Friday, November 14, 2008

More Fun With Fondant

Hello my lovelies! This past week has been a flurry of activities, not to mention some really fantastic news. I attended a fondant cupcakes class, went shoe shopping (yes, this particular activity is rather strenuous :)) and one of my former schoolmates May, who's getting hitched in December is asking me to bake her bridal gift cakes! My heart skips a beats, lol! My goodness. I am excited, happy, nervous, concerned, anxious and delirious all at once.

It was good timing too that I signed up for a fondant cupcake class. Before this, the only experience I had with fondant was making some simple flowers. I was so looking forward to see what I could learn from the class. And hopefully use it wisely to create some nice looking toppers for May's cupcakes.

And so there I was on a Saturday morning, sitting in the cosy kitchen of Cake Connection, bubbling with excitement. Yasmin Sanusi, our instructor, introduced us to gum paste and fondant, letting us feel (literally) the difference between the two. They both look exactly alike but gum paste feels tougher while fondant much more pliable. Gum paste is preferred over fondant in flower making because the dough is very elastic, making it possible to be rolled out thinner. But gum paste hardens rather quickly, so it's best to work with nimble fingers. Fondant on the other hand, remains softer much longer and is suitable for covering cakes. It will harden over time but never bone hard.

Yasmin taught us 6 designs; a snowman, a teddy bear, sea shells, butterflies, a tea set and a scarf for fabric effect. We used pure fondant to cover the cupcakes and a dough mixture of 50% fondant & 50% gum paste to make most of the figurines, except for the butterlies where pure gum paste is needed in order for the wings hold its shape. 

To assemble parts of the figurines together, piping gel was used as glue. For bigger objects like the butterfly, we used fondant glue, which is a small amount of fondant mixed with water to form a paste.

Now let's leave it to the pictures to do to the talking :)
*The term dough here refers to a mixture of 50% gum paste, 50% fondant

Meet Poppet my snowgal.
This was the 1st figurine that we made and I'm very happy how it turned out.
Tips: 1. use a strip of spaghetti to attach the head to the body.
2. using a small sifter, dust icing sugar to create snow.

And this is Robert the teddy bear.
Robert seems to have a bit of a problem with his left arm and he's got cracks all over his body.
Tips: 1. mix brown, yellow and orange gel colour to achieve the 'teddy bear shade'.
2. to achieve equal sizes for the limbs, roll dough into a ball and cut it into half. Obviously I didn't, hence the oversized left arm.
3. warm dough between palm of hands and knead it to reduce cracks, if there's any. Apply shortening on hands, just a little.

Forget me nots and butterly, a design suitable for weddings.
The flowers were provided by Cake Connection while the butterfly was made using a cookie cutter. The designs on the base were achieved using crimpers.
Tips: 1) dry butterfly cut out downside up on an egg carton (layered with tissue paper for hygiene purposes).
2) use piping tips to create designs on the butterfly wings. Press gently while gum paste is still soft.
3) paint butterfly using pearl/shimmer dust mixed with fresh lemon juice. 

Another wedding design, with a scarf draped across and ready made sugar paste rosebud and leaf. I love the fabric effect, don't you? :)
Tips: 1) roll out dough thinnest possible to have a more realistic effect.
2) use a toothpick to gently roll along the edges of the scarf to create waves.

Seashells (a clam and a true tulip) on an ocean bed.
Tips: 1. to get streaks in your dough, tint with a darker shade of gel colour. Press fondant together and then pull and stretch to form marbling.

Ahh...the tea set. This was rather meticulous as they were very small.
Tips: 1) to make cups, roll dough into tiny balls and use a stick to gently poke a hole in the middle, wiggle it a little to create depth.
2) use a tiny paint brush to apply pearl/shimmer powder mixed with fresh lemon juice onto the cup rim and handle.

The whole line up. Look how tiny my Poppet was compared to her snowy friends :)


Min said...

Hey, I remember you ! I noticed in class you did the frills to the tablecloth (I knew then you must know better than the rest.. ) Well, lovely work and hope to see you again. Thanks for joining the class.

cupcakesordeath said...

thks Kak Min, I enjoyed your tutorial immensely :)