My cakes always seen to have a very dull finish. As I am making a snooker table just now I would like to know how I can achieve a glossy finish on the "wood" table
You could try steaming it. The gloss will last for several hours.
AHi, I use confectioners glaze to make my things shiny, it's a runny liquid you can buy it from amazon, it goes a very long way, if you use it you will need about 6-8 layers to get it really shiny, but let each layer dry completely ( about 15 mins between each layer) you have to wash brush with isopropyl alcohol again from amazon, I buy the small one that says rejuvenator spirit. If you use water you'll have to throw brush in the bin. It dries hard and non sticky, can be touched without leaving finger marks, would fairly unpleasant to eat icing when it's had several layers but if it's just for the look and you could remove icing before eating then it would be ok. il send you a link to this I have used it on so you can see th shiny effect.
AIf that method isn't suitable for your design the other way you can do it is corn syrup and vodka, corn syrup can be found in Tesco if you are in the uk, golden syrup won't work. I have not tried this method so don't know ratios, but I believe it's nicer to eat, doesn't dry hard and would stay sticky.
Thanks for the tip about steaming it. Would I steam it after it was on the cake or before?
You steam it afterwards.
I find that after steaming my fondant goes quite hard once dry, does this happen to anyone else?
For a shiny finish I use sugar glaze or Copha (like Crisco depending when you are) and rub this in to the fondant with my fingers for small areas and a smoother for larger areas.
You can also give it a light spray with cooking oil and it comes up very shiny but just don't touch it because you'll leave finger prints.