AHi! I'm fairly new to cake decorating and am having an issue with elephant skinning and cracking. I am using satin ice fondant. I am colouring it from white, and am wondering if the amount of kneading I have to do while colouring (using gel colours) could be causing it? I do use powdered sugar to keep it from being sticky, which I think is happening from having hot hands and from warming weather. I am in western Australia.
I have read that spritzing with water and folding it in when kneading can help keep it moist and that using shortening when rolling out can help. My concern is that I have used powdered sugar quit a bit while colouring the fondant... and it's for my daughters first birthday next week. Can anyone tell me if that will cause elephant skinning and cracking or will spritzing and using shortening when Rolling out fix that? Any hints help or tricks would be greatly appreciated.
This is what works for me.
elephant skin is the dry outer surface of your fondant. You have to keep the fondant covered at all times or it will get dry and crack. I double wrap my fondant, in plastic wrap and put it back in the bucket. What works for me, is a little shortening on my hands and I knead the fondant quickly to get it soft again.
This is not recommended, but I have done it. You can also microwave it for 5 seconds. I only have my fondant out when I am kneading or rolling otherwise it is covered.
Second to color fondant:
It is easier to put the color in a small fist size amount of fondant. Work on a plastic mat. Once the color is kneaded in, then add that small amount to the rest of the fondant. If you are making really dark colors, sometimes it may take more coloring than you can knead in. That is why people buy red, black and navy, etc.. Dark or bright colors have a lot of coloring in them. The coloring is added during the manufacturing process. Once you color your fondant, you may want to let it rest in a plastic bag. You will find the colors do darken or develop as they sit.
Also, I put shortening on my hands to keep them for absorbing color. I found that straight dish detergent will help clean the coloring off too. I would not use more than 1 spritz of water and if the fondant is gooey, you have added too much coloring, you may want to add a little more fondant. You don't want to keep adding powdered sugar. In the future you might try powdered coloring, I use it a lot or a combination of the dry and gel. Hope some of this may help you. Good luck!