Sunday, February 12, 2012

Learning Fondant

A few years ago I didn't even know what fondant was.  I'm still not entirely sure I know what it is except that it's awesome.  If you're a caking kinda gal - or dude - you probably already know and love fondant for its flexible options as far as making smooth surfaces that can be airbrushed, painted or piped upon.  It also can be shaped, molded and cut into anything.  I think the best part of fondant is that it's fun!  It's like playdough for grown-ups.  My first forray into fondant was for my nephew's 6th birthday.  As a huge fan of the Flyers and future NHL star, he wanted a hockey cake.  He wanted it to be in the team colors with their logo.  Then every day or so, he'd call me to ask me how his cake was coming and then he would request more features.  First he wanted an ice rink, then a hockey stick, then a hockey "guy".  I wasn't sure about using fondant but how hard could it be?  All the descriptions online and on tv made it sound easy peasy.  And for the most part it was pretty easy to figure out.  I picked up some of the typical tools from Wilton, a few tubs of their precolored fondant, a roller and some of those edible ink markers.  Looking back, it's not bad for a first attempt but anyone who would see it would definitey think "hmph! amateur!". It certainly wouldn't win me any prizes on Cake Wars.  (Which I totally think about winning when I'm making a cake.)   I think this cake was a good lesson in knowing your audience.  When I brought the cake to my sister's house in preparation for the ice skating party my nephew was so excited!  Seeing his eyes light up and proclamations of "WOW!" was such an awesome feeling.  And one of the best moment of my life was when asked if he liked it he said "I LOVE IT!"    Here is my first fondant cake - it's a standard vanilla cake - I'll post my recipe another time - with pastry cream filling.  It's mostly buttercream frosting with the ice rink, hockey stick and "guy" made from fondant.  In hindsight, I'd probably have used gum paste.

A note on store-bought fondant.  Lots of folks don't seem to like the premade stuff. It's ok.  I don't find it as delicious as buttercream but I don't think anything is as good as buttercream - I'd have buttercream oatmeal with buttercream coffee and a buttercream banana for breakfast everyday if I could.  The store-bought stuff works - there's always a consistency and the pre-colored stuff does save a lot of time.  I've made fondant myself and there's a time and place for that too.  More on the store-bought fondant vs. homemade another time...

Awesome amateur hockey cake:

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