Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cake Club 1, fondant icing

Now, I know that the first rule of Fight Club was that you didn't talk about Fight Club.  That obviously won't work in a blog situation though, so I won't talk too much, but will show you some photos of what we did.  We're basically just having fun and practicing techniques and passing on knowledge. 
Here we have M, with her mini marzipanned fruit cake.  She covered it in white fondant, and is rolling out shapes to make little robins having a snowball fight.  This cake is for sale at her son's playgroup fundraiser.
 M's finished product.  She's even done tiny feet for the one who got knocked over - too cute!
Here we see P cutting off her excess fondant with a pizza cutter.  We found this to be much easier than a knife, so H and I used it too.  P's cake isn't for anything in particular, she was just practicing her skills.
P trying to get smoother sides.  Someone passed her the plastic smoothing tool after this photo.  It really helps you to get a very smooth finish, you just have to be a bit careful that you don't push too hard and indent your cake.
P had a white powder, that had an E number for a name, and it's meant to be added to fondant/sugarpaste to make it more like flower paste (i.e. you can roll thinner and the item keeps its shape).  She decided to try it out on a butterfly or two, and left them to dry in a book to give them a lifted appearance.
P impressed us all with her flowers, and they look great with the butterflies. Then she saw the green colour that H had made, so added in some falling ivy...
Next we see what H did.  To my surprise, H had never used fondant icing before (I was sure we'd talked about it, but was obviously mistaken).  She was keen to use colour and shapes/cutters and decided to try a garden sort of a theme.  Again, her cake wasn't for a reason, but simply to practice on.
We had an old Wilton Yearbook and we all went through it for inspiration (none struck for me, as you'll see below) and H went for the garden idea.  M had done grass before, and suggested H cut into fondant in mismatched long skinny triangles, but she was finding that quite tricky to master.  This idea worked a lot easier, and she simply used a toothpick to press in the lines.  The grass sections were stuck on by moistening the back with a touch of water.  Then she went crazy with the flower cutters and food colours...   Lovely!
And finally we get to me.  Once you've seen it, you'll think I shouldn't have bothered.  Sorry.  Please keep reading, pretty please?  I had done Mini-2's birthday cake and had a bit of an issue with the rolled out fondant not being fully circular and thus not being quite smooth enough.  So we talked over possible fixes and I went for it.
This time the rolling out/smoothing etc went much better.  The only issue is that I came without any real idea of what I wanted to do, so ended up doing nothing much.  I haphazardly slapped on the leaves on the sides, and then wished I'd got down to eye level to do them in a clock formation, so they would have been more even.  I found the Gerbera flower cutter quite tricky to use effectively, even though it was the push-out style.  And M's gold dust wasn't as successful for me as my edible glitter usually is.
So in summary, we all had a great night, learnt new skills and have already booked in our next meeting and decided to do buttercream.  I think subsequent club nights may need to be decorated cookie related, and what else do you think??