We have all seen those divine looking wedding cakes that tower over the entire reception and look like they have been sculpted by the renaissance masters. The magnificent beads around the layers, the immaculate white sheet that blankets a juicy moist vanilla cake, and those realistic sugary flowers are typically made with one ingredient: fantastic and versatile fondant icing!
Last year, I made my nephew’s birthday cake and made sure it was extra special because it was his eighth birthday. I knew that he really loved to play with his Nintendo games and liked to dress up as Super Mario or Bowser during Halloween, so I decided to make him a Mario Land cake for his special day. This was a particularly difficult task as I had minimal experience of making decorative cakes (I used to make custom-themed cupcakes a few years back). You see, I have baked a lot of cakes in my lifetime, but making fondant is not my strongest point.
Therefore, I did what any responsible chef/baker in my situation would do, I planned ahead so I wouldn’t be pressed for time before my nephew’s birthday. My sister-in-law had got him pretty excited about his cake, so there was no way I was going to let him down. Therefore, I decided to make the fondant a day in advance. Rolling up my sleeves, I got to work. After a few hours, I finally had a good chunk of white fondant, which I then wrapped in cling-wrap and placed in the refrigerator. After patting myself on the back, I went to get some much-needed sleep, confident that baking the cake would be a breeze now that the fondant had already been done.
But when I started baking the cake the next morning, I found out to my horror the icing was almost rock hard. I left it for a few minutes and tried to roll it, but to no avail. I quickly realized that I might need to consult the ever trusty internet to find out what I could do, and found a couple of techniques. After trying out some of them, I finally succeeded in making the hard fondant nice and soft like clay. In the end, I was able to avoid disaster and create a cake that was a big hit at my nephew’s party.
So today, I would like to share with you what I did to make that fondant soft, as well as some other techniques that you could try out for yourself.Continue reading