Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures in Cakeland

*I started this post almost two months ago, but was unable to complete it before leaving on our trip. Now here it is, my step-by-step experience with rolled fondant*
I've always enjoyed baking and decorating cakes. A few years ago I brought 2 or 3 cakes into work over the course of one summer to celebrate colleagues who were retiring or moving on to new jobs. I would like to take a proper cake decorating course so I can master really fancy techniques like rolled fondant, gum-paste flowers etc, but so far timing has not worked out. This issue is becoming a bit of a concern since last Christmas I offered to do the wedding cake for my brother-in-law. Therefore, for my birthday I decided to try my hand at rolled fondant.

The base cake was lemon with a lemon curd filling. The triple lemon cake recipe came from Fine Cooking. In hindsight, I wish I had evened out the bottom half of the cake since when I stacked all the layers up, the top half of the cake slid around on the rounded base.

Before adding the rolled fondant I put down a layer of regular icing. Again I used the recipe from Fine Cooking, to complete the triple lemon flavouring. This preliminary spread of icing helped keep the top half of the cake more-or-less in place.

I prepared the rolled fondant the night before by following a recipe off of the Wilton Website. I wasn't quite sure when to stop adding icing sugar to the fondant as I'd never made it before, nor been present when someone else was making it. As a result my fondant was a little stiff, but it seems to have worked out more-or-less. I coloured it a light purple-blue with icing colouring purchased from Michaels. I think it was a garden colours kit. Finally, I had some difficulty with the fondant sticking to my counter, so I laid down a large piece of parchment paper to keep it from getting stuck. It also made the transfer of the fondant to the cake relatively simple.

The fondant transferred and smoothed (relatively). I had some problems getting it totally smooth and I wound up with an unsightly wrinkled section at the back where I couldn't ease out the fondant. I also ended up with some cracks, again suggesting that I'd added too much icing sugar.

The completed cake. Swirls are sort of my fall back when I don't know what else to do for a design. I used left over lemon icing for the pattern. It probably took me no more than twenty-five minutes to do, which was a relief as I was worried the decorating would take an hour. Overall I think it was a very pretty cake, and it tasted delicious.



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