For four weeks straight, I feverishly and relentlessly toiled away with gum paste and fondant to construct beautiful, vibrant, and – with any luck, and a lot more practice – life-like flowers in my Wilton Course 3: Gum Paste and Fondant cake decorating class. Yes, this four-week long class taught me to make roses, mums, calla lilies, daisies, and many other flowers. It taught me how to mold, manipulate, and roll fondant and gum paste, and I learned how to work quickly with it before it started to dry. (I also learned tricks to help prevent it from drying when I am working a little slower.) It all culminated last Tuesday in the grand finale – covering a cake in fondant! I will briefly chronicle the 4-week long journey to fondant enlightenment, in “picture-book” fashion…Let us begin…
Fondant Tip: Don’t buy Wilton brand. Just don’t. I know my class was a Wilton class, and so my instructor couldn’t reeeaaally tell us not to buy Wilton, but don’t. I love Wilton, and my Wilton classes have been great, and I love all the other Wilton products I have bought over the years, but when it comes to their fondant, just don’t do it. It tastes like plastic and is nasty. For our final cake, I bought Satin Ice, and another woman in my class bought Duff brand, and the third girl bought Wilton, and we did a taste test. Wilton got “yuck” faces all around. Duff and Satin Ice tasted almost, if not, identical – both are yummy and we agreed they taste like candy corn. (Ok, maybe we had Halloween on the brain, again, but both of them did taste quite delicious!) My instructor went as far to say she is suspicious that Duff fondant is just Satin Ice fondant repackaged. Upon a quick web search, I found this article, which revealed that Duff brand is actually Fondarific rebranded.
I recommend checking out the above-mentioned article on Craftsy – it gives a breakdown of fondant brands so you can choose the best one for you. They make a good point, saying that Wilton fondant is good for molding and smaller tasks, since it is cheaper and comes in small, multi-color packs, which can be very convenient for the small-scale baker. So, revised statement: Don’t use Wilton to cover a cake, but you can use it for smaller details and molding and such. I will say I loved the Satin Ice. It was luscious. Weird word to use, maybe, but when I pulled it out of the bag, it was just that: Luscious, and soft, and malleable, and wonderful. Like a cloud – a sugary, moldable cloud. And I was in heaven.
Sidenote: I went to a cake and decorating specialty store called Cake and Wedding Cottage for the first time to buy GOOD fondant for my Course 3 final class, and I was in heaven. I walked around for I don’t know how long, just in awe, drooling over the plethora of baking supplies, baffled by tools and techniques for things I didn’t even know existed. There were pans in all shapes, fondants in all colors, pre-made fillings and icings and sugar sheets and props and millions of cupcake tins and cookie cutters in every shape under the sun! After moseying around for quite some time, and wiping the drool off my chin, I finally settled on purchasing JUST the fondant. Yes, it took extreme self-control to walk out of that magical cottage with nothing more than 2 tubs of Satin Ice fondant, but I did it. Now, don’t get me wrong – those 2 tubs (7lbs total) cost me $67! So, it’s not like I didn’t burn a small hole in my pocket just with that! (Granted, I did buy about 5x what I needed for the cake I was making for class, but I have no doubt in my mind that it will get used in the future!) In conclusion, I love this store. There is another cake specialty store near me as well, and I plan to check that one out too! Here is a peak at the awesomeness at Cake and Wedding Cottage: There was a wall of sprinkles.
And thus concludes my journey to fondant enlightenment…oh wait! I forgot about the cake! DUH! …I think I’ll make you guys wait for the next post to see my masterpiece pumpkin cake…(Don’t you love cliffhangers?) 😉