Hello fellow cakers! I have a question for those with more experience than me. I'm an amateur decorator who took all 4 Wilton classes so I could make pretty things for friends and family. Up to this point I've relied on buttercream for the main body of the cake. I wasn't really a fan of the fondant taste, even though I acknowledged that cakes with fondant can be gorgeous. Saturday I need to finish up a cake that will be fondant covered (thanks to Wilton's yummy new fondant). I covered the cake board yesterday (and noticed that this new fondant is much stickier and does not set as firm as the former kind). I have two cakes in the freezer, already torted and leveled.
I know that Saturday I will be stacking and decorating the cake, but I also know time will be limited. Should I defrost, fill, and ice today then refrigerate and apply fondant tomorrow, then refrigerate again until I am ready to stack and decorate Saturday morning? I think that would make the time aspect more manageable but I am concerned about putting a rather stretchy fondant on icing that has already set firm. Would it be more likely to show any imperfections in the icing? Do it all tomorrow then just put on the pretties on Saturday?
I have no idea how to time this so the appearance of the cake is the best it can be. Help?!
PS. While the new Wilton fondant tastes better, it is HORRID for sculpting! It does not set firm enough to hold the legs to the body of my jungle animals and when I stand them up the body sinks down over the legs, even though the bodies were made a week ago! I think I've established a fix with lollipop sticks, but the animals are not totally edible now. =(
Figurines aren't really supposed to be edible anyway, just 'edible'. Toothpicks are fine, although you could use dry spaghetti in future if you really want them to be eaten. Add some CMC or tylose power to your fondant for figurines, or use gumpaste instead, or a mix of gumpaste and fondant. None of that tastes very good, but again, figurines aren't really supposed to be eaten, generally.
Is there something in your cake that needs refrigeration? Otherwise, you don't need to have the cake in the fridge quite so much.
A firm base of icing is better and easier to put fondant on - you don't want to be relying on having to squish the base coat of icing around to prevent imperfections. If the icing is soft, it's much more likely to bulge than if it's firm. However, if the icing is only firm because it's been in the fridge, that has its own set of problems.
If it's humid where you live, putting fondant on a cold cake is difficult because it will get more sticky immediately after you put it on from condensation. If your icing doesn't crust or get firm at room temp, it will be soft again when your cake warms up to room temp and possibly lose your fondant or be droopy.
Keep your cake at room temp (unless there's something perishable in the filling), use an icing that gets firm at room temp, and make sure it's firm before you put your fondant on.
Thanks! It is supposed to be over 80 degrees Saturday and the fillings for the two tiers are cream cheese and white chocolate so it needs to be kept cool as long as possible.
Should I chance it tomorrow, frost, let it crust, then do the fondant before putting it in fridge or
am I better off just doing the fondant Saturday? It's not like it takes that long. Then I wouldn't need to worry about condensation when taking the cake out of the fridge.
If the weather is humid, in my experience, the cake will need to be room temp when you put your fondant on. So I would probably fill and ice, let crust, then put in the fridge until Saturday, then do your fondant. I don't put fondant in the fridge, but some people do and it works fine for them. I think the deciding factor about whether it works or not, is the humidity in the air, rather than the temperature. Humidity = condensation = sticky fondant.
I never use fillings that need the fridge, though, so I'm not very helpful about how long those can be left out of the fridge on Saturday.
Thanks to you I believe I have a game plan. I will fill and frost tomorrow, then put in the fridge overnight.
Saturday I will pull out of the fridge and give the condensation on the icing time to dry out before adding fondant, stacking, and decorating. Hopefully this will help ease the "sticky" factor. The cake itself will keep the fillings cool enough until it is time to be served. It's not like it will be sitting in the sun.
Thanks Mcaulir! I will let you know how it goes!
I'll be interested to hear!
Feel free to ignore me and use other people's advice if they offer some, given my lack of experience with refrigerating cake.
Well, overall it went well, but I think I would do it differently next time. The top tier of the cake had a cream cheese icing. I knew it wouldn't crust, but once refrigerated it built up a lot of condensation that never dried. Putting the fondant on it was fine since I was able to do it quickly on the 8" round, but it got VERY sticky, very quickly.
The bottom tier was a tub of Wilton's shortening-based premade icing, with some raspberry gelatin mixed in. I even added a bit of meringue powder hoping it would crust. It didn't, but it did set up fairly firm in the fridge so I was able to smooth it out and the fondant went on fine.
In the end, the cake was cute and everyone oohed and ahhed over it. Plus it was yummy and people were pleasantly surprised that the fondant had a good taste instead of the nastiness they were used to.
I really need to play around with different kinds of buttercream icing (as I usually use the shortening based recipe from the Wilton course) to find something I like. I think I want to play around with making my own marshmallow fondant too and see how that works.
(More pics in my album)
Oh, it was cute! Glad it went well - it's definitely all trial and error. Keep reading, and practicing, and it will click.
I really like Sugar Shacks buttercream, you can find it on Cake Central. There is also a recipe for a Decorator's Cream Cheese Frosting that has a better consistency than a traditional cream cheese frosting that is usually very soft.