I am using The Mat, and the 20 inch Wilton Roller, it takes me forever to roll out my fondant to fit a 10 inch or larger cake (an hour and a half I spent today getting my fondant to 24 inches for a 10 inch round cake). I primarily use Satin Ice Fondant, but recently bought MASSA fondant, which was "promised" to be simple to roll, paper thin and be able to cover cakes with no problems at all. It was horrible. I will use it (it was pricy) but I was happy with the Satin Ice, just not too fond of spending hours rolling it, especially when I am doing tiered cakes - the thought of all day rolling fondant makes me dread my upcoming projects!! My home is super small, no room for a professional stainless steel rolling table.
Is it too cool (even room temp can be too cool) and therefore hard to roll? Have you tried nuking it for a few seconds? I microwave mine for about 10-15 seconds. Makes a huge difference! It should not feel hot or even overly warm - in fact, just a hint warmer than room temp. You should be able to easily manipulate it though. I roll mine out in a moment or so. I don't use the mat I use fondant rings. They mimic the fondant lifter that cost $225. I had mine made at work out of phenolic and it cost about $50. I would not trade them for the world. I have my fondant rolled and on the cake in 5-10 minutes per tier. My largest ring fits a 16" round.
I would love to hear more about these fondant rings, can you take a photo and show me what they are? I actually thought today that I should pop that fondant in the microwave but I was worried about working it too much, and with using a new product, concerned about how it would react. What brand of fondant do you use with the rings? Will this company make them for anyone, is it mail order? Sorry for so many questoins, but searching for something to make my decorating life a bit easier!
I made those rings with foam board. I am very slow with fondant rolling because I don't do it that often, but it is still only about 5 minutes to knead and a few minutes to roll. I use Fondariffic and Duffs, but I have used Satin Ice too. It is still only total 10 minutes.
Like tryingcake said, I microwave for a few seconds.
What is phenolic? I haven't heard of that.
Tryingcake: I just googled the fondant lifter and if that works the way it advertises I would love to get the information from the company you used to have them made. Thanks for this information!
Phenolic is a counter top surface used in scientific laboratories - resists everything, including acid - and YES - it's food safe. To you and me and other lay-people, it looks like Formica - but it's so much tougher.
My day job company makes phenolic surfaces. I had mine made from scraps that had been sitting outside for over a year - and it still looked brand new. It retails for $288 a sheet (4x.
I showed the shop supervisor the Fonder Lifters website and asked him if they could be made from phenolic. He said yea, go grab some scraps from outside. I had them the next day. Perfectly round nesting rings. I think I've had them about a year and they are still going strong. He said I will die before they do. LOL.
I can get the shop to make the rings sometimes for friends. I have to sell them for about $100 (depending on where it's being shipped to). That just covers our cost and labor (I only had to pay for the labor when I got mine) and shipping. They are heavy - not unbearably heavy to lift but heavy for postage. Shipping is quite a bit because we pack then in luan to ship.
And they make them as they have time. I have a friend who has been on the "waiting list" for 5 months now. We've actually been very busy in the shop - a very good thing. I work part time in the office... just enough to have insurance. (wink)
oh - and they do work as good as they say they do.
I make my fondant (MMF) rather than buy it, and when I'm ready to roll it out using "The Mat" I nuke it for 10-25 seconds depending on the amount I'm using. It rolls so ealily and smoothly this way and I can lift and position it without tearing or stretching.
I make MMF too but find it mostly depends on how much icing sugar I put in. For a recent 3 layer cake, I added too much icing sugar and it was so stiff & took me so long to roll out I was in tears!
Claire - when that happens, I kneed in shortening a little at a time to help losten it up a bit. Also heating it in the microwave to make the rolling out easier.
I agree that you need to warm the fondant up and knead it a bit.
I had trouble lifting large pieces - anything bigger that my 20" rolling pin.
I started using a piece of food safe plastic pipe that is 30" long. It is the kind used for water pipes in your home. It is cheap and easy to use.
DaPom - I didn't think about adding shortening, I will have to remember that! Thanks
I also warm the fondant in the microwave for a few seconds, knead quickly and start rolling out on a generously Crisco-greased surface. The warmth and the Crisco really make it easy to roll out. And the fondant doesn't crack on the edges of the cake this way either.
thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments. I used to make my fondant, but now I don't have time - too many orders! (Guess that's a good thing!!)