well dang it, denise
i hope it starts cooperating soon!
I too am dissapointed with this mat, the first time i used it it seem to work fine just like the video i watched. But like another user I found it realy hard to roll out and was so exhausting so the next time i used it i put a little trex/shortening on the bottom piece of the mat which didnt realy help but my fondant seemed very sticky once placed on the cake that i couldnt use my smoother.
I have washed my mat with hot soapy water to remove the trex thinking that this may of made the fondant sticky but its still happening every cake I have made since the fondant is too sticky to smooth, weather I use supermarket bought fondant or a good quality one.
I am very dissappointed and dont think i will be using it again, i purchased the proffessional mat which was not cheap, one unhappy customer
Am so glad its not just me then, i thought i was doing something serioulsy wrong, even to the point off only drying my hands on paper towels so not to pick up fibres from my hand towel was begining to get paranoid never even considered the fact of the static in the mat could be causing all the tiny hairs/fibre etc that i was fiding on my fondant, another reason not to use it.
I was at a show recently where a lady was showing it in a demo. She was using the middle sized mat, (I have the pro sized) It looked new and it worked fine for her. Perfect even! She advised me to use some trex to rub in and then wipe off to stop the little holes I'm getting in my fondant when I use it. I have tried it and the results are the same, still getting the little holes. The only other difference was she was using a thicker (older sytle rolling pin) to mine but she even used the same brand of fondant as I use so I'm thinking its something that works for some folks and not others. I never got a reply to the manufacturers on advising how to deal with the issue but hopefully will get something back soon.
I have had the mat for a year and I love It. I did a fondant test last year comparing 7 or 8 different types of fondant, and found that some are sticky and stretchy and hard to work with. These also had a tendency to stick to the mat. Without referring to my notes, I believe it was Duff's and Fondarific that are very soft and sticky. I also found that there is a trick to working with the Mat that makes a huge difference. Forgive me if this has been already mentioned; I only skimmed over the prior posts. I also don't recall this maneuver being stressed in the instruction video I watched last year. The trick for me is to "release and flip" frequently. As the fondant is rolled out, it does tend to stick to the mat, and then becomes more and more difficult to get to roll out further and starts to grab and ripple. (Just like rolling out cookie or pie dough with saran wrap - you must release the saran wrap now and then so the dough will spread and not stick.) Another important factor of course, is finding the right fondant that handles well. I use mostly Massa Grischuna or Carma Tropic, both of which handle beautifully.
1) place fondant between the 2 layers of the mat. (I make a disc freehand, or with a roller on just the lower Mat at first to get a head start).
2) roll out from the center several times as shown in the video,
3) when it stops spreading as easily or starts to ripple, peel off the top layer and lay it back on again. Then flip the whole thing over, and peel off the bottom (now top) layer and replace.
4) Roll out this new side a few times until the spreading slows, and/or ripples are occurring, and then "release and flip" again
Each time you release, you can check for and pop any air bubbles. The releasing prevents wrinkles, facilitates spread, and keeps it from really sticking at the end.
Just before placing on the cake, release the mat to see which side looks best and should be the outside. With the good side up, release and replace the mat and pat or roll a time or two to just slightly stick it down. Flip it over and peel off the Mat. It is ready to apply to the cake. When finished and on the cake, the outer exposed surface should be nice and smooth, and should have separated easily because it was pre-released.
I am fairly new to fondant and was looking for an easy way to roll it out. I ordered both the home Mat and the one for professionals. I must say I did have difficulty at first, but the last two times I used it, it worked just like the video shows. I, like many others, tend to push the fondant more than roll, when using the Mat. I for one will continue using my Mat, especially when I have to roll out larger pieces of fondant.
When to use a smoother depends on your fondant. If possible, use it right away to smooth over the surface and shape the edges, before it dries out too much. However, some fondants are a little sticky at first. In that case let it dry for a few minutes until it is no longer sticky and then smooth.
This may help you getting sharp edges http://www.inspired-by-chocolate-and-cakes.com/fondant-cake.html