In my Wilton Course 3 class my instructor had us roll out our fondant for covering our cake on to the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel (comes in Student Kit 3 or in Cake Dividing Set: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?sku=409-806). It's basically a plastic mat that the fondant can stick to (greased with shortening first) while you flip it on to the cake, and then you can peel it off. Whenever I tried this I seemed to get some imperfections in the fondant ... little holes you can see in the image below.
Does anyone have any opinions on using the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel for rolling out fondant? Good/bad experiences?
Those holes are from using shortening to roll the fondant and not from the mat. I have one of those mats and it's not my favorite thing to use at all...in fact, the only thing I use it for is to put underneath my vinyl mat so I can measure what I'm rolling out. The best, cheapest thing to roll fondant on is a piece of heavy-duty clear vinyl from the fabric store. I like it so much that I've cut pieces to fit two of my countertops and I just leave them covered all the time...not just for cakes but because nothing sticks to vinyl so it's super easy to clean.
I agree with Texas Rose. I use the wilton mat the same way. Vinyl sheet is the best way to go.
oooh good call. i'll pick some up this weekend! thank you both!
wait ... so ... i don't have to grease the vinyl?
i teach this class.. never seen this happen in class with any student.. what fondant did you use.. did you make your own. is it mmf or what.. i haven,t seen any of them use chocolate.. usually white.. this is interesting.. in this class. we do use light dab of shortening on the mat.. again, never seen this in class..
this was mmf with a bunch of brown food coloring ... perhaps that batch wasn't good? maybe it should have been kneaded more prior to rolling it out? i haven't re-tried this method with any other batch.
When you make brown mmf, as long as a chocolate flavor is all right for what you're doing, the best way is to replace part of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder...I usually replace 1 cup of PS with 3/4 cup cocoa powder. That will make a nice rich brown and then if you need it darker, just takes a bit of color. You can make black that way too.
But my MMF used to look like that when I was rolling it on the round Wilton mat too, and I had kneaded it plenty. It especially looked like that when I picked up the mat and flipped the fondant over onto the cake. My guess is that the crisco was filling in little spaces and then when I picked it up, the crisco stayed on the mat and the little spaces became more noticeable.
When you use the vinyl, use a little bit of cornstarch with a pastry brush. It doesn't take a lot. You'll get to where you can feel it sticking if it's going to. Practice picking it up and flipping it every so often while you're rolling it out...you'll be able to do it with bigger and bigger pieces as you get used to it (looks very impressive ) When you have the piece as big as you need it, rub it with your hands to make it as smooth as possible before you put it on the cake.
FYI I bought a yard of 20 gauge clear vinyl ($11.99/yd). My husband gave me dirty looks as I plopped this long roll on to the kitchen table. He knows I'm not going to find a good place to stash this!