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I have lost my confidence... :(

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I decorate cakes as a hobby for family and close friends. I am not a pro and definitely have lots to learn but all and all my work is pretty decent.

I made Sweet 16 topsy turvy last week for someone I know and my fondant work was a total disaster. I ripped off the fondant from each layer 3 times and re applied and it was still looking dry, wrinkly and teared in some areas. I put plenty of shortening on and worked as fast as I could so after a while I didn't even know what to do. To top it off, when I was carrying it to my car it got a little wet from the rain and the fondant looked like if it was melting. Plus I had black ink coming down everywhere (there were a lot of black accents there). Well, my friend and her daughter absolutly loved the cake, they didn't even notice all the imperfection but I did! And I was embarrased about it!

Well, I am making my sisters wedding cake in three weeks and I am beyond scared. I want my fondant to be smooth and perfect and after the experience with the topsy turvy I dont feel that I can do it. I have been contemplating the idea of using buttercream instead of fondant(she said to do whatever I wanted)but I haven't done that many cakes in buttercream before.

As I said I used plenty of shortening but the fondant look dry all over. It ripped around the edges as soon as I rolled out over the cake I didn't even have time to work it to cut the excess off or anything. I have had the same problems in the past but never this bad. I have noticed that I don't have any fondant problems when I do small/ short cakes but when I attempt to decorate something 4 inches or higher I can't get it done. Is there a trick to cover tall cakes in fondant? How thin should the fondant be?
Carmen
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Carmen
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post #2 of 25
I haven't done much in the way of fondant, but I do know that if you leave it "rolled out" for too long before putting it on the cake it will cause splitting, cracking and tearing. It also happens when you roll your fondant too thin. I'm not sure of the exact thickness or what everyone else calls proper. I think mine is usually just over a 1/16" to 1/8" thick. When I first started covering the larger cakes, I practiced with a pot or smooth bottom bowl. Since there is no buttercream on the pot or bowl, you can take it off and try again (less waste). HTH Good luck on the wedding cake.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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post #3 of 25
I looked at your photos and you do beautiful work. I think it was just a bad day. I have covered cakes with fondant and it was fine and then last week, I was working on a 10 inch cake and it kicked my butt. Don't give up.

Only thought is are you rolling the fondant back onto your rolling pin to then unroll it on to your cake. I find the times I try to pick it up by hand without use something, it would tear.
post #4 of 25
What type of fondant did you use? I think fondant should be about 1/4 inch thick. Also make sure that your BC underneath isn't too thick
post #5 of 25
I roll my fondant onto a piece of vinyl from the fabric store then flip the whole thing onto the cake so there is less handling of the fondant.
A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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post #6 of 25
Shortening can only do so much. If you notice your fondant is dry and cracking to the point that a little shortening won't help, you need liquid. Shortening only coats sugar so that the fondant cracks less. Liquid (like water or milk) absorbs into sugar, making it more pliable. Drizzle a scant tsp of water over your batch and knead it in. If that doesn't get it quite where you want it in terms of smoothness, pliability and workability, add more water, a drop at a time. If you go too far, dust it very lightly with cornstarch.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies and thanks for your comments.

I use the Wilton rolled fondant, Satin Ice is very hard for me to work for whatever reason.

I never heard of using liquid on fondant, that is difinitely a good suggestion...
Carmen
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Carmen
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post #8 of 25
Carmen...

You need a good fondant. All fondants are not alike. I only use a semi-homemade white chocolate fondant. No cracks..... longer work time...very tasty. Water is fondant's enemy, so you don't want to get them wet in any way. If it's raining and it gets on the cake, it can make little 'pits" in the fondant.

I am happy to try and help you in whatever way I can. E-mail me if you have any questions.

Jen icon_smile.gif
Jennifer Dontz - Traveling sugar art teacher
Online store/gallery: www.sugardelites.com
NOW SHIPPING!!!! CYMBIDIUM ORCHID / IVY DVD!
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Jennifer Dontz - Traveling sugar art teacher
Online store/gallery: www.sugardelites.com
NOW SHIPPING!!!! CYMBIDIUM ORCHID / IVY DVD!
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post #9 of 25
Hang in there Carmen. I understand your frustration with fondant. Last week I was fondantly challenged that I couldn't even roll it out in a circle. It was just a mess. Practicing over a pot or bowl sounds like a good idea.
post #10 of 25
Don't worry. It's possible to have a bad fondant day icon_biggrin.gif I think sometimes it's caused by humidity in the air. But just because you have one bad fondant day doesn't mean they're all going to be like that. If you look in my photos, the yellow cake with Dora on top was a very bad fondant day for me...my air conditioning went out, it was 90 degrees in my house. I had to roll the fondant a couple of times and it kept ripping. That's why the flowers were on the sides that way, I had planned to put them around the bottom of the top tier instead but I had to cover up the tears in the fondant.

If you're worried about the wedding cake, plan a design that will allow for easy coverups if you run into problems.
post #11 of 25
you can do it! you just had a bad day- you're a great decorator!
Jennifer
History Teacher and closet cake decorator!
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Jennifer
History Teacher and closet cake decorator!
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post #12 of 25
Wilton is the worst tasting fondant there is. Try another commercial brand, Jennifermi's semi homeade chocolate fondant or michele foster's recipe from this site. If it's for a wedding cake you want it to taste good as well as look good. Jennifermi is so helpful and willing to answer questions not to mention she has wonderful DVDs with great recipes. I'm in the process of making my first batch of pearl clay from her DVD.
A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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post #13 of 25
I would recomment Michele Foster's fondant recipe. It has a very nice texture and it is easy to work with.
Elizabeth
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Theresa
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Elizabeth
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Theresa
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post #14 of 25
I don't work with fondant but I rolled out some marsmallow fondant to cover a styrofoam ball for the base for a gumpaste flower arrangement. I did not like it. It did not look good. I am a buttercream person. I would not enjoy working with fondant . The people I make cakes for, my firends and family would never like to chew icing. I think it is a difficult medium.
post #15 of 25
I wouldn't like marshmellow fondant either. But chocolate fondant is very good. I've never had anyone peel it off (chocopan).
A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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