Placing fondant on cake?


Hi Lorelie, PLEASE HELP


I'm in Australia and teaching myself the art of fondant? In the USA it seems buttercream icing is placed on cake before placing fondant on.

In Australia, some put sherry, others use 1 part apricot jam: 2 parts water. I'M CONFUSED.
What do I use to adhere fondant to a) fruit cake b) chocolate and carrot cake.

Is fondant too heavy for a sponge cake ?
Your my savior - Thank You so much for you site.
Catherine in Australia

ANSWER: Hi Catherine, Yes we do generally use buttercream on the cake prior to en robing the cake in fondant. Part of the reason for that is so the cake does not show through the fondant and also to make the cake as smooth as possible as fondant shows every bump, nook and cranny.

I have seen, in my Australian cake decorating books the jam and the sherry etc. and along with that a marzipan covering prior to the fondant. The marzipan would work well to make a nice smooth finish before adding the fondant.

I think the easiest way is to use buttercream as it smooths the cake and acts as a glue for the fondant all in one step. Give it a try. You can use it for a fruit cake, carrot cake and chocolate cakes.

Hope this helps with your placing fondant on cake question.

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Oct 16, 2011
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In NZ
by: Kimmy NZ

I found that all old UK (used to live there) and NZ books used jam and marzipan. This is how my auntie was taught about 20yrs ago. I also think this would still be done for a bride that really wanted to keep to tradition. However, believe it or not. I found out that it was tradition to make a grooms cake in fruit which was the cake the guests enjoyed and a yellow wedding cake was made to shower the bride with - I thought the grooms cake was a US new idea. History proved me wrong.

I am new at this to and putting frosting on a cake is so much easier for a newbe. If you make and freeze the cake first the frosting goes hard and you can really work on the cake to make it flat and smooth. However, in the US they have crisco and in NZ we have Kremelta veg shortening. This is made in AU and maybe all that you can get - IT IS RUBBISH!!!! It is coconut oil, not even veg oil. Now we have the problem of making good frosting with rubbish ingredients. Have a look at the shops and if you have the same problem let me know and I will tell you how to handle the silly stuff.

Oct 17, 2011
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Thanks Kimmy
by: Lorelie

Hey Kimmy,
Thank you for your input. VERY helpful indeed. And I learned from it as well. Thanks a bunch! I love it when everyone chips in and helps out like this.

May 19, 2012
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Freezing iced cake?
by: Teresa

This site might well be my saving grace in attempting to make my first tiered wedding cake for my niece (oddly enough the croquembouche I did for my nephew's wedding last year is starting to look easy in comparison!). Then again, I didn't have to transport that cake interstate!

(My current plan is to bake and ice the cakes here and stack and decorate them at that end, unless someone has a better suggestion)

I'm now feeling a little more comfortable because I know I can freeze my cakes (THANK you!). Just wondering if it's useful/helpful to freeze when I've put the buttercream on but before putting the fondant layer on. I've experimented before and know that buttercream will freeze quite successfully on it's own, but does this still count when you've got it on the cake?

Teresa trying not to panic in Australia

May 19, 2012
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Hope to help - Part 1
by: kimmy NZ

Hi Teresa,

I am in NZ, so I am just over the pond! Anyway, getting back to cakes. Both cakes are on here if you want to see. topsy turvy cake and Penguin wedding cake

Both cakes were stacked at home and I traveled with them. The topsy turvy had a wooden rod running down it and the penguin cake was stacked with straws as you would any wedding cake. Then I put a blob of royal icing on the top of each straw before dropping the next layer.

This is how I would work on a cake. I bake the cakes two weeks before. I make sure they are flat, so I cut the tops etc. I usually make them over three days starting with the biggest.

A few days before I make the fondant decoration that I want to go hard then put that in a shoe box. The day before I make the soft fondant - this I did for all the hearts on the topsy turvy cake. I lay them flat in zip lock bags. I finish the cakes on the day if it is a night time delivery or the day before as I did for the wedding cake. I was a guest and needed me time to get ready.

First I almost empty the fridge and leave items in a chilly bin. I leave room for the three cakes to be placed on a shelf. I start with the biggest and frost. Pop this one in the fridge for the frosting to set. Put each cake on something so that you can get it back out. A towel is good. By the time you finish the last cake the first one is nice and hard. They are all ready to fondant and I don't put them back in the fridge once fully covered.



May 21, 2012
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Part two - Hope To Help
by: Kimmy

You should have made holes in the base of the second and third cake base if you use a long rod. MUCH easier to stack this way and the next layer drops on easy. NOT like my royal icing trick. I found it really hard to center the next layer.

Now you can relax and have decorating fun. It's nice to be so prepared and have everything ready to go. Then, all I do is leave off the top decoration. This is so I can cover the whole cake gently with cling wrap to keep it clean. Then the very last thing you have to do to finish it, is pop the top bit on. If you have a good quality, moist cake inside, it is now sealed to keep it fresh and I have not had any problems. The taste, freshness and quality are great.

Almost forgot! Before I start my cake I give my hubby the base that the cake will be standing on. He places this in the car and builds buffers around it, so that it won't move. I have two huge wooden chopping boards which we use to drop it between. He uses old towels on the very edge of the boot so nothing moves anywhere. When I am ready to go, it is easy to drop it into the space that he made. Oh, and it makes him feel important and helpful!!!

If you are wondering, one cake traveled for 1 hour the other 1 1/2 hours and we had one VERY steep hill to get up and some lovely bendy roads. You also need your thermal underwear on, with the air conditioning at full blast, it gets a bit chilli.

From Kimmy NZ

May 22, 2012
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Still fretting (of course)
by: Teresa

Thanks Kimmy for all your tips

My cake has to travel about 800km. I'm still trying to work out if I should try to somehow take it in the plane with me, or get a 'lift' for it from someone who might be driving to the wedding. Hence my queries about logistics!

Your advice is making me lean towards trying to frost and ice it 'on site'. I'll be arriving on the Thursday for a Saturday wedding, but am already spending Friday making 400 petit fours (yes, I'm VERY fond of my neice!) so have been a bit worried about having enough time to finish the cake as well as possible.

The decorations are all underway (a mix of 'hard' and soft stuff). Stay tuned, I'll post a pic of the end product sometime after I've recovered from the 16 June wedding.

Cheers
Teresa (who will stalk you when I finally get to visit your side of the pond (just kidding about actual stalking of course :-)))

May 23, 2012
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Very Helpful
by: Lorelie

Theresa,

Good luck! Kimmy thank you for helping in a huge way:-) If I had a prize for the most helpful cake decorator on the site it would go to you. Hmmmm that gives me an idea ;-)

Theresa we all can't wait to see your wedding cake, and good luck with the petite fours. That is probably more work than the wedding cake.

Lorelie

TIP: Dry ice works well to keep your cakes cold during a delivery. Double box the cakes and place the dry ice in between in a thin layer. Or like Kimmy said get some thermals on and blast the air conditioner. I had to laugh when I saw that line, because that is exactly what I do.

May 24, 2012
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Ummmm!!
by: Kimmy NZ

That would just scare me silly. I can't wait to here all about it. I think there should be a prize for the bravest cake maker.

LOTS of Luck!!!

Kimmy NZ

Jun 24, 2012
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Phew (sort of)
by: Anonymous

Well, as promised, I'm back from the wedding and reporting in.

The good news is that at the last moment, someone decided to drive to the wedding so I was able to deliver three iced cakes all boxed up and secure them in a car to travel interstate.

Thankfully we met up with the cakes again two days later and they were almost perfectly intact (one or two minor 'dings' which were in spots that were going to be covered with decor anyway). The downside was that I had about two hours to make and apply all the decor. Clearly this was going to be an impossible task, and indeed it was. The decorations were made, but I only got to stick the first few on before getting kicked out of the house for the evening. Problem was that the wedding was the next day! We arrived on time for the ceremony on the understanding that I'd have a quiet room in which to complete the decoration before the cake was due to be cut. Ummm. That lasted for about half an hour before I was asked if I could move because someone was feeling ill and needed a quiet space.

So we moved into what I can only describe as 'cake decorating as performance art'. That was me perched on the end of the kitchen bench (the wedding and reception took place in a suburban home), trying to put this cake together, while my partner and one gorgeous woman whom I'd never met before did their best to shield it and me from variously intoxicated persons and one child with ADHD who seemed determined to pour his red coloured drink all over both me and the cake. Despite all this, I did manage to complete the cake (I'm happy with the result only in an 'under the circumstances kind of way - faaar too many unintentionally rough edges) in time for it to be cut by the happy couple.

Reports are that the flourless lemon cake at it's heart was delicious and gorgeously moist, with the French lemon buttercream giving it both richness and depth (by the time I'd finished plating up the petit fours I missed out on cake (which gives credence to the 'delicious' reports because by that stage there would have been enough cake for 1.5 pieces for each person there)). I'm trying to work out how to attach a pic to share that. Thanks everyone for your greatly appreciated help

Jun 24, 2012
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Good on you
by: Kimmy NZ

Hi,

AND a big well done. I know how you feel and it can be soul destroying after all your hard work at home, people just don't realise the extra work it takes to put a cake together.

I get a little fed up with, 'You can just make a quick......' NO! I can't just make a quick anything and fondant can only do so much. I am not the cake boss or charm city cakes with a fancy van.

You get so involved and proud of your cakes and then - once a party is in full swing feel like you are making a fuss when you can't make people understand how you need a little time and space.

You should be very proud! I would send a picture to lorelie if you want it put here. If not, just start another post and name it something cool. Lorelie like to pick cool names for cakes anyway and has changed mine sometimes as she likes to make it easy for people to search.

Can't wait

Kimmy NZ

Jun 24, 2012
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Congratulations
by: Lorelie

Teresa, So glad that you had success, even though it was a trying experience. Congratulations! And Kimmy I thank you for all of your generosity helping out with all of your fantastic advice. If you want to add to the contest just put that in the content and I will add it. Keep in mind that the contest does require at least 300 words and a tip or fun story. Thanks Teresa and Kimmy.

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