Thursday, October 6, 2011
How To Cover a Cake with Fondant
What You Need
1 cake covered in icing*
Appropriate amount of rolled fondant (click the link for a chart from Wilton.)
Shortening (to grease the rolling surface)
Rolling mat (or parchment or waxed paper taped to the counter top)
Cardboard circle the same size as your cake to set cake on
Bowl or pan to raise cake
*Note: The icing does not need to be perfect to cover the cake with fondant, but if you have a dark cake (like chocolate) and you're covering with white or pastel fondant, those big crumbs can show through.
You also need to place the cake on a circle of cardboard or foamboard that is the same size as the cake. (If your cake is 6" round, use a 6" round circle of cardboard.)
*Note: You will often see the "pros" cover the cake directly on the counter top. That's not the way I learned to cover a cake, so this is the only way I've gotten it to work out. If doing it directly on the counter top without raising it works for you, great! I definitely wouldn't try to raise a gigantic cake to drape it, but this is just what works for me.
Here's an example:
For an 8" round cake that is 3" tall, you need: 8" + (2* 3")= 14" circle of fondant.
For an 8" square cake that is 3" tall, you need: 8" + (2*3")= 14"x14" square of fondant.
DO cut the fondant to the smallest size you can before covering the cake. So, don't leave a bunch of wild shapes (like the picture above) that are bigger than the circle that you need.
Your fondant should end up between 1/8" and 1/16" inch. That's between the thickness of a nickel and of a dime. If you have a fancy-schmancy rolling pin with its thickness rings, you can use those to keep it all the same thickness. Otherwise, set a coin next to the rolled fondant. If you can run your finger from the fondant to the coin without moving up or down, you're the right thickness.
Whew! Now, you have it all rolled out and cut... time to hold your breath and try to get it on the cake.
You want the edge of the fondant to line up with the bottom edge of the cake... and you want the cake to be centered in the circle (or half-circle as you hold it up) of fondant. Sometimes pulling in a roommate, spouse, sibling, anyone over the age of about 10 to help you line it up can help. They can see it from the side while you see it from the front. (Or maybe you're more capable of lining things up than I am... I hope you are!)
If you don't want to align it on the mat, you can also wrap the fondant around your rolling pin to get it on the cake. I don't like doing it that way for two reasons: the fondant-covered rolling pin gets really heavy, and you can ding your cake with it. (Which, when you're talking about a few pounds of pin and fondant, really means smash the cake. Yes, I speak from experience.) Also, peeling it off, rolling it around the pin and then re-peeling it increases the chance that you'll stretch or tear the fondant.
Now, to get it to stick to the cake. Don't try to "eliminate" the wrinkles. The wrinkles will be there. Your goal is to move those wrinkles down below the bottom edge of the cake.
Place one hand horizontally on the side of the cake. (I use my left hand.) GENTLY press the fondant down the side of the cake with that hand, and with the other hand, GENTLY pull the wrinkles down and away from the side of the cake.
I cannot emphasize the word GENTLY enough. Fondant... it will crack. It will tear. So, be GENTLE.
(Although, this is a little preview for you of tomorrow's post... The Great Fondant Comparison. As you can see, I covered numerous cakes with different kinds of fondant for a taste test.)
If you do end up with a lot of wrinkles at the bottom of the cake- and you probably will the first few times you do this, add a big border to the bottom. I made this border by rolling a "snake" like you used to do with Play-Doh, and then you just press it with a round fondant tool... or you could make any kind of design you want. (I'll do a post on more fondant decorating techniques in the future.)
Click the Links Below to See:
Fondant 101: What It Is and How To Use It
Which brand of fondant (or homemade) is best?
Other Fondant Decorating Ideas and Recipes
Other Basic Cake Decorating Techniques