Working with fondant can be a bit tricky, even for the most experienced home cook. That’s why we asked fondant pro (and BakeSpace Mentor) DDPie to give us a few tips for anyone thinking about trying their hand at fondant.
Here are her top 5 tips:
Tip 1: Dollars and Cents
MMF (marshmallow fondant) is quick, tastes great, easy on the wallet and made with readily available ingredients. While a 2 lb container of ready-made MMF will set you back about $12 or more, the homemade version costs just $2-$3. A recipe rendering about 2 lbs of fondant will cover a 9″ or 10″ two-layered cake, with plenty left over for decorating.
Tip 2: Prep Your Work Space
For an easy and smooth transition from the countertop to the cake, line your countertop with plastic wrap. Roll the fondant out on the plastic wrap by gently and loosely rolling it with a rolling pin (similar to how you would transfer pie crust), peeling off the plastic wrap as you go. Place the fondant on the cake by starting on one side, gently unrolling and moving across to the other side. Smooth the top first, then work from the top down on all sides, smoothing as you go to prevent bubbles.
Tip 3: Make it Stick
To get your decorative fondant pieces to stick to your cake, use a clean (new), soft and flat artist brush. Dampen the brush with water, wiping the excess on a paper towel. Dab it on the back of the fondant piece and wait a few seconds for it to soften up. Then slightly moisten the spot on the cake where it is to be placed. Position the piece of fondant on the cake, holding for just a few seconds until the two pieces fuse.
Tip 4: Harder is Sometimes Better
If you need a bit stiffer medium for making figures, flowers or other decorations, you can quickly turn any type of fondant into gumpaste by kneading in one of the following: Tylose powder, Tragacanth powder, or Wilton’s “Gum-Tex.” Use 1 tablespoon of powder per 1 lb of fondant. Knead until soft, smooth, and well incorporated, wrap well with plastic wrap, and let it set at room temp overnight before using. Keep unused portions and individual pieces covered with plastic to prevent them from drying out.
Tip 5: Shortcuts Save Time
A food dehydrator is an excellent tool for drying all sorts of small decorative pieces like flowers or single leaves. Line the dehydrator trays with parchment paper or waxed paper so that the fondant pieces won’t stick, and then use a toothpick to poke a few small holes in each piece for air flow. Gently lay the fondant pieces on the trays and stack them as you work. If you have larger or thicker pieces that won’t fit into your dehydrator, set them in front of a small fan – they’ll dry in half the time.
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