nancylee61 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 10:51pm

AI was just looking thought the galleries, and I'm amazed at how perfect the bottoms of upper tiers look! After making cakes and struggling with getting the bottoms clean, is there a trick or technique that works? I gphave been cutting agar st the bottom of the fondant with a pizza cutter and that is better than using a knife, but not perfect like cakes I see here.

I was thinking of taking a course but at pastry schools, they are incredibly expensive! I wonder, do they jump start your decorating?

Thanks, Nancy

33 replies
morganchampagne Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:10am

AI just use a pizza cutter like you. I don't go all the way around in one swoop. Try to do it section by section. I also do an up and down motion with the fondant smoother going all the way to the bottom before I start cutting...it helps define the edge

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:00am

AOh my friends, do I have the solution for you. Best investment you'll ever make for perfect bottoms, and you'll throw those pizza cutters and knives out the window. Now I did say investment, so don't say I didn't warn ya.

Get a pack of those thin, plastic chopping mats from Wal-Mart or whatever, they usually come three to a pack. Cut about a six inch square from one. When you're ready to sever that fondant from the cake, lay your square up against the cake, and cup your hand to make it curve around the tier.With your other hand, gently push down until it slices thru the fondant thru to the table. Repeat all the way around. When you've worked all the way around the cake. Take that same plastic and start moving it up and down rapidly, and clean up the little straggly bits. I also use it as a smoother.

My favorite trick of all!

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:02am

AAnd it's not an investment, it's like five bucks. Here's an example.

This really does make perfectly flush bottoms, and doubles as a great smoother. First time I did that, I was so ecstatic.

http://www.summerillandbishop.com/utensils/chopping-boards/flexible-chopping-mats.html

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:05am

AI should also add, right before you start cutting, push the excess fondant that is laying flat on the table gently towards the cake, getting it as flush at the bottom as possible. Gosh I hope that makes sense. Anyways, this really is a very very good method, and will give you the smoothest cleanest cake bottoms ever. No need for borders!

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:10am

AAfter awhile, you'll find that you can really move that plastic around rapidly, and with some force. You'll see how it really smooths down the fondant well, and you may just stop using traditional smoothers all together. Ok, enough out of me, but I really can't say enough good things about my method. :D

Oh, dust it with cornstarch if need be.

MBalaska Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:23am

a 6 inch square, so the edge of your mat does not touch the fondant, other than the bottom edge which cuts. ?

Ok I can sacrifice one of those cutting mats for a fondant smoother, it is inexpensive.  And quite frankly If I could get a fondant even a tiny bit looking like yours, I'd be elated.

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:31am

ANo, it does, you stand it up straight against the side of the cake, and bend it to fit the curve of the cake. Then press down, and it slices thru the fondant.

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:33am

AYou hold it loosely in place with one slightly cupped hand, and use the other to push with. I know it must sound confusing.

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:33am

AMaybe I can snap some pics later.

MBalaska Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:44am

The cutting part you explained well, I can see that.  like a fingernail clipper. curved, cut straight down.

 

It's the smoothing part that seems like you'd be cutting the fondant with the edges of the mat while you're rubbing it.  But no you wouldn't as the edges are soft and pliant enough that it would just flair out away from the cake while you rubbed it.  (This is why I just keep reading this website.)

Goreti Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 1:52am

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Oh my friends, do I have the solution for you. Best investment you'll ever make for perfect bottoms, and you'll throw those pizza cutters and knives out the window. Now I did say investment, so don't say I didn't warn ya.

Get a pack of those thin, plastic chopping mats from Wal-Mart or whatever, they usually come three to a pack. Cut about a six inch square from one. When you're ready to sever that fondant from the cake, lay your square up against the cake, and cup your hand to make it curve around the tier.With your other hand, gently push down until it slices thru the fondant thru to the table. Repeat all the way around. When you've worked all the way around the cake. Take that same plastic and start moving it up and down rapidly, and clean up the little straggly bits. I also use it as a smoother.

My favorite trick of all!

What a great idea!  This is why I like to read these discussions.  Thank you so much for sharing.  I have some of those at home.  Will have to try it on my next cake whenever that might be.  

cazza1 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 2:17am

Guess there will now be a shortage of plastic mats in the world as we all rush out to buy them  Thanks AZ

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 2:25am

AYep! Hope it makes enough sense.

dlyoung Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 3:26am

Thank you, thank you!  I also have a problem using a knife or pizza cutter to trim the bottoms of cakes.  Can't wait to try this.  I have those chopping mats and I'm sure I have one that hasn't been used.  If not, into the dishwasher it goes and then it gets cut up!  :)  Thanks again for this fabulous tip.

nancylee61 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 3:27am

AThank you! I'm not sure how to do this, but I'll reread a few times. It's always hard to see what is being explained. The part that confuses me is to push the fondant up against the cake? i have been trying to smooth it down flush against the cake with the extra away from the cake? Know what I mean?

Again, thank you for sharing! I have to find those mats! Nancy

AZCouture Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 3:55am

AThe little skirt of excess that you'll be removing, you just want to make sure that what's covering the cake is definitely nice and snug against the cake, so I gently push it in towards the bottom of the cake before making the cuts. That's probably just impossible to explain without a picture.

nancylee61 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 6:16am

ANo, I get it now! Thank you! Nancy

morganchampagne Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 7:27am

AI actually just bought those from Wal-Mart for something else! Cakes already decorated this weekend but I'm going to try it on next weeks orders!! Thanks for the tip AZ!

Siany01 Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 8:04am

AThanks for this tip, I have just bought some and shall be trying it this week.

810whitechoc Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 8:35am

Great tip, I covered a cake today and the bottom edge was not perfect and I thought lucky I have to put a ribbon around the bottom edge. I was looking at it and getting annoyed with myself because it was not perfect.  I should have come on here this morning rather than this afternoon because I have some of those mats.  Have to do a cake on Monday so going to try this technique, thank you.

redgbee Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 9:05am

Asuper duper thank you AZcouture you're the best! i got some of your instructions but since i am a visual learning i look forward with that picture instructions summary. i am placing my cake on top of a can and then cut it from bottom of board with a khun rikon paring knife. also learned some tricks from global sugar art and free fondant class from craftsy. but your method is great. i will buy those mats this week. weeee! :grin:

cupcakemaker Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 10:10am

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Oh my friends, do I have the solution for you. Best investment you'll ever make for perfect bottoms, and you'll throw those pizza cutters and knives out the window. Now I did say investment, so don't say I didn't warn ya.

Get a pack of those thin, plastic chopping mats from Wal-Mart or whatever, they usually come three to a pack. Cut about a six inch square from one. When you're ready to sever that fondant from the cake, lay your square up against the cake, and cup your hand to make it curve around the tier.With your other hand, gently push down until it slices thru the fondant thru to the table. Repeat all the way around. When you've worked all the way around the cake. Take that same plastic and start moving it up and down rapidly, and clean up the little straggly bits. I also use it as a smoother.

My favorite trick of all!

AZ I've seen someone do this with acetate sheets and I really want to try it! Can I ask though, do you leave the fondant to set before moving the cake for stacking so as not to disturb the bottom edge?

JWinslow Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 12:51pm

Brilliant!  Thanks AZ. 
I've been using a small piece of plastic to smooth for some time but have to work the bottom edge to bring it all the way down because of the gap the pastry wheel leaves.  I will definitely be using your technique. 

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Feb 2014 , 11:30pm

What is the next step? lol How do you stack without messing up your edges? I tend to get one edge folded and semi dented, or pull it outward.

luvmykids2bits Posted 16 Feb 2014 , 3:32am

Can you post a pic or tutorial?  I think I get it but I'm visual, I'd love to be able to see it just to make sure!

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