Fondant Failure

Fondant Failure

Based on the success of a buttercream piped 3d me to you teddy cake I made last month, a friend asked me to make a cake for her class at college. “I would like fondant though’ she stated as my heart dropped after informing her that although I was willing to give it a go, I am not terribly successful with fondant and can not guarantee its outcome. So we looked on the internet at some ideas and we made a sketch and the principles were simple. I watched the step by step tutorials and decided that this could be easy (for anyone who’s arch nemesis isn’t fondant). The cakes were made and stored appropriately, the buttercream made, the cakes stacked beautifully, got the most perfect smooth finish on the buttercream, all was going well. My thoughts were positive – the steps from the tutorial are easy and they are there at your finger tips on pause, this is going well and its going to work!

Now for the fondant. I rolled and cut the pieces for the bow, even shaped them and set them aside to dry overnight. All is well. Now for rolling the fondant to cover the cake. This too was going well. I rolled it on to the rolling pin gently, and then on to the cake. Now to trim and smooth, working from the top a couple of elephant skin marks, no major disaster – it’s fixable (I am thinking still that this will work), down to the sides and oh dear, oh dear the corner is cracking and tearing. Oh great, now the elephant skin is all over and well, what a mess!! Again the fondant has won!!

NO!! I won’t be beaten so I pulled it all off put the cake back in the fridge and went and bought more fondant to try again. Well the second attempt went a little better. Not the end result I wanted however it was coverable. The sides were not smooth like I had visualised in my minds eye and the top was barely passable. Now for the decorations. They will hide the flaws. Cut the ribbon strips placed them on, no problems there, ok we are back on track I am thinking.

Pressed play on the step by step tutorial with all my equipment at the ready, all is well, until we get to the second layer of loops. They hold barely but they do. After the third and final upright loops are in place, there’s nothing left to do now but wait and pray. I set the cake aside to allow it to dry and set. Whilst clearing away I hear a dull drop. I turned to look at the cake and surprise surprise, its falling to pieces. No time to start again and I broke my spare loops when trying to place them.

Now I need to rethink. There is a class of 20 students expecting cake this afternoon, arrgghhh! Thankfully the gift shop is open! I race down there to buy a giant bow. I know it’s cheating and I really would have loved to get this right but there are people expecting this soon.

Cake delivered. They were all very happy with it however I was a little embarrassed to present it if I am perfectly honest, I was very disappointed.

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  • Adrian Gorman

    Just seen these comments from 3 years ago, but thought I would add a comment myself.
    I used to have similar problems but found that if I used ‘better’ quality fondant. I use Massa Ticino (I’m in the UK so cannot get hold of Vizion fondant) and I kneed it very well. It does not dry too quickly or develop elephant skin. For most cakes over 8 inch round I use the 2 part method as demonstrated in Chef Yaners ‘How to coat a cake with fondant’ tutorial. It works great.
    Also, I have thinned down the same fondant used to cover the cake with water to a spreadable gunk and used that to patch cracks or holes (just like filling a crack in a wall with polyfiller), when it dries it is almost invisible – a life saver sometimes !
    This weekend I am going to attempt making my own fondant !

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    I had a like experience recently with a cake I needed to cover in red fondant for an auction. I hate using fondant and have yet to get it to turn out to my satisfaction. I had the elephant thing in places and the fondant was so heavy that it stretched near the bottom and I could see through it. Luckily I was able to cover the bad places with cards (it was a gambling theme). I would have loved to take off all the fondant and rescue the cake but had to have it that night so struggled on. Guess it wasn’t too bad because it sold at Live Auction for a charity event for $700. Thankfully others don’t see the flaws that we see.

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