mkirby Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 5:53pm
post #1 of

How many decorators are getting the request to make Fondant looking cakes with Buttercream?

Everyone wants" the look" but no one wants the entire cake to be covered in fondant and nine times out of ten the decorations are all made in fondant and need to adhere to the side of the cake via fonant. I am going crazy!!!

I have a bride who wants a cake to be covered in straight lines of pearls, upon pearls, upon pearls all the way down the side of one whole 14 inch tier but does not want me to use strings of pearls that I know will stick to buttercream but knows she can not afford to have me place a ka-jillion hand made edible itty bitty pearls placed one by one. She does not want to see "the thread" holding the pearls together like on a dress.

Help!!!

Any ideas?

62 replies
monica72 Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 7:52pm
post #2 of

I would pipe them onto the cake with buttercream. Tedious, but can come out really nice if done correctly. Or what about sugar dragees. Probably even more tedious though..

Apti Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 8:57pm
post #3 of

Of course everyone wants "the look"; it's pretty and allows far more options than straight buttercream.  The general public has no idea of the massive skill set and practice required to get flawless buttercream results that look like fondant.

Perhaps if you  inform this customer (and others) what is and is not possible with the different cake decorating mediums?  It may only require some education of what is possible to come to a compromise that is both "Do-Able", and meets with the customer's wishes.

ddaigle Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 9:00pm
post #4 of

99.9% of my cakes are fondant looking butter cream cakes.   No one here likes fondant.    If I absolutely have to do fondant due to the design, then I insist.   It took me many, many cakes to get the "look"...but working at a production bakery helped because I had to ice a million (not really) cakes a day. 

ddaigle Posted 3 Mar 2013 , 9:03pm
post #5 of

Guess I didn't really answer the question.......If I cannot do a (fondant) technique in butter cream that is acceptable (to me)....then I insist it be done in fondant.    They don't know what can and cannot be done in fondant or butter cream.    It is up to you to make that decision....stick to it and "tell them" how it must be done.   I would definately use a fondant pearl necklace mold. 

howsweet Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 1:55am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle 

99.9% of my cakes are fondant looking butter cream cakes.   No one here likes fondant.    If I absolutely have to do fondant due to the design, then I insist.   It took me many, many cakes to get the "look"...but working at a production bakery helped because I had to ice a million (not really) cakes a day. 

I can't figure out who does like it. I'd be afraid to buy a cake from someone who claimed it was good. I pretty much don't do butter cream any more. I just tell them fondant isn't supposed to be eaten anyway, the cake will look better with fondant and be moister and that they won't have to eat colored icing. On a side note, I seem to be the only person in the free world who knows fondant's supposed to be left on the plate.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle 

Guess I didn't really answer the question.......If I cannot do a (fondant) technique in butter cream that is acceptable (to me)....then I insist it be done in fondant.    They don't know what can and cannot be done in fondant or butter cream.    It is up to you to make that decision....stick to it and "tell them" how it must be done.   

This ^^^

KoryAK Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 8:30am
post #7 of

AUmmm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

SoDivine Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 9:08am
post #8 of

A

Original message sent by KoryAK

Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

This.

Spireite Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 10:47am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK 

Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoDivine 


This.

So am I eccentrically English to like eating Fondant????  My husband hates marzipan, so I get to eat his share of that too  icon_biggrin.gif I am still hopeless with neat looking buttercream... although I am learning to put the fondant on with a base layer of buttercream now....or I might try the ganache next time...

leah_s Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 12:19pm

AOn the original question - if she doesn't want pearls on a string that the caterer can * easily * pull off before cutting and serving, then the only two options I know are a) individually placing the individual pearls or b) hand molding a string of pearls using a press mold. Those will necessarily be packed together in look. Whether or not she can afford what she wants is her problem not yours. If she wants it enough she'll find the $.

And I actually do like fondant. Its a food and * of course * its meant to be eaten. To suggest otherwise. Is just silly.

I simply explain, buttercream has air beaten *into* it, while fondant has the air beaten * out of* it. Two different products, two different tastes, two different looks.

ddaigle Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 1:18pm

Agree....I never talk trash about fondant...in fact, I defend it when people say it tastes bad.   I have found that many people have not even had it and their opinion is based on some one elses!    I tell people it tastes good....has a "different" texture, but by all means, edible.   I think a lot of people are still stuck in the old days when Wilton was the only fondant in town.    It has come a long way.   I actually love it on cookies with butter cream in between the two.   I guess because both textures are the same. 

Janani65 Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 1:54pm

I agree. I also have a lot of customers who comes saying fondant tastes bad. But once they taste the fondant they love it. I make Rhonda's ultimate MMF. I know little ones who just eat the fondant or sometimes eat the fondant first and then the cake. 

 

Fondant is meant to be eaten! 

ellavanilla Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 4:15pm

I don't cover cakes in fondant. That's just my caking POV. So I explain the look and let my book speak for itself. I don't feel badly turning down a cake that I can't or won't create. I feel it would be worse for me to promise something I can't provide. 

 

So tell her what you can do and she can decide yes or no. Though I don't understand why she would eschew fondant and then ask to  have her cake covered in something else. 

 

Don't be afraid to say no. Though I know that it's hard to turn down work.

cakesbycathy Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 5:06pm

I have, on more than one occasion, told people "The cake will not look like that if it is done in buttercream.  If you want your cake to look anything like the picture then it needs to be covered in fondant."

Then I let them decide.  If they are insistent I either decline the order or add to the contract they were advised to have a fondant covered cake but declined. 

Some cakes can be done in buttercream but there are some that really have to be done in fondant.
 

FrostedMoon Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 8:51pm

AVirtually all of my cakes are covered in marshmallow fondant per the request of the customer. I really think taste all depends on the kind of fondant you use.

As far as the pearls, I think you give the bride a couple of choices along with price for each. Sounds like you know what will look good and what won't. Let her know you can't create something that you don't think will look perfect, and let her make the choice whether she wants to pay more or adjust her vision of the cake.

mkirby Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 12:16am

I did not expect such a wonderful and diverse conversation on this topic but am thrilled!!

 

I have presented three scenerios for the bride. A) Since the 14" cake is the only one needing the pearls, I can cover only that one in fondant and the rest in buttercream and put the fondant pearls.

B) If  buttercream is to be used, the pearls will be bigger than the picture she showed me so it will be less time consuming and will mean we can keep it within her budget. 

C) She can have the fake string of pearls placed on the cake as I had planned when she showed me her cake design and insisted the cake not have any fondant on it.

 

Since the wedding is not until the end of April, I plan on showing her the three options on a small cake (in my spare time, HA!! Cuz we all have THAT!!)

 

Thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts everyone. It feels better just "venting" with those that know what the heck I'm even talking about....

costumeczar Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 1:49am

I do almost all buttercream, and you could definitely apply pearls to it. I do it all the time. If there are a lot it would take some time, but it's possible to do, and it's actually easier to attach fondant pearls to buttercream than it is to fondant, in my opinion.

Baker_Rose Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 3:53am

I think all the wedding/tiered cakes that I have done over the last 6 years have been buttercream that is smoothed with a rolled edge to "look" like a fondant covered cake.

 

I worked for a bakery and the owner didn't allow me to use fondant for anything, yet most of the customers wanted the smooth look, so I did "look a like" cakes and business soared!

 

After more than 25 years doing this I can smooth buttercream in my sleep, so that isn't an issue.  It takes a lot of practice.
 

Apti Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 5:00pm
Quote:

Originally Posted by mkirby 

Since the wedding is not until the end of April, I plan on showing her the three options on a small cake (in my spare time, HA!! Cuz we all have THAT!!)

 

 

If you haven't already offered to "show her the 3 options on a small cake", you may wish to re-think that approach.  Will the cost and time of the small cake be added to the order?   An alternative may be to prepare a small square of each on a board which should take far less time if an actual "this is how it will look" demo is needed.

Paperfishies Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 6:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

I can't figure out who does like it. I'd be afraid to buy a cake from someone who claimed it was good. I pretty much don't do butter cream any more. I just tell them fondant isn't supposed to be eaten anyway, the cake will look better with fondant and be moister and that they won't have to eat colored icing. On a side note, I seem to be the only person in the free world who knows fondant's supposed to be left on the plate.

 

This ^^^

Fondant can absolutley be eaten and I actually enjoy fondant, the only fonant I think tastes good is Fondx, it has almost a creamy mouth feel.  My kids and husband like it as well.

ellavanilla Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 7:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker_Rose 

I think all the wedding/tiered cakes that I have done over the last 6 years have been buttercream that is smoothed with a rolled edge to "look" like a fondant covered cake.

 

 

 

 

OOh what tool do you use for that edge? I use IMBC.

kikiandkyle Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 8:06pm

I haven't found a fondant I don't like to be honest! Now marzipan, I can't stand. 

CakeYourDay Posted 5 Mar 2013 , 11:24pm

I also use fondant and some times marzipan, custumers find buttercream to sweet!!

520wcdSS Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 1:38am
I feel that the method of decorating is what it is to whom ever does do it.
If fondant is the chosen one, choose to do it well. While if buttercream survives all, give the most exquisite of cream frosting. Perfect the technique and the taste, the texture, and presentation....Well its cake...i love buttercream, my profile is a mad hatter 4tier, abstract, buttercream wonder-piece. I owe it to buttercream that this cake was made possible...fondant did not drape off the sides or clustered flowers light over the top...but it would have looked marvelous yes, had I added a fondant drape or rose petals. Not all bakeries are made equal, not all decorators decorate the same.
Baker_Rose Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 1:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

 

OOh what tool do you use for that edge? I use IMBC.

 

I do everything with a basic spatula.  If it's a big cake I use an angled if it's small just my short flat spatula.  I have my own recipe for buttercream and everyone loves it, so I don't change what isn't broken.  I'm still old school.  I have offered newer techniques for years and in my area I still do buttercream the most.  When people hear the cost of gum paste they have all changed their minds.  I know some people around here do the higher end cakes, but in my circle I have not. 

 

I consider myself retired and now I only take cake orders for close family and friends, yet quite a few for my Mother's church.

howsweet Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 10:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK 

Ummm fondant is not "supposed" to be left on the plate. It's made of sugar. It's "supposed" to be eaten. Enjoyment (or not) of the texture and taste is purely individual opinion and highly dependant on the recipe/brand and how thin the covering/decorations are.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle 

Agree....I never talk trash about fondant...in fact, I defend it when people say it tastes bad.   I have found that many people have not even had it and their opinion is based on some one elses!    I tell people it tastes good....has a "different" texture, but by all means, edible.   I think a lot of people are still stuck in the old days when Wilton was the only fondant in town.    It has come a long way.   I actually love it on cookies with butter cream in between the two.   I guess because both textures are the same. 

Leah, if you're saying anything that's edible is meant to be eaten, well, that's "just silly", to use your words. Not many people are going to eat the hardened fondant tylose decorations on cake, for example.


I'm afraid some of you are not informed on the subject of fondant. If you mean nowadays most people think fondant is to be eaten, then I would have to agree. But if you think it tastes good on cake, I have to assume you've not have good cake.  It used to be well known that fondant was either removed before serving or left on the plate. This has changed, not so much because fondant has become more palatable in some cases, but because of the competitive bridal market.  The way fondant started being considered something to be eaten was that people in the wedding cake business used "better fondant" as leverage to entice customers to use them over another bakery. As in, "Use us, we make it with real chocolate:"

 

Most people don't like it and I'm sure as heck not going to tell them they should. I can't imagine suggesting to a customer that something that tastes like tootsie tolls or starburst would complement my cake. And just because a person on this forum gets jumped on when they say fondant is not good, doesn't mean they are wrong.

ddaigle Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 10:43pm

Howsweet...I was by all means not even remotely referring to you in my comments.  I was just expressing "my" opinion and experience with fondant.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 10:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

 

OOh what tool do you use for that edge? I use IMBC.

 

 

baker rose answered upthread but i have a few ideas you might like to toss in the hat

 

one friend, sandy sewsweet cuts a piece out of a 2-liter coke bottle because it is so nice & flexible and you cut it where it already has the curve you want

 

we used the bent part of the icing spatula upside down to make the softened edge--sprayed water on american btrcrm & finessed that spatula

 

and for smbc you can just use your warm finger/hand to round off a nice cold edge--should work for imbc but not positive haven't made it in eons

 

coupla thoughts for you

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 10:54pm

AI eat mine, it is amazing! I do not eat it with the cake, I peel it off, eat the cake, then the fondant.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 6 Mar 2013 , 10:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

 

Leah, if you're saying anything that's edible is meant to be eaten, well, that's "just silly", to use your words. Not many people are going to eat the hardened fondant tylose decorations on cake, for example.


I'm afraid some of you are not informed on the subject of fondant. If you mean nowadays most people think fondant is to be eaten, then I would have to agree. But if you think it tastes good on cake, I have to assume you've not have good cake.  It used to be well known that fondant was either removed before serving or left on the plate. This has changed, not so much because fondant has become more palatable in some cases, but because of the competitive bridal market.  The way fondant started being considered something to be eaten was that people in the wedding cake business used "better fondant" as leverage to entice customers to use them over another bakery. As in, "Use us, we make it with real chocolate:"

 

Most people don't like it and I'm sure as heck not going to tell them they should. I can't imagine suggesting to a customer that something that tastes like tootsie tolls or starburst would complement my cake. And just because a person on this forum gets jumped on when they say fondant is not good, doesn't mean they are wrong.

 

The definition of edible is that it is meant to be eaten.  Just because I don't like turnips does not mean they are not meant to be eaten.  Turnips are edible whether I will eat them or not. 

 

If, back in the day, fondant was left on the plate because it was unpalatable, that speaks more to the failure of bakers of the day to make a palatable product.  The whole purpose of developing a better fondant was to make it more palatable so that people would eat a product that was meant to be eaten.  It is "just silly" to claim that fondant is being eaten more often because of the bridal market and NOT because the modern product is more palatable.

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