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calling cake decorators for help!

(14 Posts)
mehimandthekids Mon 26-Oct-09 01:33:00

Hi all,
i love making cakes and have been asked to make a 9" round 3" thick sponge layer cake for a birthday party.Im going to cover it in sugarpaste and then decorate it.
So far so good. But my problem is rolling out a large enough piece of fondant to cover in one go- without taking the board into account! Any tips or help? as i keep trying on my dummy but it falls apart on the rolling pin, even with the help of shortening,am i not useing enough fondant?
Any help would be sooo nice as im tearing my hair out now!!
thanks again all !!!

bellavita Mon 26-Oct-09 07:49:27

You need 1.25kg (2lb 12oz) of fondant to do a 9" cake, then extra to cover the board.

So, I would cover the board first, then cover your cake.


mablemurple Mon 26-Oct-09 08:19:42

Not sure what you are using the shortening for - to stop the fondant sticking you need to use a bit of icing sugar and keep turning the paste after every roll to make sure it is not sticking to the work surface. Don't roll it too thin and don't try to lift it up usng the rolling pin either. Take off all the jewellery on your hands and slide your hands palm down underneath the sugarpaste. Lift the fondant up so it is resting on the backs of your hands and place on the cake, then smooth out.

sockmonkey Mon 26-Oct-09 08:47:20

I have seen pre-rolled fondant icing at the supermarket of you get desperate.

blametheparents Mon 26-Oct-09 08:52:39

Do not roll too thin, that was my mistake the first time I tried it

mehimandthekids Mon 26-Oct-09 11:28:23

Hi all,
Thanks for your reply's.
Mablemurple- i have been useing shortening to stop the fondant cracking, also i have been rolling over the pin to lift, these were recommended in books.I have tried useing icing sugar, but find it leaves white dust marks and had cracked too easy.
My main problem is this lifting issue,with such a huge piece of sugar.
I have not heard of lifting with the back of hands, i will try that too.
I have another issue now!!
If i sugarpaste board and seperatly sugarpaste cake, how do i lift cake to top of board without fingerprints??
Im thinking a £5 cake from tesco would be less hassel!!
ANY HELP again would be great.

mablemurple Mon 26-Oct-09 11:54:04

mehim - if you are using blocks of ready made sugarpaste (and I would recommend that you do) just knead it for a short while - really just to warm it through with the heat from your hands - before rolling then it shouldn't crack. Don't knead it like you would bread though, otherwise you will get lots of air bubbles in it.
The shortening will, I think, make the fondant taste really greasy and make it more sticky as well - I've not come across this before. You don't need to use lots of icing sugar, just a light dusting on the work surface and rolling pin. Keep moving the paste around after every roll it will not stick to the work surface.
Sugarpaste the board (dampen the board slightly so the paste sticks) the day before you want to cover the cake it will have time to dry. You can then plonk the cake in the middle of the board without leaving any marks.
Also, you need to 'polish' the sugarpaste with your hand - rub your hand gently over the sugarpaste and keep going until it stops feeling grainy and starts to feel smooth and look shiney. This will take care of any excess icing sugar on top of the paste. You should do this for the sugarpaste on both the board and the cake.

mehimandthekids Mon 26-Oct-09 12:02:06

OK,thanks .
-when you say plonk, is this cake also alreday iced? or do i ice cake whilst on board?. thanks again

mablemurple Mon 26-Oct-09 12:09:34

Either, really! You can ice the cake off the board and leave it to dry a day before putting it on the board, or put the uniced cake on the iced board and ice it in situ. The first option might be easier for you if you are a bit worried about it smile.

Don't forget you'll need a covering of watered down smooth jam (apricot is the best) or a thin layer of buttercream over the cake first, otherwise the sugarpaste won't stick.

bellavita Mon 26-Oct-09 16:54:35

I missed the shortening bit... always use icing sugar as everyone else has pointed out.

I have covered a cake board, left to dry and then put a smearing of butter cream on top (where the cake would sit). I covered the cake first though and then plonked it on.

mehimandthekids Mon 26-Oct-09 20:25:16

hi, thanks for all the info,
I think im missing something!, how do you pick up your iced cake to then plonk it?
Is the cake on a smaller cake board, or do you just use your hands-will that not print the cake!
Help!- im all confused!!!
The book im following suggests i ice cake on greaseproof and use this like a sling to lift?- any other suggestions?

Again, thanks for all you help

mablemurple Mon 26-Oct-09 21:31:08

Yes that would work, or use a wide spatula.

mehimandthekids Mon 26-Oct-09 22:24:50

Thanks so much, will try all suggestions .

Any more tips?

Olihan Mon 26-Oct-09 22:48:55

I always cover the board a couple of days in advance then stick the uniced cake on the board with buttercream and ice it in situ. As long as you aren't too heavy handed you won;t damage the board.

Do you have smoothers? They're really useful for lifting an iced cake without leaving handprints and they also help you press the paste right into the base of the cake so you can trim any excess off neatly if you ice it on the board.

I cut a piece of string to about 1cm longer than the overall height and diameter of the cake and use it to check whether my rolled out paste is the right size. That way it doesn;t get huge and uwieldy.

I always use the pin to pick the icing up but you need to make sure the paste doesn't get thinner than about 5mm otherwise it does split.

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