Ready To Quit... Need Help

Decorating By LisaPeps Updated 11 Sep 2010 , 6:06pm by imagenthatnj

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LisaPeps Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 2:32pm
post #1 of 20

I'm sat in tears writing this...

I can't cover the cake. I've made an 8" square cake 4.5" tall. I've ganached it perfectly, the corners are perfect, I got my spirit level out every side and the top is perfectly straight.

But...I can't cover it with fondant. I've tried adding crisco to it, i've tried short bursts in the microwave, I've tried kneading it more, I've tried rolling it thick, thin, in the middle. I've tried lifting it up with the rolling pin, with my arms, with a mat. Before it goes on the cake the fondant is perfectly smooth, no cracks, trimmed to fit. To adhere it to the cake I've tried a little bit of water on the cake.. that dried out after attempt number 3 so then I tried rubbing crisco lightly on the top, sides and corners. As soon as the fondant is on the cake the corners tear through the fondant and the tops edges crack... I've tried saving it, smoothing it with my hands as soon as its on but it always cracks and tears down the cake then I have to take it off and try again. I've just done attempt number 6 and my kitchen is covered in fondant now and the counter has a rolling pin shaped dent in it.

I just don't understand where I'm going wrong. It's not an order, it's a practise wedding cake. My first one... but it's annoying me because my friend's girlfriend is a professional photographer who asked if she could photograph my cake for free as she wants pictures of food in her portfolio... such an opportunity and I'm ruining it icon_sad.gif

Edited to add: I'm using Renshaw Sugarpaste

19 replies
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caincakemaker Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 3:49pm
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Awwh you poor thing. I think I can safely say we have all been there. I had this happen when it was a wedding cake. I ended up with a bad batch of fondant that was completely dried out. I had to make my own and was up all night, literally.

I am not sure I understand why the fondant won't adhere to the ganache, is it straight out of the fridge? I have never covered a cake with fondant after icing it with ganache even though I use ganache a lot. So, maybe let it sit out at room temp for a little while, the water is not good for the chocolate. Also, it is possible that you have worked your fondant way too much, do you have a new batch to work with?

I am not much help, I hope someone else can give you some tips, I'll be anxious to hear. I know that square cakes are hard for me, keep your chin up, you will get it and it will be a great learning experience!

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TexasSugar Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:18pm
post #3 of 20

What kind of fondant are you using?

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LisaPeps Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:28pm
post #4 of 20

It's called Renshaw Sugarpaste (UK brand). I threw out what I've been working with, like 1.5kg of the stuff icon_sad.gif

This is where I got it from, but it lists what's in it:

The cake is at room temperature.

I don't have much of the ready made stuff left (I've got just enough to cover this cake left) so I'm going to try making my own. I've made it before and it worked okay on a round cake, it's just a PITA to make without a KA. I'm going to have some muscles when I'm done doing this cake >.<

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TexasSugar Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:31pm
post #5 of 20

Did you color it a dark color? I recently had that issue, I had added so much color gel the fondant just split every time I put it on the cake. By try number 3 I was ready to throw it all out the window.

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imagenthatnj Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:32pm
post #6 of 20

All I can offer is this link I have. I am not sure if you're covering right out of the fridge, but it looks that you shouldn't do that.

Anyway, here's the link.

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tastyart Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:38pm
post #7 of 20

I am so sorry you are having trouble. I wish I could drop by and give you a hand. I've been there. It is so frustrating when you can't figure out why it is not working. I am not familiar with Renshaw fondant. I make my own. However, here are a few tips that really helped me when I started using fondant. Hopefully they will help you.

Put a light coating of shortening on your mat.

Roll fondant out to 1/4"

Flip fondant over onto the cake with the mat and then peal the mat away.

Use plenty of cornstarch as you smooth the fondant onto the cake to prevent it sticking to your hands or the smoother.

On a square cake, smooth the corners first.

I really hope that helps. Cake prayers headed your way.

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imagenthatnj Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:39pm
post #8 of 20

And, this is a blog I read a lot. She covers her cakes with ganache. She's also here at cake central, so maybe you can PM her.

Advice from her to someone on her blog:

"So, I'd recommend using ganache for the crumb coat (you can still use buttercream on the inside) and let that sit overnight at room temp to settle, then cover with fondant the next morning. Or if you cover it with ganache in the morning Thursday, cover it with fondant, and decorate it Thursday evening. That way the ganache hardens and everything is room temp. The cake will be totally fine covered with ganache, sitting out from Thursday morning through Friday. You'll need to brush/lightly spray the ganache with a little water or simple syrup before covering it with fondant so that the fondant sticks to it. Also, the fondant recipe has a light citrus aftertaste to it...kinda a fresh taste. I'm not sure what type of cake you're making, but you might take out the lemon juice or lemon extract to tone that down a bit if you're making a cake where it's not advantageous to have the citrus taste to it. Good luck!!"

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LisaPeps Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:23pm
post #9 of 20

It's just white fondant, I didn't colour it and it was already at room temperature.

I think its the fondant.. or maybe I just need to not offer square cakes lol yea right xD

I'll try and find some marshmallows and make some MMF.

Well I've calmed down now and am just going to forget about it tonight and keep away from anything cake related until tomorrow.

Thanks for your support icon_smile.gif

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ycknits Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:39pm
post #10 of 20

Do your elevate your cake when you're applying fondant? If you do, don't! The weight of the fondant will pull tears at your corners. Put your cake on a flat surface that is dusted with powdered sugar or cornstarch. Roll out your fondant to a size at least several inches larger than you need. Then place on the cake with the excess fondant resting on the dusted surface. Fit your corners to the cake while the excess fondant is still supporting the weight of the fondant circle. Then work your way down the sides. I've found that it really helps me if I don't let the fondant hang. Then cut off the excess and gently stretch the remaining excess out and away from the cake. Finish fitting the fondant all the way to the bottom and then trim to fit the bottom edge of the cake.

Also, I don't use water to wet the ganache. When I did, I had black stuff ooze out from under the fondant onto my cake board.... not good! So now I always use apricot glaze - or just a little piping gel or slightly diluted corn syrup.... no water. The more that I use ganace the more that I love it, but it took a little while to get a feel for it. Good luck - tomorrow will be better :>)

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jenmat Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:45pm
post #11 of 20

also, if there are tears, but they aren't too bad (let's face it, sometimes you just need to be ok with 'good enough'), you can mix up a batch of royal icing and spackle the tears. Not big tears, mind you, but if the rest of the cake is a winner, but one little corner, then I will do this.
Also, water is probably not the best idea with fondant. Simple Syrup is better, although I use thinned piping gel most of the time.

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Malakin Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:54pm
post #12 of 20

I've followed Ycknits advice with good results. I don't roll my fondant too thick either, more on the thin side. Corners definitely first when smoothing.

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LisaPeps Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:37pm
post #13 of 20

No I don't elevate it when I put it on, even with extra to prop up the weight of the fondant it still manages to tear. It drove me mad this afternoon. Tomorrow is a new day I guess. At least I know I'm not ready for wedding cakes and my decision to turn my first request down a few weeks ago was a good one.

I bought a few dummies to work with for next time so I don't waste as many supplies. I just wanted to do it in real cake for the first attempt so I could see about supports and transportation etc...

Still pretty bummed and don't know if I'll carry on with these practise ones. Once I've got the supplies and made the fondant and let it rest and then iced the 8" and the other two tiers I don't know if they'll still be all right to eat as they're already ganached and sitting at room temperature for the last 2 days... so I may as well write the cakes off and just do the fondant for the dummies and give myself a week off from practising.

I have a guitar cake to do in a couple of days so will just concentrate on that one I think.

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imagenthatnj Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:50pm
post #14 of 20

Video link:

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LisaPeps Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:03pm
post #15 of 20

You see in that video when she flips it so easily on to the cake and then is able to reposition it, at that point the fondant just tears, just slides right down the side of the cake. So frustrating because I know how to do it if the fondant would just co-operate with me.

I'll have to try a different fondant and see if its the materials or the user >.<

It's as if there is no elasticity in the fondant, would adding gum trag help at all?

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Rosie2 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:12pm
post #16 of 20

Great Youtube video, thanks!!!

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aussiemags Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 3:28am
post #17 of 20

I think perhaps its the renshaws icing. I used the premade regalice red the other week to cover a madhatter - and had all sorts of problems. (Only saving grace was that it seemed to smooth up nicely and i was able to repair the tears by using my smoother and working the icing up - so in the end it looked fine )

I also used orchard chocolate fondant for another tier of this madhatter with absolutely no trouble.

The thing with the regalice was that it had little elasticity compared with Bakels Pettinice which is what i normally use and Orchards which i sometimes use. So overall i wasn't impressed with this batch of regalice.

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ycknits Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 4:22pm
post #19 of 20

Your guitar cake is absolutely gorgeous and amazing!! Wow! Congratulations on a very successful project. You have great talent. thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

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imagenthatnj Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 6:06pm
post #20 of 20

LisaPeps, your guitar is out of this world! I definitely think you had the wrong fondant on the previous project.

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