Hello all! I'd love to get as much feedback as possible - what fondant mat do you recommend? I've done a lot of research and the popular options seem to be silicone mats or The Mat by SweetWise.
Right now I'm tossing around the idea of getting The Mat but I really don't like that it never actually gets washed - the recommending cleaning method is wiping it down with a damp paper towel after each use, and as a germaphobe, I'm not a big fan of that idea.
Is there anything else I should look into? Those who have a fondant mat they love or who have tried a mat and hated it: thoughts?
I bought The Mat by StreetWise. Worst money I ever spent. Loved it when I first got it. Lasted less than 5 years. Vinyl got brittle, even tho I stored in the tube it came in. And despite conditioning the mat as per instructions, my fondant began to stick, wouldn't peel off the mat. Most disappointing was I contacted SweetWise and never, ever got a reply about my difficulties. I suggest you by a Silicone mat. I did. Rolls up easily, washes up great and nothing sticks. After several uses, I condition it. I add a small amount of shortening on the silicone, rub in, and wipe off the excess. I roll up and put away. Love it.
Ideally I'd have 2 sizes. I was only able to find a 18" X 18" silicone mat. But it suits me for my needs. I'd like a much larger silicone mat for bigger cakes. But since I'm just a hobby baker, I don't make that many big cakes, like wedding cakes. So it really depends on your budget and the kinds of cakes you make.
I agree with Chuck completely. I bought The Mat and initially loved it. I took very good care of it-didn't wash or fold it, kept it rolled in the tube, but the plastic warped and developed indentations. It didn't crack or stick, but it was no longer possible to get a smooth fondant surface and I threw it away. I use a large silicone mat I found at Sur Le Table. I like it so much I bought a second one. they are not cheap, ($75ish I think) but I love them for rolling out just about anything. The are called RoulPat and measure 23" x 31.5". They can be used together ala The Mat, although I usually just use one. They are made by De Marle the company that makes the smaller SilPat mats. HTH
I also didn't mention that my Mat also warped and developed indentations. Wrinkles that no matter, wouldn't come out. Rendering it useless. You ended with marks on your fondant, not the smooth finish. One Mat was worse than the other, so for awhile I used just one. Then it began to stick. I'd be curious how many decorators like us ended up throwing there Mat out. I was given a small inexpensive silicone mat for my kitchen, I bet 10 years ago. Still working great. Lesson learned.
I'm so glad I'm finding out about this now as opposed to after I'd bought a Mat. I read lots of rave reviews from people who had had theirs for a few weeks or months but none from people who'd used theirs for years who could speak to the (lack of) durability. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!
Your welcome cakingandbaking
Just for fun I googled reviews for The Mat. Nothing current came up...but whad ya know, another thread from CC 2010-2014. Have a read.