Tag Archives: fondant

Minecraft fondant cake

Just this weekend I had opportunity to make my first post-primer fondant cake.  Another cousin’s son, S, (it’s a big family) turned 11 last week and he wanted a white cake with chocolate frosting/filling. And in true pre-teen fashion, S left the rest to me.  I know from past baking experiences that he likes fondant. S actually likes the sugary flat taste of fondant, which tells me that there’s a still a lot of kid in that kid. (:

While I still had S’s attention at the last family gathering, I asked him what he liked. And silly, non-gaming me, thought he said he liked the game, “Mineshaft.” While hunting for fondant worthy images on the web, I found a cute Mario Brothers/Donkey Kong knock off guy who appeared to be the hero of a seemingly obscure game called “Mineshaft.”

When I showed my husband – a gamer in his own right – the pic, he ventured that perhaps the game of S’s attention is “Minecraft.” Sure enough, when I plugged in a search for “Minecraft,” a whole slew of images popped up, including “Creeper,” the green pixellated villain eventually depicted on S’s 11th birthday cake.

Once I had the right subject, the project was relatively smooth sailing.

I wish I’d had more time to make my own fondant because I still suffer from fondant sticker shock every time I get within 10 feet of those tubs of prepared fondant at the cake supply shop. Also, despite the high price, I still have a difficult time gauging how much fondant I’ll need for particular details, such as the multicolored pixels featured on this cake.

As a result, I made way too may Scrabble-shaped squares and it pains me to think of the per-square cost that went to waste because I didn’t end up using them to create Creeper in fondant.

Creeper kind of reminds me of Gumby gone mean, stripped to his basic form:  eighties-style pixels. Who knew that the rudimentary gaming technology of thirty years ago would come back again with a sort of  simple elegance? Plus, S liked the cake, mostly because we picked the right mine game. That, despite all the mind games. (:

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Filed under cakes, cakes for kids

Fake cake and fondant fundamentals

Almost good enough to eat.

This past weekend I took a great five-hour “Beginning Fondant” class, instructed by the owner of Carolyn’s Cake Decorating, the one and only cake decorating store in my town.  With all the bows, quilting detail, and pale pink roses, the finished product would have been perfect for my grandmother, if only she had a taste for styrofoam!

We learned the fundamentals of fondant work, including rolling and placement on the cake, storage, fondant choices and a few decorating techniques.  I had my missteps, but all in all, I feel ready to attack fondant with fervor!

Here’s some Fond Fondant placement tips:

1.  Crumb coat the cake with buttercream icing.  Refrigerate or freeze the cake for a few minutes before applying fondant.  Don’t apply fondant to a completely frozen cake.

2.  If using pre-made fondant (which apparently lasts for a year (a year!) if stored in an airtight, twisted bag (not Ziploc)), roll the fondant out like a pie crust on a silicone mat dusted with powdered sugar.

3.  For an eight-inch round layer cake, use approximately two pounds of fondant.  To keep the fondant moist while working with it, periodically dip your fingers into a small bowl of vegetable shortening (like Crisco) while kneading and rolling out the fondant.  Use the powdered sugar like flour to keep the fondant from sticking to the mat.  Move the fondant frequently and turn the fondant over a few times.  Don’t roll the fondant too thick, or it will it will be too heavy for the sides of the cake.

4.  Place the fondant over the center of the cake, allowing excess on all sides, if possible.  Place Crisco on the bottom and side of one hand and use it to smooth the fondant around the cake.  “Hop” around the cake to gently pull and smooth the fondant to prevent it from gathering in one place on the cake.

5.  When the fondant is in place, trim the excess with a pizza cutter and then cut 1/4 inch of the fondant from the bottom of the cake.  To seal in the cake’s moisture, cover the gap with fondant trim or with a buttercream border.

6.  You can freeze the fondant cake for a couple of weeks before applying decorations.

7.  Ultimately, the cake will have weak spots or dimples.  Find the worst spot and call it the “BACK.”  Use that spot to begin borders, etc.

8.  For decorations, the key is to roll out a small amount of fondant at a time.  This is because the fondant dries and cracks quickly, as demonstrated by this dusty bow:

9.  The basic tools for fondant work include a pizza cutter and  1) a silicone mat, 2) a silicone rolling-pin and 3) a small rolling-pin/modeling tool.

10.  Finally, to make things easier, a basic modeling tool and powdered sugar shaker are nice additions.

That’s all for now.  More to come!

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Filed under cakes, cakes for grown-ups, cakes for kids