.
Goodluck! Hope I have helped!