Fondant Facts !

Decorating By Italianbeautie Updated 20 Aug 2010 , 5:28pm by Italianbeautie

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Italianbeautie Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:32pm
post #1 of 6

I am making a wedding cake this friday, one real 12" bottom layer, and two top fake tiers. It will be a marble cake, covered in buttercream and covered in fondant. I have made a cake before that I had kept refrigerated, but I'm not sure If I should refrigerate this one or not? I think the fake fondant covered tiers will be fine left out on the counter, but should I stick the larger real cake in the fridge until I have to deliver it? It's been quite warm here in Vancouver, but it also is calling for rain saturday, so it is cooling down. I've used fondant before but ususally made it the day of, however in this situation I can't make it that day! Unless maybe I woke up at 6:30 am...

Also! I make lots of cupcakes with fondant accessories, and recently since it was SOOO hot I put them in the fridge the night before, but the accents seemed to wilt and melt. I dried them out for 3 days beforehand, but the heat didnt help in allowing them to dry out fully.

Any fondant facts would be helpful!

5 replies
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khoudek Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:19pm
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If you have a low humidity fridge you are ok with putting your fondant cake in it. When I do accents for cakes I will leave them off the cake while it is being refridgerated and then place them prior to the event. There is nothing in them that spoils, they need to be firm and they usually don't take long to add to the cake.

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sandy1 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 4:51pm
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Here is some information I found to be helpful.

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sandy1 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:01pm
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Sorry for the length of this response but I thought the following information might be helpful. At the end of the article it has STORAGE information. I can't remember where I got it from.

Gum Paste vs. Fondant
There are many safe to eat clay techniques that are being used today. Aside from pastillage and marzipan, two additional clay methods are popular among baker and cake designers alike. These are the gum paste and fondant clay methods. Although, they are more or less the same and related to one another, each has key differences of its own.
Gum paste is simply adding or combining pastillage and tragacanth (a gum of various Asian shrubs). Many actually claim that its easy to make gum paste but hard to secure the tragacanth ingredient. It helps in making the paste more malleable during its early stages. This will also give you greater time to manipulate your design before it actually starts to solidify. However, this material firmly dries out more than how a fondant dries. Because of this, gum paste is often used in making very intricate cake accessories for stylish cake designs. Making cake flowers, leaves and other decors is easy using gum paste because it holds the form very well. Moreover, the gum paste dough is stretchable and squashy. Because of this characteristic, it can be rolled into thin sheets or designs for varied visual presentations.

Fondant, gum paste, sugar paste, and pastillage are all related but have critical differences.

Pastillage can be made different ways and dries hard and crisp. It is used to make bases, supports, stands and replicas. It can also be colored or painted. You have to work very quickly because pastillage dries quickly.

Fondant (and there are several kinds) remains soft for quite a while, but will harden over time -- it never gets bone hard. It can be used to make decorations and is great as a cake covering.

Gum paste recipes vary but typically involve gum tragacanth, making it not as sturdy as pastillage. Because of the added gum, the dough is very elastic and soft, making it able to be rolled out thinner and worked with longer than pastillage. Both will hold up fairly well in humidity, but gum paste will soften slightly, as it will if it touches buttercream (because of its fat content) or is refrigerated

Storage of a Fondant covered cake or Petits Fours depends on the type and the fillings and frostings. In general, a Rolled or Poured Fondant covered cake does NOT need to be refrigerated, unless necessary. A fondant covered cake will keep for about 5 days in a cardboard box, with a cover, in a cool dry place. If it contains perishable fillings, frostings or decorations, it MUST be refrigerated. Keep it loosely covered or in a cardboard box with a cover. In general, refrigerating a cake will dry it out, but less so if covered with Fondant. The fondant covering will harden if stored at room temperature, but it takes about a week or so, depending on the humidity. A fondant covered cake stored in the refrigerator will have its covering remain somewhat pliable from the moisture in the refrigerator. However, if you have decorations on the cake, you have to be careful whether or not the cake can be refrigerated with the decorations on the cake; if you are using gum paste or sugar designs they will completely droop.
If a Fondant covered cake is refrigerated because it contains perishable items, as soon as it is removed and exposed to the warmer room temperature air, moisture MAY condense on it's surface. It usually becomes shiny. This happens because of the temperature differential between the refrigerator and the room's air. Condensation is not good because it is moisture that will essentially "dissolve" the sugar-based Fondant. Sugar is a humectant, which readily attracts the warm moisture from the air. (Also, the refrigerator is a moist environment in itself and already placed decorations can bleed color).
To prevent condensation from forming, as soon as you remove the cake from the refrigerator, it's best to place it in an air conditioned (low humidity) environment to "warm up". It takes awhile so allow plenty of time. Since the temperature / moisture differentials between the cake and the air aren't so great, the condensation is lessened or eliminated.
You can also place the cake in front of a fan to dry up the moisture. Remember to rotate the cake often and allow a good hour or more before set-up/presenting the cake.
If the weather is hot and humid and the Fondant covered cake sweats and does not contain perishable items, store cake in a air conditioned room. It removes some of the moisture from the air making it a good environment.
My best advice: Before you freeze or store the real fondant-covered wedding cake, make a test one in advance. Store it for a month or two in the freezer and then thaw it. See what happens to the fondant before you make the real one! Be prepared!! What goes wrong, usually will! You don't want to be surprised at the last minute.
You can freeze a Fondant covered cake especially if you want it to keep for long term storage for up to 2 months. However, if it contains creams, custards or other perishable fillings, you can't. If the cake is frozen and it then thaws, do so in its wrappings. That's so condensation will adhere to the wrappers, not the Fondant. But, again make use of an air conditioned room to thaw it in.

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dchockeyguy Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:40pm
post #5 of 6

I agree with Sandy's information. IF you havea non-perishible filling, you don't have to put a fondant covered cake in the fridge. I never do, and it's never been a problem for me.

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Italianbeautie Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 5:28pm
post #6 of 6

Thanks everyone!

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