Today I finally braved my first fondant covered cake. I made MMF and I am happy with the final result but it was not without a few struggles and it raised a few questions:
How much buttercream should you put on? The Wilton book seemed to be fully covered but often on TV they just seem to skim it. Is there a general consensus?
How do you stop the fondant from stretching when you are waving it over the cake trying to position it?
DO you grease or dust with icing sugar when rolling out? I started greasing but then couldn't lift it so changed to powder but had a few pockets on the surface afterwards.
When you need a lot of colour into fondant do you add more icing sugar to stop it from being wet? My black seemed much softer than my white.
Why do bubbles blow up on the surface later on?
Have a look at the cake in my pictures. It is Lindy Smith inspired.
Oh....one more thing. Trying to figure out which tools I should by first. Is a ribbon cutter an essential tool? Everything is so expensive, I'm trying to prioritize.
Congrats on your MMF victory!
I just use a thin crumb coat of buttercream, otherwise the fondant will squish and move just as the buttercream.
You can help the stretching problem a couple of different ways. You can roll it up on the rolling pin and then unroll it over the cake. Some people have slick mats that they pick up over the cake and just slide it off onto the cake. You can roll it a little thicker to help too. Mostly if you pick it up to put it on, I suggest making sure it is well big enough to cover the cake with no worries of centering and then support it with both hands / forearms and move quickly.
I used to use powdered sugar, but with help from the forum found out that cornstarch is wonderful! It doesn't clump like the sugar and there isnt a ton of shortening on the cake afterward.
Lots of people suggest Americolor for coloring, so you don't have to use so much. Black is a very hard color to get, you can try starting with chocolate fondant (since it's brown) to help get it there faster... but it usually does take a lot of color to do it. And yes, if it is wet, just add more powdered sugar to it.
Have no idea about the bubbles... i get them too. So I'll be looking for an answer for this
As for tools... I'm still building my collection. Something I should have bought early on and didn't was a turntable. After that, I guess it depends on what you want to do. A pizza cutter works great at making straight ribbons. They have a nice gumpaste tools kit i saw the other day at Michaels I think I'm going for next.
As soon as I get off work (5am) I can get to a computer where the pictures aren't banned and comment on what I'm sure is a great master piece!
I have been trying MMF with some success. This week I have been experimenting in prep for a wedding cake:
1. BC how much- I crumb coat, let set, then add another layer. I think my latest try of this the icing was too soft, because it squished down when I put on the fondant. I had to add a second coat so the choc cake didn't show. I tried ganache this week, which seemed to work much better. (Princess cake)
2. Move quickly! Have everything out of the way, and the cake ready.
3. I use powdered sugar or cornstarch.
4. Added color makes softer. I added more sugar to counter.
5. I was having trouble with pockets today. I did not have my cake elevated, which I usually do. I think air got trapped in by the folds of fondant at the bottom. Back to elevating next time.
My other experiment this week is Michelle Foster's Fondant. It worked very well, and tastes great. That, with the ganache under, made a tasty covering for the cake.
I would NOT buy the Wilton ribbon cutter set. I have had little success with it. The wingnut loosens as you roll, and it doesn't make a good clear cut like metal does. I did see Buddy use something on Cake Boss that seemed to work great. I need to surf a little to see what that was!
HTH- not an expert, but sure am having fun!
Lol sounds like you and I are working side by side Cubed... I tried ganache for the first time this week too! Going to try MFF tomorrow, wish me luck!
I didn't think about elevating!!! You are so right! When I used to elevate and cover I didn't have bubbles then... I just didn't realize it! Awesome.
I notice the ganache makes a much stiffer undercoat... like you can press good and firm on the fondant to smooth it and get some sharper edges. What do you think? Also, as for the MFF, how did it do as for rolling, sticking, stretching, ease of making? Did you use a KA with a dough hooK? I am soooo curious to know!
I've been making MMF with my KA for a while now. Tonight when I was making a couple of batches, I noticed an extra clicking sound that the mixer doesn't usually make. I think it was the little metal spring around the top of the post that the attachments go on, but it made me nervous enough to stop and finish kneading it by hand.
Anyhow, a lot of the time the air pockets will come from gases leaving the cake, if it hasn't had enough time to settle.
I like to put my cakes in the fridge to firm up the buttercream before I put the fondant on. I stayed away from that for a long time because I thought it would make the fondant sweat, but it doesn't seem to do that, and it's much easier to cover a cold, stiff cake than a warm, wiggly one.
If you have that big white Wilton roller, it's good for rolling the fondant up to lift it over the cake. I don't use it for actually rolling out the fondant because it's just not as easy as my Sil-pin.
I use cornstarch when I roll out fondant. I roll it on a sheet of thick clear vinyl, and just lightly dust it with cornstarch on a pastry brush. Once you've had some practice, you can feel when the fondant starts sticking, and then you know to lift it up and add more cornstarch underneath, or to flip it over, dust it and then flip it again. Once you've got it rolled out, rub your hands over the surface until it's as smooth as you would like, and it will be much prettier on the cake.
To make a deep color, add the color to the melted marshmallows before you add the PS. Somehow it avoids that crumbly feeling if you do that. Of course then you end up with a whole batch of one color, but you can always store the extra in the freezer.
I covered a spice cake with white choc ganache and MFF, which is very yummy (very sweet). Ahh, the downside of practicing....
Overall, the MFF was great to roll. I did get a few cracks, but that may be due to my impatience. I don't think I let the hot mixture cool enough, and ended up with 5 lbs of PS in it. Still soft, and rolled well, but I wonder if it was just a bit dry. I plan to knead in some glycerin per Michelle's suggestions. Even with my MMF, I am still trying to nail down the consistency.
I used my 5qt KA to mix and knead. I moved it to vinyl for the last bit of kneading.
I have a 3 ft piece of PVC waiting to clean and sterilize to use as a rolling pin. I'll need that next week!