I'm looking to really get into making cakes. I have several years of professional experience in the culinary field and I've gone to culinary school. I feel really comfortable with cookies and cupcakes. I'm even comfortable with cupcake toppers made from fondant. However, cakes have always been something that's troubled me. I'm on my journey of being a self-taught cake decorator, which has been super overwhelming. I feel comfortable-ish with buttercream, but fondant is a whole other story. I ALWAYS have issues with fondant when it comes to cakes. I've been told to try homemade fondant. I've tried MMF and the Michele Foster fondant recipe. While both taste great and were easy to make, I've had several issues with application and shelf life. It always seems to melt, be way too soft and sweat like crazy. I know it's best for cost and taste, however I've always had issues when using homemade fondant. Does anyone have a guaranteed homemade recipe that won't cause the issues listed above? I'm willing to give it another chance. I'm also researching store-bought fondant now to see what's my best option. If you lean towards store-bought fondant, what would you recommend? I feel like my biggest issue with fondant is covering the cake. I think I have trouble with that simply because I haven't found THE fondant that works best for me. It's really frustrating as I've been trying to get into cakes on and off for years. Any advice when it comes to fondant? Survival tips 101?
Another thing I always wonder is the cake schedule. How far out do you bake, ice and decorate your cakes? Do you apply fondant the day of or do you do it prior to and store it? Any details would be appreciated!
"Does anyone have a guaranteed homemade recipe" no you just have to get used to fondant -- my suggestion is to buy some and get a small dummy cake and get the hang of it -- you need to get the feel for the dryness of it -- sometimes you have to let it air dry a bit -- maybe five, ten minutes or more depending -- and knead it back in and repeat if necessary -- but not let it totally crust either -- master that then use a tall little four inch cake and get the hang of it on that till you build your confidence --
on the dummy cake -- you'll want to sand the top ninety degree edge so it doesn't slice off the fondant first thing --
Yahhh What she^^^ said:) I Use Wilton w/lots of added flavoring Of course when just practiceing on a dummy skip the flavoring:) As for sweating just don’t touch it until that evaporates If it’s from frig to room it helps to box then wrap in plastic before frig’ing & don’t open for at least an hr — until it comes to room temp As for schedule one can bake weeks in advance & freeze can even bake, fill, & crumb coat then fz if the filling can take freezing Or just bake 1-3 days ahead a cake usually has a shelf life of 3-4 days including the time being worked on You want the client to have time to keep leftovers so that’s why fz’ing is such a great help Covering w/fondant can be done a day or so ahead Storage of finished cake is usually at room temp or many suggest in frig as a cold cake travels safer so box, wrap in plastic & frig
I am not the best at fondant, but I always use Liz Marek's marshmallow fondant recipe. A lot of people do and it is very tasty (as fondant goes).
I second the Liz Marek fondant recommendation. I find that it is easier to work with then some of the store bought I have used (not as sticky and doesn't dry out as fast).
Fondant is really a practice makes perfect thing.
For me I find that a nicely chilled cake is easier to cover then a room temp cake. Also you want to make sure that your buttercream is nice and smooth. Fondant will actually magnify any imperfections in your buttercream rather than hide them. If you want to cut out detail pieces from fondant I have found that if I roll the fondant out and let it dry a bit the detail pieces I want cut out easier and cleaner.
As far as schedule I always bake well in advance and freeze the layers. I also make buttercream and fondant a couple weeks in advance (freeze the buttercream and keep the fondant wrapped tightly and stored in a plastic container. I have never tried to freeze a filled and crumb coated cake mainly because with the freezer space I have it is easier to store layers then a full cake. When it comes time to put the cake together (say the cake is due saturday)...
Wednesday night - take cake layers out of freezer and let thaw on counter (still wrapped) and move buttercream from freezer to fridge
Thursday - in the morning let buttercream come to room temp and re-whip, then fill, stack, crumb coat and final coat my cakes and store in fridge
Friday - cover in fondant and finish decorating.
Most of the time I try to cut out any of the decoration pieces the week leading up to Friday. I find it is easier to do a small amount of work each day then it is to try and do everything in one day mainly because this is just a hobby for me I have a full time job that I have to concentrate on during the week. Depending on the pieces I will either let them sit out and dry or I will wrap them in cling wrap and store them in an air tight container if I want to keep them soft and pliable. I will also cover and decorate my cake board early on so that is ready to go.
In the end you need to find what works best for you and your schedule.
I love massa grischuna fondant neutral (made in switzerland) and available from Albert Uster imports. ( Great company, delivers in 2 days). Tastes really good (like the white fondant between those old brachs candies with the little gels in them), and handles beautifully. In a post years ago, I compared many different types of fondant searching for one that didn't taste or swell awful, and wasn't too soft or too dry. I liked massa grischuna and also Carmen Massa Ticcino far better than anything else. Can't remember why I have stuck with the grischuna - I think because it is so easy and reliable to order, and a tiny bit less sweet. I have not tried anything that may have come out in the past few years though, because I am so happy with it. I do not have the patience to make my own, plus the homemade recipes are usually marshmallow based and not vegan, but I know they are popular. Freckles 0829 advice exactly!!
I've used some of the massa's -- primo fondant! can be rolled real thin -- really nice stuff
Oh YES...…… Lizzo Mareks' homemade marshmallow fondant is the best to work with, the least expensive, and the tastiest !!!! here's her recipe for red fondant. (((( If you can afford it, please go with the Massa fondants. ))))