When it comes to decorating a cake and making it look perfectly professional, few products can beat fondant icing. But there’s more to getting things right than just rolling it out and plonking it on top of the cake. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about fondant icing, but you should if you want to use it successfully.
1. Fondant Icing Is Affected By Light. We all know that fondant icing should be kept covered when it’s not being used to stop it drying out, but did you know that it can also be adversely affected by direct light. Even strong electric lighting can fade the colours in your fondant. So always store your fondant in an airtight container in a cupboard. And once your cake is made be sure to store it away from direct light until you’re ready to serve it.
2. Temperature And Humidity Can Be A Problem. Anyone who’s spent too long rolling and kneading some fondant icing in their hands knows it can get sticky pretty quickly. Heat and high humidity will make fondant go soft and sticky. But cold temperatures can be just as bad. In the cold fondant icing will stiffen up and be more susceptible to cracking. It will also sweat if placed in a fridge and the integrity of the icing can be ruined.
3. Water Can Be An Issue. Although you can use cooled, boiled water to fix fondant icing decorations to your iced cake it’s important to use a small amount and not to splash or spread any on other areas of the cake. Water will begin to dissolve the sugar in the icing resulting in cracks, pitting and other marring of the smooth surface.
4. It Isn’t Suited To All Decorating. Some people think that fondant icing is the product to use for every aspect of cake decorating. It’s certainly wonderful for icing a cake, and has its uses for making decorations, but for any decorative work that is extremely detailed it can be best to opt for flower and modelling paste, or make a 50/50 mix of the two. The flower paste will add a stiffness to the fondant icing that will let you make models that hold their shape much more easily.
5. It Won’t Hide Sloppy Cake Making. Don’t think of fondant icing as something you can plonk on a lopsided or lumpy cake to make it look picture perfect. In fact if anything it can make it look worse as the icing bubbles and wrinkles around the imperfections. To tackle this, learn how to apply a smooth and even coating of buttercream icing to your cake.