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Rolled Fondant Recipes and Tips

Wedding cake with rolled fondant

Wedding Cake By - Kathleen Lange

Fondant Icing Tips

This guide focuses on rolled fondant icing, also known as sugar paste, among the various types of fondant available.

Rolled fondant is favored for its softer, molded appearance, often embellishing birthday and novelty cakes.

Both professional and home cake decorators appreciate fondant for its user-friendly nature. It can be applied in a single layer and is readily available pre-made.

To work with rolled fondant, knead it well until smooth and pliable, then roll it out to the desired shape and thickness. While it can be frozen, it should be allowed to defrost naturally before use.

Enhancing the flavor and color of fondant is easily achieved using essences and various coloring methods, including liquid, paste, or fat and water soluable powder dusting colors. When adding colorings, do so gradually with a cocktail stick to avoid making the paste too sticky. Powder colors are preferred for their resistance to fading.

Rolled fondant lends itself well to molding into intricate shapes such as flowers and animals, retaining their form as they dry. However, over time, the shapes may soften due to the glycerin content attracting moisture, making it best suited for decorations meant to be consumed promptly.

If the fondant appears too dry or develops an uneven texture resembling elephant skin, glycerin can be added to restore its pliability. Alternatively, a small amount of shortening may be used. Adjusting fondant texture may be necessary depending on climate and weather conditions. Applying Fondant to Cake:

Traditionally, fondant-covered cakes begin with a layer of marzipan for a smooth, straight-edged finish. However, many decorators now opt for buttercream, which can sag over time, or whipped ganache for added flavor.

To cover a cake with rolled fondant:

1. Dust a clean pastry cloth or smooth surface with a mixture of 50% cornstarch and 50% confectioners’ sugar.

2. Roll out the fondant to approximately 1/8-to-1/4-inch thickness, depending on the brand and type of fondant used. Ensure it is large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake.

3. Carefully center the fondant over the cake, which should be iced with buttercream and refrigerated. The buttercream helps the fondant adhere to the cake. Optionally, you can apply ganache to coat the cake before applying fondant for a delicious flavor and firm surface.

4. Smooth the fondant with cornstarch-dusted hands, starting from the top and working down the sides until the surface is even and flat. Avoid stretching or creasing, as this can cause an undesirable "elephant skin" effect. If needed, re-roll the fondant and repeat the process. If bubbles appear, prick with corsage pin at age to release bubbles.

5. Trim off excess fondant around the bottom of the cake with a pizza cutter or sharp knife, smooth edges.

6. If you have Knicks, or gouges in your fondant-covered, make a paste by using small amount of fondant mixed with water, to form a spreadable paste in area. Let dry, using a ball of fondant lightly dusted with 50/50 cornstarch & confectionioner's sugar work area to smooth.

important to use more fondant than you think you'll need to ensure there's enough to work with for smoothing.

When applying fondant to cake layers, gently smooth and stretch the icing on the sides to conform to each cake's shape. Avoid any folds or creases unless intentionally desired for a specific effect.

Starting with the largest cake and working down to the smallest allows you to utilize leftover trimmings from each cake on the next tier. Ensure to remove any crumbs before kneading leftover fondant. Buttercream icing can be kneaded into the fondant seamlessly.

Storage of Fondant Cakes:

Professional decorators suggest that fondant-covered cakes can retain moisture in the cake for 3 to 5 days, depending on the environment. However, for optimal freshness, it's recommended not to exceed 3 days.

Refrigeration is advised for cakes with perishable fillings and no royal icing decorations, although condensation may affect the fondant's color and cause bleeding of colored icing.

For display cakes, avoid refrigeration as moisture condensation can damage the surface. Store the cake in a sealed bakery box to protect it from dust while allowing the fondant to breathe.

Traditionally, rolled fondant cakes were applied to dense cakes like fruitcakes in Europe. These cakes were typically covered with marzipan and then a layer of rolled fondant, sealing in freshness for several weeks without refrigeration.

For more information or a class, contact Kathleen Lange


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