Friday, July 20, 2007

How to cover a cake with fondant icing

Rolled fondant (or sugarpaste or pettinice) refers to a flexible sheet oficing that is manipulated much in the same way as pie dough.You can roll it, shape it and drape itover your cake. Gumpaste is sugarpastewith an added stiffening agent for moulding flowers and other three-dimensional decorations.Rolled fondant is ideal for cakedecorating because it creates a silkysmooth canvas and flawless backgroundfor your cake creations.No lines, no seams, no cracks. (Intheory, anyway.) The truth is that thereis no such thing as a "perfect" cake;the pros just know how to either corrector camouflage their mistakes.But to create a close-to-perfect fondantcake, the surface of your cake must alsobe close-to-perfect since any imperfectionswill show up under the fondant.
You must first level the cake and thenglaze it. Once the glaze has dried,plaster the cake with a 1/4 inch layerof buttercream icing. And I do mean plaster, just as you wouldplaster a wall to prepare it for painting. You are trying to fill in every crackand cranny and wipe out any bumps.
Once you are satisfied that your cake surface is as smooth as possible, allow the buttercream to harden. Your cake is now ready to receive its blanket of fondant.
Dust your working surface with confectioners sugar and knead the required amount of fondant into a smooth shape. To determine the amount of fondant, measure the top and sides of the cake, add one inch for good measure and roll out to this diameter. For example, an 8-inch round cake with 4-inch deep sides requires fondant rolled out to a diameter of 17 inches. Roll the fondant with a rolling pin, lifting and moving it as you roll, to an inch thickness. Add confectioners' sugar as needed to keep the fondant from sticking. If it becomes too dry, knead in some water, a drop at a time, to keep the fondant pliable. You will know you have mastered the art of rolling fondant if your fondant is neither too sticky nor to dry and is easy enough to lift and manipulate without tearing or cracking. Make sure to smooth out any rolling pin marks! Gently lift and drape the fondant over the rolling pin, or lift it with both hands, taking care that it does not tear. Do NOT fold and do NOT press . Position the fondant loosely on the cake. Gently use your hands to smooth outward and down the sides of the cake, being careful not to get any folds or creases, to shape the fondant to the cake's surface. Watch your fingernails! Long nails can easily mark the surface and it is very difficult to smooth over. You may use a smoother to gently press the fondant to the sides of the cake, but be careful not to damage the fondant finish sharp knife or a pizza cutter.

Once you are satisfied that your cakesurface is as smooth as possible, allowthe buttercream to harden. Your cake is now ready to receive its'blanket' of fondant. Dust your working surface withconfectioners' sugar and knead therequired amount of fondant into asmooth shape. To determine the amount of fondant, measure the top and sides of the cake,add one inch for good measure and rollout to this diameter. For example, an 8-inch round cake with4-inch deep sides requires fondantrolled out to a diameter of 17 inches. Roll the fondant with a rolling pin, lifting and moving it as you roll, to a1/8 inch thickness. Add confectioners' sugar as needed to keep the fondant from sticking. If it becomes too dry, knead in somewater, a drop at a time, to keep thefondant pliable. You will know you have mastered theart of rolling fondant if your fondant isneither too sticky nor to dry and iseasy enough to lift and manipulatewithout tearing or cracking. Make sure to smooth out any rollingpin marks! Gently lift and drape the fondant overthe rolling pin, or lift it with both hands,taking care that it does not tear.
Do NOT fold and do NOT press down! Position the fondant loosely on the cake. Gently use your hands to smooth outwardand down the sides of the cake, beingcareful not to get any folds or creases,to shape the fondant to the cake's surface. Watch your fingernails! Long nails caneasily mark the surface and it is verydifficult to smooth over. You may use a smoother (the baker'sequivalent to a drywaller's trowel) togently press the fondant to the sides ofthe cake, but be careful not to damagethe fondant's finish. Tuck and trim any excess fondant witha sharp knife or a pizza cutter.
If the edges are not as clean as you would like, you can always add a fondant rope or pearls, or pipe a decorative edge with buttercream icing or royal icicng. And voilĂ ! You will have yourself a close-to-perfect fondant cake! It's best to let the cake stand until the icing sets before decorating. If the cake must be decorated immediately, handle with care to avoid marking the still soft surface.
If the edges are not as clean as youwould like, you can always add a fondant rope or pearls, or pipe a decorative edgewith buttercream icing. And voilĂ ! You will have yourself aclose-to-perfect fondant cake!It's best to let the cake stand untilthe icing sets before decorating.If the cake must be decorated immediately, handle with care to avoid marking the still soft surface. And if you'd like more professionaltips, techniques and advice, check out for my workshops which I conduct personally.

15 comments:

Ivy said...

Wow, I am impressed by these instructions and of course this is not any easy job. Have you posted the recipe for the fondant somewhere, as I could not find it.

Devi Priya said...

Have you posted the recipe too? I couldn't find it. But nice work with easy instructions to follow.

The P & A Food Chronicles said...

those are inpressible... i'm barely starting to decorate.. it seem delicious too!!

Paru ... said...

Swati,

I came across your blog throught another blog and I loved it. Its awesome and extremely well presented and beautiful. I am a very very nervous baker and have never baked a full fledged cake .. Probably will try it taking one of ur recipe..

Nice job..

Sarah said...

Hi Swati....ur work is just breathtaking!!I am just a beginner in cake decoration and I was wondering where could u buy gumpaste/fondant in india or better how can u make it?

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

Hi Swati, where in India do you get the fondant and the sugar/gum paste. Would love to know please . thanks

tejal said...

your cakes r on the top of the world.When is ur next workshop going 2 be held n where

rajesh said...

Hi Swati Fabulous work
I am just a beginner in cake decoration and very much inspired by your work . when next workshop is gona start

Swati said...

The workshop curriculum is as follows:
Bangalore: 21-23rd, August 2011
Delhi: 17-19th September, 2011
Mumbai: 7-9 th October, 2011

eat-bake-love said...

Do you ever come to Hyderabad?

Swati said...

Not been to Hyderabad yet.. But our next schedule is as given below:
Bangalore: 22nd June onwards
Delhi 30th June onwards

Vandana Jain said...

Hi Swati nice work .


just want to know is sugar craft or gumpaste whatever it is eggless or not???Being jain i want to learn but in confusion
Vandana

Vandana Jain said...

Hi Swati nice work .


just want to know is sugar craft or gumpaste whatever it is eggless or not???Being jain i want to learn but in confusion
Vandana

Swati said...

Vandana Jain: I do teach the eggless options as well...
You can write into sugarcraftindia@gmail.com for the class details.

Swati said...

Vandana Jain: I do teach the eggless options as well...
You can write into sugarcraftindia@gmail.com for the class details.