Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to: covering a Cake in Fondant (My way) "Wrapping Method" For super sharp edges

 Hello again my lovely friends!!! I am always so glad to have you around, wishing me the best, sending me so much good energy and follow my work and my thoughts when I post on my  Facebook page.

Many many times you had ask me how I make the sharp edges on my cakes, or how it looks so smooth. I had looked for the same information from the first time I saw those amazing sharp edges from Planet Cake in Australia. I bought their book, i followed all their helpful information, but honestly I never got the edges I wanted: razor blade!!!

How I came up with this:
(and I apologize with whomever also came out with this idea if I am providing others with what I found out by merely mistake of calculation)
Back in November I started using Duff's fondant which is great for modeling and it works nicely because is doesn't dry so hard and is amazingly pliable. I believe is a combination of fondant and modeling chocolate which works perfectly for me all the time under any circumstance.
The, for my mom's cake I needed a deep purplish color, and I had some modeling chocolate in blue and some purple fondant and I mixed them together along with some black modeling chocolate as well. when it was time to cover the cake, it kept tearing, then my super clever mom told me: "Why don't you cover it as if is a drum??" and that was I did then I started smoothing the edges and all seams disappeared, and then a big bright light lit my head: EUREKA!!!

But Ironically, I wasn't taking any picture of this process actually; instead I was taking pictures of the bottom tier for a different tutorial :))
 Then I  started making my own fondant  by combining 50/50 modeling chocolate and MMF, once they are mixed then you can color it using your regular food coloring.  Why I use this way of covering???: because I hate, hate, haaaaaate dealing with fondant!!! this method is perfect for avoiding : air bubbles and  tearing fondant and will give you sharp edges. But wait a second: no mater what technique you use for getting sharp edges on your fondant, take this in consideration: 

  1. ganache allows you reach sharpie edges (buttercream sucks for this job)
  2. This 50/50 modeling chocolate and MMF combination, bring the best of both: flexibility and pliability
  3. IT ALWAYS TAKES TIME FOR GETTING THE EDGES!!! but experience will make you reduce the time, but not at first. 

Now Let me show you how I cover most of my cakes:

This is based in a ganache covered cake. Yes you can do it buttercream covered cake but the final result will not be the same!!!! so keep that in mind if you decide to cover your cake this way. 

I first start on a Ganache covered cake: all the time I  use the upside down technique created and freely posted at CC by amazingly artist Jeff_Arnett. I use his method both butter cream or Ganache.Buttercream might take longer and it is necessary to use an all butter/ butter cream recipe (no crusting ones), but again I need to insist: trying to achieve sharp edges, means Ganached cake!!!

Put this 2 recipes together: It means make them separated, then mix them, then color it if you wish.

Modeling Chocolate 

Great things I find in this fondant : 
  • Awesome taste
  • It does not dry so hard as premade fondant or Gumpaste, so I can make my cutouts decoration  ahead of time and still manage to place them perfectly on the cake 
  • Pliability is incredible 
  • since you are adding MMF, you do not need to use chocolate colors to color the modeling chocolate, just the regular wilton or americolor or what ever color you use.  
  • this is meant for smaller cakes, anything larger than 10" should be worked in a different way  

Once your cake is perfectly cover, ( remember that any imperfection on your ganache, will show off on your fondant ) it is time to measure the diameter  and height of your cake. 
This cake is a 2 tiers cake topper 6" bottom 8". Each one is about 5" tall   

We need to roll a large piece of fondant, large enough to caver all the diameter and height  of our cake. i always roll my fondant using two sticks, or wooden dowels etc, anything that keeps my fondant on same thickness. It is also a good Idea to smooth your fondant with your plastic smoother or pop any air bubble you might find 

Remember how much your cake diameter and height  was?? it is now time to make sure your fondant strip is long and tall  enough to cover the sides of your cake. I use a long ruler I found at Home Depot,  I now cut the fondant strip using my ruler and pizza cutter. Always measure twice then cut.

Paint the cake using either water, sirup or just shortening, make sure is well covered. Any part that is not painted, might produce an air bubble on your cake.

Take your fondant strip and making sure the fondant is touching the bottom of the cake, start placing fondant strip all around your cake. This is a really small cake and yes you can lift the fondant, remember is a combination of fondant/modeling chocolate.

If you do not feel secure about just lifting the fondant you can roll the strip all around the rolling ping and then unroll it all around  your cake.
Once both sides touch use a ultra sharp blade to cut the extra fondant


So this is the part when you understand why making a mixture of 50/50 modeling chocolate/MMF comes in handy. You need to add some water using your brush. Then you need to smooth using both your fingers and the fondant smoother. You might think this is tedious work, but no matter  how you cover your cake in fondant or what technique you use, it will always take time to achieve a great final result.

This Picture show how perfectly you can smooth this seams and make them disappear. Most of the time I do not waist so much time on this: I either leave it for the back of the cake or if you are using stripes  as  your decoration, cover this with a fondant stripe.

It is time to cover the top of the cake and when the fun really starts: Using the pan you used to bake your cake,  cut the shape out of a rolled fondant piece.

Smooth before placing on the cake, always using the fondant smoother and your fingers

 Paint the top of the cake with some sirup or water, place the circle you just cut out and place it on top  of the cake, making sure you push the edges towards the sides of the cake

 Apply more liquid if needed

Smooth always pushing the fondant so it sticks nicely on the sides

Push, smooth, stick

Cut all around the edge with a new blade, that will bring a really clean cut  (well this doesn't look so clean)

Wet, smooth, and smooth and smooth (this takes around 10 minutes)

Final result 

Here is the cake !! Lovely, isn't it ???

Here is a Sample of cakes I made using this technique

 Cakey Hugs, Joly

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ruffles Ruffles And More Ruffles!!! tutorial: how to make fondant ruffles

Hi My Dear cake friends!!! I' ve been a little bit absent, yes I know!!! but It is hard to come every week: with the kids, the house, the husband and the tons of extra things we need to do every week!!! That is without including my CAKES!!! and all the work they imply: from start to figure out the design and the elements, then  the details, plus the baking, the construction and everything else!!! 

It is my real pleasure to come and write to you and show you a little bit of things I have figured out by observing, or listening or looking deeply!! yes, I look deeply the cakes I like: some of them are easy to figure out, some others are just impossible (depending on the cake artist). 
One element that is absolutely trendy this season are the romantic RUFFLES!!! yesssss!!! they are so feminine!!! so romantic, they remind me the Flamenco Dresses!!! ole!!!! beautiful for any occasion: weddings gowns , quinceaneras, sweet 16 or even little girls dresses !!! Ruffles are trendy and since cakes need to be trendy too, nothing better than reproducing any type of Ruffles using our best friend: Mr. Fondant!!!


 Here is a tuturial I made last year and that still can be found in my Facebook page and you can also step there and while there... ujum, plizzzzz click LIKE!!! :)

What you need: pizza cutter, rolling pin, ruler, paint brush, edible glue, tylose or CMC, pasta machine, toothpicks, cornstarch.

Add tylose to fondant, or you can also work half fondant/half gumpaste.

Color look somehow the same

I divided the sugar paste. The one on top remains as is.
Second one is mixed 50/50 with white gumpaste or fondant w/ tylose. Next one is around 25/75 the last one is all white. You can always make more colors degradation  if you wish and also depending on how high is your cake

 Let's start with the darkest color. We need to start with a small sausage.

 Even if you are using a pasta machine, you need to flatten your paste. So let's use our rolling pin for a bit

This thickness is fine to stat using your pasta machine

Set your pasta machine in 1.  You ALWAYS start from number 1 and progressively go up.
Every time you roll your pasta, it turns longer and longer and thinner and thinner. It can be a little bit complicated to deal with fondant in one hand and rolling hadler on the other one, but you can do it!! I did!

Cut your sugar paste using a ruler and the pizza cutter

 his is your second Best friend when making Ruffles: toothpicks

Simply roll the toothpick and Voila!! Ruffles magically appear !!
If starts sticking to surface, use the same toothpick to release it from surface

With your paint brush, put some edible glue on flat area in your ruffle
Now start attaching it to your cake. Once I start attaching, I fold the ruffle every now and then.

Place some toothpicks under ruffle so it can hold its shape 
(I know, I know mine here looks like Pinhead)
I keep doing the same with the rest of the colors I am using. I am just decorating a little portion of this dummy. If you are covering a whole entire cake, you need to work every row at a time.
Don't worry about the holes left by toothpicks, the will not be seen!!

 Lovely!! isn't it??

I loove How this one came out, Using different colors instead of only one color and in up side down  position. how cute!!!!  

Close up 

Or how about on this Vintage look wedding cake ?? Bottom tier is fake so I was able to make it ahead of time to later be focused on the rest of the cake. This was the perfect touch for this beautiful cake!!! 

I hope this tutorial helps you to visualize any doubt about how to make this lovely ruffles so trendy and fashionable  this season and some more !!! 

Cakey Love, Joly