Ugh, I just wrote this post and then lost it...here goes again.
I have a 4 tier cake due this weekend. I either need to transport it as 4 tiers separately, or as two. The primary decoration is a fondant swag that drapes down and across each tier to the bottom. I don't know how to measure these swags or how to transport them so that they won't dry out. The photo I have shows each swag affixed to the tier by using silk flowers - will these hold up without tearing? Is there a trick to this? Should I use toothpicks to hold the fondant in place and then cover them up with the flowers? Are there any tools or materials I should make sure I bring to the church in case of emergency? Any ideas, tips, tricks or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.
Are you talking about drapes that go from the top of one tier to the base of that same tier, then onto the next one below? Or do you mean swags that are attached at the top of the tier in a "u" shape that go all the way around each individual tier? I only ask because I personally would handle each design differently, so I don't want to give you the wrong advice.
OOh - good point. What I mean is a drape on each tier that goes about halfway around and joins the top of the tier below and sort of 'sits' on the lip of the larger tier. Does that make sense??
That's easy, then...I'd use either fondant or fondant with some tylose in it to make it a little stretchier and less likely to tear on you. To make the drapes just roll them out so that the top is narrower than the bottom, so that you'll have some "fabric" to gather at the bottom. It should look like a rectangle that's narrower on one end than on the other. When you put them on the cake either start at the top and put the narrower end at the top of the tier, then drape it down to the bottom, or go backwards and put the larger end at the bottom with a little gathering to make it drapier, then lay it up the side of the tier and gather the top edge onto itself at the top of the tier where it ends. (How was that for a run-on sentence?)
If you start at the bottom it might be easier because you can just cut any excess off at the top. Just roll them out longer than you need them to be (make sure they're at least the height of the tiers that they need to drape down, plus a little for the edges where they'll sit on the ledge of the tiers.
Personally, I transport 4-tiered cakes with the bottom two stacked, then the top two separate and I stack them at the reception site. If you do it that way, you can put one drape onto the bottom two tiers before you deliver it, since they'll be stacked already, then wait and do another section of it (or two, if you want an individual drape on each tier) when you set it up.
To get the drapes ready for transportation, roll them out, put them on a piece of plastic wrap, then wrap them up so that no air will get in. They'll stay flexible until you unwrap them, but don't roll them out too long before you leave to deliver, just to be on the safe side. I put mine on a cookie sheet to keep them flat, and if they're really long you can use a paper towel tube to roll them halfway so that they don't get folds in them.
When you get to the reception site, stack the tiers, and that will cover up the top part of the drape on the bottom two tiers. You might want to cut off the part of the drape that's under the second tier from the top if it's thick, or it will make your cake lean. Once the top two tiers are stacked, you can put the other drape on them with the bottom part of the upper drape covering the top of the lower drape. If you have flowers, put them on the cake where the drapes meet, or wherever you want along the drape itself.
I put a picture of a cake that I did below. This isn't my original design, but it shows you how the drapes are covered at the joins on each tier.
I hope this made sense...I think that it helps to add gum tragacanth or tylose to the fondant, or just use gumpaste for the drapes, since the hardest part is getting them onto the cake without ripping them.
THANK YOU THANK YOU that is awesome - and exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm going to print out your post and re-read and take with me
So, you do all the gathers just sort of 'on the fly' as you place the drapes on the cake? I was wondering if I need to sort of 'fold' them before placing them on the cake...
Do the folds first, then put them on the cake. If you try to do it when you're putting it on the cake then you'll wreck the icing!
I agree to do the folds before you place them on the cake. Even if you're doing fondant and your icing isn't as easy to damage, its still much easier to work with
So, another question about the gum tracanth/additive to the fondant...I was planning on making MMF - is that stretchy enough? Do the marshmallows already have something in them that makes them stretchy? I'm trying to avoid making a special trip to the store if I can...what do you think??
I don't use MMF, so I have no idea...Maybe you could practice with some beforehand, or roll some out, wrap it up like you would if you transport it, leave it a while, then set it up on a dummy to see if it works. You could post another topic with a specific MMF question to get responses from people who use it specifically.
Thank you soooo much for your great help and advice. I couldn't find anything to amend the fondant to make it stretchier, so I decided to use gumpaste, then I didn't have enough, so I wound up mixing them together. It worked great - but they were too brittle by the time I got to the church, so I did have to re-roll them, but I had everything I needed. I posted the photo in my photos! Thanks again! Everyone was really impressed with the cake!
AI am wondering how to attach a fondant swag that starts at the top tier and e DS at the bottom of a 3 tier's cake. It needs to come across diagonally ...please help...love pictures [B] [/B][B][/B]
hope it all goes well for you