Newbie Looking For Guidance!

Decorating By gavsgirl Updated 1 Jul 2010 , 2:10am by Jamielc

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gavsgirl Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 8:55pm
post #1 of 14

I am coming here as I'm as new as new can be. I can make a cake. I used to decorate with piping gels when I was younger. Being an artist by trade (I draw portraits) someone once asked me to draw a few characters on their cake. I gave it a shot, word got around and it was my gig for a few years till I moved away. I am interested in learning to use fondant. I bought all the supplies to make MMF but I'm too afraid to get on with the process. All the supplies I bought are staring me in the face and I feel like I'm trying to learn chinese or something lol My sons 3rd birthday is in august and he's requested a "toy story" cake so I wanted to try to practice to see if it's even possible. I have an entire cake drawn out (I guess it's the artist in me lol) but I don't even know where to start. I want to do a cake, 2 small tiers, with fondant cut-out characters around the sides. Not being a cake maker I'm sure I'm not using proper terms. What would you tell a newbie? Where should I start? What do I need to know about MMF? Is my idea completely out of reach for someone of my level? lol I guess I'm just looking for guidance. I have about a month and a half, and if I have to practice every day, I will lol It's always something I wanted to do, I finally took the step but I'm too nervous to try and execute it. Please guide the newbie!

Thanks in advance,

13 replies
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metria Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 9:04pm
post #2 of 14

if you've never used fondant, i'd suggest buying a little from the store first (e.g. a box of wilton ready-made fondant). this will give you an idea of the texture you'll need to shoot for when making your own. start with small, simple goals so you can teach yourself this new medium. have fun!!!

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JayyBugg Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 9:14pm
post #3 of 14

definitely buy premade first so you know what to expect and get some guidelines. watch tutorials on youtube to get to know the techniques. and you came to the right place for all your questions icon_biggrin.gif

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WelshCakes Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 9:47pm
post #4 of 14

I agree with buying some store bought first to get the feel, but just know... homemade MMF is much easier to work with. When I started working with fondant I would buy the pre-made stuff and would always get really discouraged when trying to cover cakes. It would always crack on the edges, making me feel like a complete failure. I would think "the pros make it look so easy!!!!" Until I finally tried making my own fondant, and WOW... what a difference. Not only the texture but the taste. Also, do your research about proper buttercream/ganache for under the fondant, torting, damming, & filling. Fondant is so much fun to work with so just let your creativity run wild! Good luck and post pics!

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metria Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 9:49pm
post #5 of 14

oh and if you have a standing mixer w/ a dough hook (e.g. kitchenaid), use that to knead the fondant at first. add about 2/3s of your powdered sugar and let the mixer do the work. then take it out and finish it by hand. grease everything with shortening first.

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gavsgirl Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 12:29am
post #6 of 14

Thank you to all who have replied so quickly. I looked up the whole torting thing - totally never heard of it before lol Told you I'm new! Just a few questions I've thought of....

1. I see some people add flavoring to the MMF. Is it really necessary? If so, what flavors do you use?

2. I've found a couple buttercream recipes, what are some favorites? I found one on here that seems pretty simple so I bought the ingredients for that but I'm open to recommendations. What makes a good buttercream?

3. What would I use to adhere my fondant cut-outs to the cake. I've seen everything from using water (Don't know how that would work exactly) to icing. What works best?

4. Should MMF be refrigerated after made? I know it says to wrap or keep in a bag but I didn't know if it should also be refrigerated. I live in the south - it's well over 90 degrees here, I'm afraid these conditions are going to make for miserable cake making lol

I intend on taking the day tomorrow to play considering the husband will be home to keep the little ones occupied. I'm pretty excited, although nervous, to get involved in the cake world. Hopefully my first attempt won't be so much of a disaster that I never want to try again lol I just hope to get a cake covered - that would make me happy! lol

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yummy Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 12:48am
post #7 of 14

Welcome to cc Gavsgirl!

You can use any flavor that compliments your cake and icing flavors. Use clear vanilla to keep your icing white so that you can get nice colors if you decide to color.

Indydebi's Crisco bc and sugarshacks bc are both great. They both crust and holds up well in hot weather.

I use water. Just brush a little water on the back, not enough to really wet it. I stick my small paint brush in some water scrape off excess on the side of bowl then run across the decoration and stick on cake. Water is cheaper and easier than the other methods that work. It's just a matter of preference.

No you don't have to refrigerate mmf. Double wrap in plastic and put in a ziploc bag, leave on counter.

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awatterson Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 12:55am
post #8 of 14

Welcome to CC. There are a TON of people on here who very helpfu.

I add princess cake emulsion to my mmf (I got that from ). It gives it a almond, citrus vanilla flavor. If you want your MMF whiter then you can add some white dye.

I use the buttercream dream recipe on here.

I also use water to put the decorations on the cakes.

Good luck and I can't wait to see pictures!

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awatterson Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 12:55am
post #9 of 14

I meant helpful, not helpfu.

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sugarandstuff Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 1:24am
post #10 of 14

I agree that the homemade MMF is easier to use than the store bought stuff. I am new as well (although a seasoned baker, just not fancy cakes icon_smile.gif I've been watching videos on youtube and wilton to learn and am becoming addicted to this website for ideas! So far it's been really fun and I can't wait to try another cake! Good luck!

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chellescountrycakes Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 1:29am
post #11 of 14

Everyone's suggestions are right what I would say icon_smile.gif

If I am making a dark color MMF, Ilike to put jello in it to give it a little flavor. I still add the vanilla, but put in half a package of jello (strawberry is great and makes it kinda pinkish)- when I melt my marshmellows.
(thanks Tesso for the idea!)

If you are already an artist, you will LOVE doing the cakes. You will be so far ahead of those of us with NO artistic ability and more than likely willbe able to teach yourself piping with no problem!!

Good luck, and you did come to the right place. everything I have learned I learned right here. I cant watch you tube because of dial up, so I have to read descriptions and hope I'm doing it right icon_smile.gif

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nana_marta Posted 26 Jun 2010 , 1:47am
post #12 of 14

All of the above plus Practice, practice, practice!!! And come here for wonderful help and ideas! congratulations on your new endeavor and welcome to our world my dear! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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WelshCakes Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:38pm
post #13 of 14

Yes... I agree with everyone. I prefer making sugar glue for sticking decorations because it holds much better than water... and it's easy. I use Tylose & water mixture but you can use fondant & water... just pinch off a little piece of fondant drop into a couple Tbs of HOT water, let sit and blamo!!! You've got sugar glue! Water works great if your decorations are flat and light, but if you are attaching heavier decorations... sugar glue is the way to go. So excited for you but I am warning you now... you WILL become addicted... it is so much fun!

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Jamielc Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 2:10am
post #14 of 14

If I want my MMF colored, I add my coloring right to the melted marshmallows before I pour into the powdered sugar. Saves me a lot of hassle. Always go a little darker, as the powdered sugar will make your color lighter. icon_wink.gif

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