Warning, wall-of-text ahead!
I am at my wits end and the end of my energy and running out of time. I've a wedding cake to do for a friend for tomorrow afternoon - my second ever. Because it's so big I bought a 5kg box of fondant instead of the usual 500g/1kg bags I normally get. The cake shop only had Squires Kitchen fondant but assured me it was just like the Renshaw Regalice which I've used before so I bought it.
When it came time to use it, the fondant was really crumbly coming out of the bag and it was very stiff. I kneaded it for ages but it didn't get much softer. After kneading it in smaller portions for a good ten minutes, I tried to cover the first tier (a 12" round). By the time I managed to roll it out I could see the edges were starting to crack. Putting it on the cake resulted in lots of reasonable size tears all round the edge and it was not at all elastic or manipulable to shape it in at the bottom. Smoothing did nothing to help with the tears, and the whole surface was covered with little cracks.
I thought it might just be because of the size of the cake so tried it with the 8" tier. Same thing.
I gave up and took it all off, then tried with a new batch, microwaving it for a while to warm it up. It was better, and much easier to roll out, but by the time it was on the cake (which was not that long) it again started to tear and crack.
It's all off again, and I do not know what to do except wait until morning and go and spend a fortune again to buy some Regalice.
Why is it doing this? Am I treating it wrongly? I've never had these kind of problems with other brands of fondant.
Argghh! Anyway, thanks for letting me get it out of my system. At least I left myself all tomorrow in case of disaster, so I should have time to fix it.
I wish I had better news, but it sounds like you have a bad batch of sugarpaste. It may be old, it may have been frozen, it may have had a small puncture in it and dried out. No matter the reason, there's little you can do--easily--to fix it.
I don't know what you have experience with, or might have on hand, but you can:
knead it together with fresh paste and it should be much better--so, if you buy some Regalice, you may only need half the total amount.
if you have any EDIBLE glycerin on hand, you may find that a small amount kneaded in at a time will help
if you have any modeling chocolate paste, that can be kneaded in--about 1/3 the total amount of sugarpaste needed--and you'll get a very workable product.
Do NOT keep microwaving the sugarpaste. It makes it "seem" better, but it just cooks it and throws off the ingredients, making the final results much worse.
I've read this about Squire's paste several times. Take it back and get a refund, and write to Squire's and let them know how dasappointed you are.
Thanks. I will take it back once the wedding is out of the way! In the meantime I have bought some Renshaw and am just about to try again! *Deep breath* Off I go...
If ever you have similar problems again, try kneading in a little Trex. It helps with the dry/crumbly texture.
I've never used Squires sugarpaste, but have actually had to do this on occasion with the 5kg box of Renshaw's Regal-Ice.
Good luck with the cake!!
Thank you. I will need to hunt down some Trex next time I'm in the shops.
So, the cake is all covered and ready, just waiting for the fondant to harden a little before doing a practice stack. The Renshaw went on like a dream - so smooth with no problems. I know what kind of fondant I'll always use in the future!
I'll post a picture when it's all done.
Thanks for all your support and ideas.
Good luck Lizzie, good on you for attempting a multi tiered wedding cake.
Tomorrow I am going to attempt a 2 tiered cake for the 2nd time ever...I'm building my confidence slowly....
I tried some yellow paste food colour from squires kitchen, and it was more liquid so made the sugarpaste VERY sticky...and the colour came out acid yellow...and not very golden....I've since bought some sugarflair primrose colour which is much easier to work with.
It is perfect! Elegant and beautiful.
Thank you, Bakingangel. Simple is sometimes best, although it didn't give me much to hide behind :-)
That looks great. Well done
Beware of adding Trex willy-nilly. It makes the paste feel nice for the short term, but too much can rapidly degrade the paste and ruin it completely. Trex is often helpful when initially kneading the paste, but adding it to try to make inferior paste better isn't a good solution. Glycerin is a better real fix.
The cake is lovely. Did you make the topper? - I really like that too
Bev, the bride gave me it to put on. It's way beyond my skill level to make something like that :-) It is actually a ceramic incense oil burner but they saw it and loved it. I was a bit concerned that it would look odd on the cake but I think it works.
Of course now comes the waiting to hear back if they liked the cake. I know they just got married so I don't expect to hear anything soon, but I'm always a bit on edge after doing a cake.
Great Job!! Looks nice.
That cake is so gorgeous!!
Thank you. Apparently they loved the cake :-)