CIcerolover Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 6:42pm
post #1 of

So I've got my wedding coming up here in January. The big DIY project I'm doing is my wedding cake. I've done fussy pastries before, but OMG!!! Fondant...

All I want is a white cake, with royal blue ribbon trim and few snowflakes stuck to it. Maybe a winter Reindeer or two.. I know well enough to get some practice in before the big event. But fondant...Let me tell you about fondant....

So, here's what happened to me. I grab my nice home made fondant. Nothing fancy, just confectioners sugar, glycerin, corn syrup and almond extract (strawberry next time?) I used the recipe from Foodnetwork.com as it looked like any other candy recipe I could find.

Other than waiting to work my color into the finished fondant. The finished product was easy enough to produce and was exactly like the wilton's stuff you get in the shop. (My sister spends a fortune on this stuff if only she knew how easy it was to make)

First mistake. I left the cake in a cake plate for a couple of days because I got busy. It was covered in wilton's recipe of buttercream. This is probably why my fondant didn't adhere. (I'm all meh on this, it was only practice of course)

Second mistake: The darned thing started to get dry and crack, then it started to get wrinkly. Like..as I've heard it called before. Elephant skin.

Any suggestions on how to fix rapidly drying fondant? Or prevent this from happening? How can I make it softer to roll out? How can I re-hydrant aforementioned fondant?


I refuse to use MMF. Firstly because my wedding will be partially Jewish. And finding kosher marshmallows is a royal nightmare in my area. Also some of my family doesn't think it's possible to have kosher marshmallows. Secondly: I don't like the way it tastes, I don't like the way my sister curses when she uses it. And it's certainly not any easier to make than the recipe I've been using.

Thanks for any help in advance.

(And this is totally off topic, but can anyone suggest a set of pans suitable for 100 servings and wedding cake decorating? The ones I have are too narrow for any sort of respectable decoration.)

26 replies
scrumdiddlycakes Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 6:58pm
post #2 of

I've had no luck with gelatin free homemade fondants, so when I need kosher I use satin ice.

I have to admit, I'm in the 'not trusting kosher marshmallows' boat as well, lol.

CakeRae80 Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:09pm
post #3 of

The pans you're referring to, are they 2" deep pans?  If so, you make a second layer to stack on the top then you have a 4" cake, or make three and stack on top to have 6".

 

Can't help with the fondant b/c I use MMF so it's not kosher.  But everyone says it's great.  If yours is drying out, you can use crisco. But I'm not sure if crisco is considered kosher or not. But that's what I do to revive my MMF.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:33pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRae80 

The pans you're referring to, are they 2" deep pans?  If so, you make a second layer to stack on the top then you have a 4" cake, or make three and stack on top to have 6".

 

Can't help with the fondant b/c I use MMF so it's not kosher.  But everyone says it's great.  If yours is drying out, you can use crisco. But I'm not sure if crisco is considered kosher or not. But that's what I do to revive my MMF.


Yes, crisco is kosher.

CakeRae80 Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:37pm
post #5 of

Good to know, thanks! Thought it might be, but wasn't 100%. 

CIcerolover Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:39pm
post #6 of

Gah! I forgot about that! Yes my recipe did include gelatin! It's nice to know someone out there is with me on the marshmallow front. I don't care either way but I'm not paying a premium for something I can't get readily avaliable

Yes, I am using 2'' pans, I did stack them, maybe the layers fell?

I'm not sure if Crisco is kosher or not. It's vegetable shortening so yes, yes it's kosher. Is it 'kosher' like certified kosher, idk, but I do know of brands of vegetable shortening that are genuine kosher. So maybe I'll give that a try. How would you use it? Slather it on, or work it in or what?

Godot Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:41pm
post #7 of

ACrisco is kosher - there's s hechsher on the label. Satin Ice is kosher parve.

CakeRae80 Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 7:42pm
post #8 of

I have made 2" cakes and stacked and they were fine. I'm sure a little less than 4" after trimming, but it's close enough.

 

Yes I slather some on it and knead it a little.  Don't put too much on though....well that's for the MMF, not sure about yours.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 25 Jul 2013 , 8:00pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIcerolover 

Gah! I forgot about that! Yes my recipe did include gelatin! It's nice to know someone out there is with me on the marshmallow front. I don't care either way but I'm not paying a premium for something I can't get readily avaliable

Yes, I am using 2'' pans, I did stack them, maybe the layers fell?

I'm not sure if Crisco is kosher or not. It's vegetable shortening so yes, yes it's kosher. Is it 'kosher' like certified kosher, idk, but I do know of brands of vegetable shortening that are genuine kosher. So maybe I'll give that a try. How would you use it? Slather it on, or work it in or what?

Did you use a kosher gelatin? I have terrible luck with them! I don't know what I do wrong, but they never work the way they are supposed to for me.

CIcerolover Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 2:32am
Quote:
Did you use a kosher gelatin? I have terrible luck with them! I don't know what I do wrong, but they never work the way they are supposed to for me.

I have no idea why it wouldn't work. I'll spare you the details on where gelatin comes from, chances are you may not want to eat it after I tell you (I don't care I love jello). Suffice it to say gelatin at that point is a chemical, organic in nature but the fact that one is kosher beyond another shouldn't make it any different from regular gelatin. Depending on the recipe one should start with cold water, add the gelatin and then gently heat it up until it turns clear. Believe it or not gelatin will not *dissolve* in cold water. It has to first absorb the water, then once heated it will dissolve. Funny chemical that gelatin huh?

But yes my gelatin was kosher.

 

Any tips on how to roll the fondant thinly? Mine just would not work it was hardening I think because the fan was on, I might have used too much corn starch to keep it from sticking to my work surface, so I ended up rolling it out way too thick. A good 1/4 inch thick, I'm telling you.


Ugh, this cake thing! I'm about ready to just make a batch of cupcakes and just practice instead of giving everyone cake constantly. If my wedding budget wasn't so sparse I wouldn't be doing this! All I can say is after all the work I've put into my failure of a cake I really think my sister in law was desperately over charged for her cake. Smooth icing with daisies stuck on top. No piping, no little border shells. nothing.

Sassyzan Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 2:48am

ADid you let the glycerine/glucose/gelatine mixture cool completely before working in the powdered sugar? If the liquid mixture is hot, it will cause the fondant to "eat" too much sugar and you'll be left with a crumbly inelastic too-sweet mess.

More glycerine or crisco. Not sure your position in candy melts, but working those (melted) or candy clay into the fondant can help the texture.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIcerolover 

I have no idea why it wouldn't work. I'll spare you the details on where gelatin comes from, chances are you may not want to eat it after I tell you (I don't care I love jello). Suffice it to say gelatin at that point is a chemical, organic in nature but the fact that one is kosher beyond another shouldn't make it any different from regular gelatin. Depending on the recipe one should start with cold water, add the gelatin and then gently heat it up until it turns clear. Believe it or not gelatin will not *dissolve* in cold water. It has to first absorb the water, then once heated it will dissolve. Funny chemical that gelatin huh?

But yes my gelatin was kosher.

 

Any tips on how to roll the fondant thinly? Mine just would not work it was hardening I think because the fan was on, I might have used too much corn starch to keep it from sticking to my work surface, so I ended up rolling it out way too thick. A good 1/4 inch thick, I'm telling you.


Ugh, this cake thing! I'm about ready to just make a batch of cupcakes and just practice instead of giving everyone cake constantly. If my wedding budget wasn't so sparse I wouldn't be doing this! All I can say is after all the work I've put into my failure of a cake I really think my sister in law was desperately over charged for her cake. Smooth icing with daisies stuck on top. No piping, no little border shells. nothing.


Lol, I know what it is, that is why I asked if you used kosher. I was raised kosher, and there are a few substitution type ingredients I haven't had much luck with, gelatin being one of them.

If your fondant is too dry, (too much sugar/starch), it's pretty much unworkable. Like others have said, add some shortening or glycerine, until it's workable again.

 

I don't quite follow what you're saying about your sister's cake though, you are realizing how hard it is to decorate so you think she was overcharged?

kikiandkyle Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:57am

AHave you considered just doing buttercream and getting in a lot of practice on smoothing? If you search on YouTube there are thousands of great videos on smoothing buttercream, it can look as good as fondant with a lot of practice.

de_montsoreau Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 10:32am

You've mentioned that your sister works with fondant etc. so maybe she can help you? (If she lives close to you of course...).

Did you let the gelatin bloom before you dissolved it? It will have a much better binding capacity if you leave it to bloom for 10-15 minutes.

Otherwise, I agree with the PP - maybe more glycerin? Oh and did you let the fondat rest for at least 6-8 hours or overnight?
 

BatterUpCake Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 10:47am

I am not trying to rain on your parade at all but this sounds like a disaster in the making that could very well put a damper on the happiest day of your life. There is much more to making a stacked cake than making good fondant. Cakes settle and bulge if not done properly. They require boards in between and support systems. Are you sure you want to risk it? It sounds like you are experienced at baking but not so much with cakes? You do not want to get close to the wedding and have to be searching for a last minute baker. If cost is an issue this could end up costing you a lot more in the end...not to mention what it will save you in time and pulling out of hair....The last thing a bride needs is to walk into her venue and find that her cake is collapsed upon itself. If you do choose to tackle this then I wish you the best of luck!

CIcerolover Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

I am not trying to rain on your parade at all but this sounds like a disaster in the making that could very well put a damper on the happiest day of your life. There is much more to making a stacked cake than making good fondant. Cakes settle and bulge if not done properly. They require boards in between and support systems. Are you sure you want to risk it? It sounds like you are experienced at baking but not so much with cakes? You do not want to get close to the wedding and have to be searching for a last minute baker. If cost is an issue this could end up costing you a lot more in the end...not to mention what it will save you in time and pulling out of hair....The last thing a bride needs is to walk into her venue and find that her cake is collapsed upon itself. If you do choose to tackle this then I wish you the best of luck!

I am actually. I can make a mean scratch made crossaint, and puff pasteries. I'm all about pies and other baked goods. I've made gummies before! Cakes have not really caught my attention. You do bring up a good point. The only thing I have to say is that my budget is super small. If I can shave a few hundred by making my own cake then so be it. I am determined, and I can teach myself anything if given adequate time. And I have a cricut cake machine that will cut out pretty images for me. And if I don't have cake because of a disaster. Stuff happens. At least I can say I did it myself! I'm not one of those fussy brides. I'm just poor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by de_montsoreau 

You've mentioned that your sister works with fondant etc. so maybe she can help you? (If she lives close to you of course...).

Did you let the gelatin bloom before you dissolved it? It will have a much better binding capacity if you leave it to bloom for 10-15 minutes.

Otherwise, I agree with the PP - maybe more glycerin? Oh and did you let the fondat rest for at least 6-8 hours or overnight?
 

 

I'm not on good terms with my sister. But she does let me raid her stash of food colors. I did let the gelatin rest. The fondant did rest a couple of days. My directions mentioned nothing about letting the mixture cool slightly before adding it into the sugar. That's a thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

 

I don't quite follow what you're saying about your sister's cake though, you are realizing how hard it is to decorate so you think she was overcharged?

 

It was just frosted (not very well) buttercream. That was it. No other decorations, nothing, nada. Just four fresh daisies stuck on top. After discovering the process of wedding cake decorating, I can very well appreciate the cost of a decent cake. Because of all the labor and effort put into it. Her's was not, it was just thrown together and the price they charged her (500? I think? Not even delivery) Was just highway robbery. Cake prices in my area are like...woah... (well not really, I just have a wedding budget of a grand)

I wasn't raised kosher actually. I'm neo-pagan, we don't have a kosher set of laws. My fiance is the Jew, he's reformed so it's easier (like being okay with non Kosher brands and stashing bacon in the fridge) but some of the rest of his family are the ones that are conservative. They're the ones that are Kosher. The good news is I'm on good terms with our Local Rabbi so he's agreed to bless my kitchen as a favor for the wedding. So the cake is through and through kosher and no one complains.

 

CIcerolover Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

I am not trying to rain on your parade at all but this sounds like a disaster in the making that could very well put a damper on the happiest day of your life. There is much more to making a stacked cake than making good fondant. Cakes settle and bulge if not done properly. They require boards in between and support systems. Are you sure you want to risk it? It sounds like you are experienced at baking but not so much with cakes? You do not want to get close to the wedding and have to be searching for a last minute baker. If cost is an issue this could end up costing you a lot more in the end...not to mention what it will save you in time and pulling out of hair....The last thing a bride needs is to walk into her venue and find that her cake is collapsed upon itself. If you do choose to tackle this then I wish you the best of luck!

I am actually. I can make a mean scratch made crossaint, and puff pasteries. I'm all about pies and other baked goods. I've made gummies before! Cakes have not really caught my attention. You do bring up a good point. The only thing I have to say is that my budget is super small. If I can shave a few hundred by making my own cake then so be it. I am determined, and I can teach myself anything if given adequate time. And I have a cricut cake machine that will cut out pretty images for me. And if I don't have cake because of a disaster. Stuff happens. At least I can say I did it myself! I'm not one of those fussy brides. I'm just poor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by de_montsoreau 

You've mentioned that your sister works with fondant etc. so maybe she can help you? (If she lives close to you of course...).

Did you let the gelatin bloom before you dissolved it? It will have a much better binding capacity if you leave it to bloom for 10-15 minutes.

Otherwise, I agree with the PP - maybe more glycerin? Oh and did you let the fondat rest for at least 6-8 hours or overnight?
 

 

I'm not on good terms with my sister. But she does let me raid her stash of food colors. I did let the gelatin rest. The fondant did rest a couple of days. My directions mentioned nothing about letting the mixture cool slightly before adding it into the sugar. That's a thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

 

I don't quite follow what you're saying about your sister's cake though, you are realizing how hard it is to decorate so you think she was overcharged?

 

It was just frosted (not very well) buttercream. That was it. No other decorations, nothing, nada. Just four fresh daisies stuck on top. After discovering the process of wedding cake decorating, I can very well appreciate the cost of a decent cake. Because of all the labor and effort put into it. Her's was not, it was just thrown together and the price they charged her (500? I think? Not even delivery) Was just highway robbery. Cake prices in my area are like...woah... (well not really, I just have a wedding budget of a grand)

I wasn't raised kosher actually. I'm neo-pagan, we don't have a kosher set of laws. My fiance is the Jew, he's reformed so it's easier (like being okay with non Kosher brands and stashing bacon in the fridge) but some of the rest of his family are the ones that are conservative. They're the ones that are Kosher. The good news is I'm on good terms with our Local Rabbi so he's agreed to bless my kitchen as a favor for the wedding. So the cake is through and through kosher and no one complains.

 

cupadeecakes Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:30pm

Have you considered just ditching the fondant altogether?  I have a lot of brides going for the rough textured buttercream look lately, but you can also get it nice and smooth too with a little work and practice.  Modeling chocolate can be used too as a nice wrap around the cake, and it's easy to make.  It cuts better in the Cricut also, and it will stick to the sides of the buttercream.

 

Congrats on your engagement and best of luck with the cake!!
 

BatterUpCake Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIcerolover 

I have no idea why it wouldn't work. I'll spare you the details on where gelatin comes from, chances are you may not want to eat it after I tell you (I don't care I love jello). Suffice it to say gelatin at that point is a chemical, organic in nature but the fact that one is kosher beyond another shouldn't make it any different from regular gelatin. Depending on the recipe one should start with cold water, add the gelatin and then gently heat it up until it turns clear. Believe it or not gelatin will not *dissolve* in cold water. It has to first absorb the water, then once heated it will dissolve. Funny chemical that gelatin huh?

But yes my gelatin was kosher.

 

Any tips on how to roll the fondant thinly? Mine just would not work it was hardening I think because the fan was on, I might have used too much corn starch to keep it from sticking to my work surface, so I ended up rolling it out way too thick. A good 1/4 inch thick, I'm telling you.


Ugh, this cake thing! I'm about ready to just make a batch of cupcakes and just practice instead of giving everyone cake constantly. If my wedding budget wasn't so sparse I wouldn't be doing this! All I can say is after all the work I've put into my failure of a cake I really think my sister in law was desperately over charged for her cake. Smooth icing with daisies stuck on top. No piping, no little border shells. nothing.

sometimes it's more expensive to get a cake without piping and borders. Getting perfectly smooth icing is much harder than hiding it behind piping and borders. And gumpaste flowers aren't as easy as you expect them to be. It seems to me that you look at a cake and think "oh its just a cake...anyone can do that "How many people did her $500 cake feed? Was that including delivery and set up...what about the baker staying on site and slicing and serving? $500 for a wedding cake IS NOT expensive. What makes you say it was just thrown together? On another note Wilton fondant sucks...MMF is easier to work with. I understand you cannot use it because of dietary restrictions but there are other brands which taste great and are easier to work with. You would have to check to see if they are kosher. But they will not be cheap. Good, quality, well constructed cakes are not cheap ad they are worth EVERY PENNY

howsweet Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 12:59am

I looked up the recipe and noticed that it calls for glucose or corn syrup. Glucose has a different consistency than corn syrup, so it may perform differently in your recipe. They may have offered the corn syrup because they thought the recipe might have less general appeal.  Anyway, I use glucose to soften overworked drying fondant and it works beautifully- maybe just adding some would help.
 

Rosegin Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 6:05am

AI'm curious why you trust kosher gelatin but not kosher marshmallows.

Also, blessing your kitchen won't make it kosher. You have to prepare meat and milk products completely separate, including separate utensils for each.

I would focus on buttercream. Or use one of the kosher fondant products like Satin Ice.

Godot Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 7:19am

A

Original message sent by Rosegin

Also, blessing your kitchen won't make it kosher. You have to prepare meat and milk products completely separate, including separate utensils.

↑↑↑↑

This.

What kind of dinner are you serving? Meat, milk or parve? That also determines if you have dairy or meat (gelatine) in the cake, or if the cake itself is parve - unless you wait the required number of hours between meat and milk - and I've never been to a wedding with so much dead time between cake and food..

canacake Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 12:56pm

AGodot and rosegin are correct. Not sure if you know what you are in for when kashering your kitchen. I am a reform Jew, but I have family who are more religious. Let me tell you, even I wouldn't attempt what you are doing. Frankly the cost of replacing all your utensils if they are plastic, the cost of replacing all the food in your house is more than it would cost for a cake to be made IMO. I am not sure you fully understand what is going to happen when the Rabbi comes to your house. All the dishes and utensils will have to be kashered , and most of your food will have to be replaced. You might not think of this but say you have a box of baking soda, you scoop it out with your teaspoon, which has been in the same sink, dishwasher, and drawer as milk and meat products, so you have to replace it. That is the same for all your ingredients that are open. Plastics cant be koshered. So everything plastic must go. Frankly it won't take much to have the kashering of the kitchen cost as much or more than your cake, plus the additional stress of doing all the kashering before the wedding, and keeping a kosher kitchen after the Rabbi goes. You have to clean everything. Your stove, your fridge, your dishes, utensils, pots, pans, cupboards. If his family needs kosher, your best bet is to ask to use one of their kitchens.

Godot Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 8:53am

Exactly my point!

 

People think all it takes is that the Rav comes in, chants a little chant, does a little dance, waves an etrog to the four corners - and et voilá - glatt kosher.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 9:36am

A

Original message sent by Godot

Exactly my point! People think all it takes is that the Rav comes in, chants a little chant, does a little dance, waves an etrog to the four corners - and et voilá - glatt kosher.

You mean that isn't all they do?? :p

assuming the cake is the only wedding related food you will be preparing in your kitchen, the others are totally correct, it will cost more to get it blessed than hiring a kosher baker would. Or you could supply a second dessert from a kosher bakery for those who will want it, doesn't have to be cake or expensive.

I rent a commercial kitchen when I need to provide kosher food, but there are a lot of legalities and insurance issues to work out there, not to mention the rental cost.

Not trying to be Debbie downer, but you don't want to end up paying even more than a cake would cost or accidentally serving unkosher food.

planetsomsom Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 4:43am

I sometimes have to make fondant for vegans... vegan marshmallows make an ok fondant but it's more... gummy. It works fine, it's just a bit different in texture. Agar agar instead of gelatin is how alternative marshmallows are made. Since there are dozens and dozens of thickeners out there, it can't be that farfetched!

canacake Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 9:40pm

AAnother option is seeing if your local Jewish community centre will let you use their kitchen with some supervision to make sure you use only kosher products.

Best of luck with your wedding plans, my wedding was small enough that only reform members of my family attended and none of them keep kosher, and my husband is christian so I was spared all of these issues.

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