So, my husband has requested that I make him a Millennium Falcon cake for his upcoming May birthday. I told him I will certainly try. I am no expert in working with fondant, and it always seems to frustrate me a bit, but I'm determined to master this thing before I move onto a new challenge. That said, I am wondering if anyone has used The Mat for rolling out their fondant? If so, what are your thoughts? Does it really make the rolling and application of fondant much easier? I would like some input before I decide to invest in this cake decorating tool.
Any one using the home mat or pro mat? I am also about to purchase this item. watched it on utube, but would love to hear from CC if you have used it. thanks. is it worth it? its approx. A$50/=
I copied and pasted the information below which I wrote from another thread (search the forums for more opinions). Some people love The Mat, some people don't. I think it relies heavily on the quality and character of your fondant, and in practicing and finding the right technique that works for you. I love it, especially for larger cakes. It opened up a new level of decorating for me.
"I have had the mat for a year and I love It. I did a fondant test last year comparing 7 or 8 different types of fondant, and found that some are sticky and stretchy and hard to work with. These also had a tendency to stick to the mat. Without referring to my notes, I believe it was Duff's and Fondarific that are very soft and sticky. I also found that there is a trick to working with the Mat that makes a huge difference. Forgive me if this has been already mentioned; I only skimmed over the prior posts. I also don't recall this maneuver being stressed in the instruction video I watched last year. The trick for me is to "release and flip" frequently. As the fondant is rolled out, it does tend to stick to the mat, and then becomes more and more difficult to get to roll out further and starts to grab and ripple. (Just like rolling out cookie or pie dough with saran wrap - you must release the saran wrap now and then so the dough will spread and not stick.) Another important factor of course, is finding the right fondant that handles well. I use mostly Massa Grischuna or Carma Tropic, both of which handle beautifully.
1) place fondant between the 2 layers of the mat. (I make a disc freehand, or with a roller on just the lower Mat at first to get a head start).
2) roll out from the center several times as shown in the video
3) when it stops spreading as easily or starts to ripple, peel off the top layer and lay it back on again. Then flip the whole thing over, and peel off the bottom (now top) layer and lay it back down.
4) Roll out this new side a few times until the spreading slows, and/or ripples are occurring, and then "release and flip" again
Each time you release, you can check for and pop any air bubbles. The releasing prevents wrinkles, facilitates spread, and keeps it from really sticking at the end.
Just before placing on the cake, release the mat to see which side looks best and should be the outside. With the good side up, release and replace the mat and pat or roll a time or two to just slightly stick it down. Flip it over and peel off the Mat. It is ready to apply to the cake. When finished and on the cake, the outer exposed surface should be nice and smooth, and should have separated easily because it was pre-released."
AHere's a thread about the mat.
hi,i don' t use the mat. however i use a silicone mat to roll my fondant out on then lift it up, and place on cake. then pill the mat off.
AI read that if you purchase the mat that you really want to spend the extra money and buy the pro mat yes its expensive but it has all the markings on it and it tells you how much fondant that you will need to cover the size cake that you are working with, making things way easier. Here's a video about how to use the mat. I've also heard that you want a nice heavy rolling pin to use with the mat.
Ok upon going to the website I see the "the home mat" also has the markings on it its just smaller than the pro mat. The original mat that they still sell does not have the markings on it.
Love my mat.
Thank you for your post and the link to the article. I use a homemade fondant made from marshmallows. Does that make a difference in the use of The Mat?
Could you tell me more about the silicone mat that you use? The thing that I like about what I've seen on The Mat is that it's "claim to fame" is that you don't have to use any dusting powder. and you just roll out the fondant between the two food-grade vinyl sheets. Is this how the silicone mat works? Also, which is better ... silicone or vinyl?
AIn the video it shows that she uses a very small amount of powdered sugar to help prevent pot marks in the fondant.
I have a large silicone mat (Geraldine's) which has not seen any use since I purchased The Mat. Prior to that I had tried vinyl from a fabric shop and it sits next to the unused silicone. Do I prefer The Mat? The answer is definitely yes. I use homemade Michele Foster's Fondant --which in itself is a whole other thread-- and it works beautifully. The two sheets of food safe vinyl require no powdered sugar or cornstarch. The fondant is kept dust free and if I can't attend to it immediately, it is kept moist and ready to apply. It has truly made fondant-ing a cake a breeze.
I have the original version and would like to purchase the newer Pro model but cannot really justify it when there are so many cake toys I'd also like to get!
This is obviously just my opinion. But yes, I love my Mat.
I have the Mat also and love it! It really does make handling fondant so much easier. You just have to make sure you season it right and follow their instructions on it's use and it'll work out beautifully for you. You'll be glad you got it!
AI absolutely love The Mat from Sweetwise! I can't believe I did fondant without it bc it's a lifesaver!
Could you post a link to Michele Foster's fondant recipe? I love trying new recipes, and anything to do with cake decorating I want to learn. I've always used the marshmallow fondant recipe. Is Michele's fondant better tasting and easier to work with?
Here you go.
I don't mean to hi jack the thread, but... I always use the MFF recipe. My favorite variation is the one where 6 oz of white chocolate is added with the corn syrup. The chocolate gives the fondant excellent malleability. I also add LorAnn's cheesecake flavoring along with the vanilla. Wow, it then becomes a confection in itself. Few people peel it off after trying it.
That's my 2 cents' worth.
@Milkmaid ... You didn't hi-jack the thread at all! I welcome new ideas, and I've always used the marshmallow fondant recipe in the past. I've always gotten frustrated when I've tried to work with fondant, and every time I would swear never to try using it again. However, I'm stubborn and I don't like giving up on a new skill until I've at least attempted to master it. For my daughter's last birthday I made her a Draculaura cake using fondant and a different technique of applying it as well as using Swiss Meringue Buttercream (I'd always just used the traditional American buttercream and got so mad at the fondant for not behaving properly). I was not only surprised at how much easier it was to accomplish what I wanted, but I found that working with the fondant was more enjoyable. I think I'm going to give both the mat and MFF a try. Thank you for your input.
@ Mrsnaomi... you might consider trying chocolate ganache under that fondant. I swear I'll never go back to BC under fondant again. I generally use white choc ganache, but the brown choc is equally delicious. Neither show under fondant so you don't need to worry about the color bleeding through. It makes it incredibly easy to have smooth fondant with the ganache under. There are recipes here on CC for the proportions. (It makes a great dam for any choice of fillings you might desire.)
Great that you like to try new things. I can certainly appreciate that. And I, too, never want to give up, as witnessed by the many mats used until I found The Mat.
@Milkmaid ... I've never made chocolate ganache, or even worked with it. Will the fondant stick to it like it does the SMB?
It sticks very well. I haven't worked with SMB so I can't compare the two. But if I spray the cake with a fine mist of water, or even wipe it down with a damp paper towel, the fondant easily adheres. (I find it easiest to chill the cake first before applying the fondant.)
I'm anxious to hear how you like it if you try it. I feel almost evangelistic now that I've found ganache and MFF!
I think if you search you'll find a thread here by people who say they'll never put fondant over BC again.
@ Milkmaid ... I really like SMB, especially the recipe I found. It's so smooth and creamy, and just plain yummy! There's a chocolate variation that my husband really loves that I was going to put on the cake since his favorite kind of cake is yellow with chocolate frosting. I like how well the fondant stays put with the SMB. I will have to try ganache sometime to see how well that compares. Thank you so much for your input.
You're welcome. (Anymore now I use BC for fillings. I do love it, it's just easier for me to use ganache.) As far as chocolate goes, to me it is the 4th food group!
I have the Mat Pro and wished I had it a year ago. It makes rolling and moving fondant super easy. Everything the video shows is true. I highly recommend.
@ Milkmaid ... I love chocolate too! I do want to know, though, how well does ganache do on sculpted cakes? Like I said, my husband wants me to make him a Millennium Falcon (he's a big Star Wars geek
Hi Naomi-- I'm sorry I couldn't get back to you before now.
Regarding the ganache: I generally use white chocolate ganache, but when I want a real chocolate punch, I use a mixture of semi-sweet and bitter sweet chocolate. For the white, I use two 12 oz bags of white chips to 1 (8 oz) C. heavy cream. I heat the cream in the micro to just scalding and hold it aside while I melt the chocolate in the micro, watching that it doesn't burn. Since the chips hold their shape even when melted, I do it in short bursts, stirring and checking. When melted, I quickly reheat the cream and pour it over the chocolate. I let it sit a minute then thoroughly mix it with an immersion blender until smooth. Placed aside in room temperature, it generally takes a day to firm to a peanut butter consistency. (I have rushed it a little by placing in the fridge for a short time.) Leftovers, I keep covered in the fridge. Then I can re-soften briefly in the microwave. It keeps well, refrigerated.
Applied with a small spatula and smoothed with a hot knife (dipped in hot water and wiped), it easily can cover a sculpted cake.
For the dark chocolate ganache, I use 24 oz chocolate to 12 oz heavy cream. I use the same method as for the white. (I have modified the procedure from what you'll usually see in the recipes, but it works for me.)
I have whipped ganache before, but only when using for fillings. I've not tried to cover a cake with it.
As to your fondant question, I've never had the colors bleed after refrigerating. But I won't put a fondant covered cake in the refrigerator with gumpaste decorations on it since the gumpaste would soften. Unlike some you'll read here, I don't have any trouble chilling a fondant cake. I just let it come to room temp without touching it until the condensation evaporates.
I hope this helps you as you try new things. Good luck!