Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Hi everyone! I've never made a fondant cake before, but I really want to learn. I just have some questions... For a 2 tier fondant cake (vanilla pound cake base), is it ok if I don't make use of dowel rods or cake separators? Or will the cake completely collapse without these?

My next question is, is there anything I could use to substitute for a fondant smoother since I haven't bought one yet?

Also, I was wondering if anyone can share a tested royal icing that would be good for piping delicate string curtains and designs?

i would appreciate any help I could get from you guys. Thank you. :)

Shaira

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thank you june.. :) the tips you gave me will be really helpful.. i told my sister i'd make her wedding cake when she gets married.. but i don't know when that'll be. so i guess, i'll have enough time to master the art of fondant cake-making and stacking! wish me luck hehe :)


June Kowalczyk said:

Well Shaira

If I am stacking 2-3 tiers, I must say I buy wooden dowels, sharpen them with a pencil sharpener, & PUSH, them through all 3 levels. I have never made a cake taller than 3 tiers. Now the dowels have to be free of any type of chemicals.....food safe. If you have a hobby store, you can buy them their. It is nerve wracking, but with a little pressure, the dowels push right through.  Other option Shaira is what I did for years. Stack the cakes at the reception!!  I get good strong boxes, put rubber shelve liner on the bottom of box, place cake & board on that. Trust me, they DON'T move. Have transported many times, & everything was A-Ok.

Now as far as kneading, I use the top of my wooden island all the time, no problem there, as long as you clean it well before you start. Wipe with a lint free cloth. :o)

Oh & use icing sugar so it doesn't stick
 
shaira said:

super duper thanks june! <3 :D just to clarify, when i put the board in between the layers, do the plastic straws/rods go right through the cakeboard? Also, is it ok to knead/make fondant on a wooden surface or should the surface be either made out of granite/marble or stainless steel? you've helped a lot! <3 :)

June Kowalczyk said:

Well Shaira

Most of the time I just use my hands to smooth. I make sure I have a little icing/powdered sugar on my hands, & just rub, rub. You can ck out smoothing on Youtube. I also have a flat bottomed  measuring cup that I have used.

When I make 2-3 tiers.   1. I save my cardboard from cereal boxes etc. and make my own cake rounds. Glue a couple together for strength, cover in plastic wrap.  2. I use the straws as stated above for dowels and my straws are big enough I put a wooden stir sticks inside the straw for extra measure.

Hope this helps.  :o)

lynne, thanks for sharing your tips and recipes for the royal icing. i am really excited to make a fondant cake.. but i think i'll practice piping royal icing beforehand, so when i've completed making the cake and fondant, there's lesser chance that i'd mess up piping the decorations :)

Lynne Salmon said:

   You ask if a two tiered fondant cake needs doweling - my answer is:  It depends on the size of the top tier.  If it is 6" or smaller then no, not really.  Those small sizes are so light in weight they will do fine w/o support really.  But the best thing to use, as others have mentioned is to use ordinary, plastic drink straws.   Bamboo skewers, sucker sticks and the like are not good choices.  They both can become weakened from the moisture in cakes and bend :( 

I too have used just my hand to smooth fondant.  It works in a pinch but in the long run it is best to invest in a smoother.  I could hardly believe the difference when I finally started using one :)

A good recipe for royal icing:  one unbeaten (raw) egg white and enough powdered sugar to stiffen it (about 1/2 cup).  *One teaspoon* at a time, add sugar to the eggwhite while beating it with a fork.   just add a teaspoon of sugar, beat well with the fork to incorporate, then add another.  Continue until the icing is very thick.  This will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour :)   A real workout!

Another option is to use Wilton's Royal Icing recipe and instructions using a mixer.  It works fine.  Just be sure to beat it a full 7 to 10 minutes, until it looses it's shine.   I usually make a 1/2 recipe at a time.

Either one is good but here is what will help you *THE MOST*:  Once you have the icing the consistency you want it, take a (clean/new) knee high stocking and put it on your hand like a glove; fill your palm w/icing and peel the stocking off, turning it inside out so the icing is inclosed within.  Now push the icing through the stocking.  It is fastenating(sp?) to me to see how the icing comes through:)  Keep it covered w/plastic wrap at all times.  

If I could put in a word of caution Shaira about the royal icing. I never use an egg from my fridge for the egg white. There is the possiblity of contamination. I buy pasturized egg whites from the grocery store. That way I know my icing will be safe.

i don't think we have pasteurized eggwhites here.. but i am thinking of possibly using meringue powder...

June Kowalczyk said:

If I could put in a word of caution Shaira about the royal icing. I never use an egg from my fridge for the egg white. There is the possiblity of contamination. I buy pasturized egg whites from the grocery store. That way I know my icing will be safe.

I think that is a good idea,

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