I guess I needed a new hobby (like I have that much time!). Fondant cakes always strike me as beautiful creations, but they cost an arm and a leg, and some are not that good anyway (the cake inside, that is). What triggered me to start experimenting with fondant was my daughter’s birthday. We’re kinda bored with SR’s cake, or Baskin Robbins.. I decided to bake her a cake that she’s not allergic to (cocoa and eggs). She wanted a Hello Kitty themed cake, the cake itself was white chocolate. Yum..Decadent!
Making the cake
Making your own fondant sounds quite intimidating, especially if you’ve read enough blogs and websites to trigger that little bell in your head, screaming It’s going to be a disaster! But in actuality, its pretty easy (only messy!) and one can only go wrong in the consistency of the dough. Hahaha thus, the alarm! Start a week earlier to make the dough, to have time to let it set, and give yourself some time to enjoy making the decorations. Also, if you start earlier, there’s room for error, and enough time for recovery 🙂
I found that making the dough on a hot humid night requires more sugar, and it tends to be very sticky. You will tend to put too much sugar and end up with a rock hard dough, which will definitely crack once dried. Even with the same recipe, the weather plays a major role in making fondant. If you like to challenge yourself and experiment with new things like I do, please, go ahead and try it. Its really fun! I had ZERO experience with fondant/gumpaste/sugarpaste/flowerpaste, the ingredients sound alien to me at first too. But once you get rolling and the figurines and flowers take shape, you can’t keep that grin off your face. I had no trouble finding all the ingredients at a local Bake with Yen bakery shop, and of course went overboard with buying the nice-to-have but not necessary utensils too.
Making the decorations can be fun if you just relax and think of it as playing with playdoh. Errors can be easily camaflouge, or you just can start over. The dough won’t harden until some time. For this cake, I made 2 mini kitties, supposedly one for big sis and one for small sis. And of course I had to try all my tools, so I made tonnes of flowers and leaves. At this stage, I haven’t had any design in mind for the cake – I just knew it had to be Hello Kitty and some garden setting.
Next, the cake.
Baked a perfectly good looking white chocolate cake in 2 trays. This is because I don’t trust myself to perfecly slice 1 cake into 2 layers! Made some strawberry filling (from fresh strawberries of course) to fill the cake, and piped a dam around it to prevent any from oozing out.
Carefully stack the secon layer on, and let it rest for a good 5-10 minutes before frosting it completely. This is to let the cake and filling set. Tip: Chill the cake after baking so that it can stand the handling without breaking/crumbling.
I don’t really crumb coat the cake as the crumbs are quite minimal. (Hence, the good looking cake). I frosted the cake with white chocolate frosting instead of the traditional buttercream. It frosted nicely for my amatuer hands. Again, I chilled the cake. The frosting will get a nice smooth shiny surface.
Here comes the challenging part for me. Layering the white chocolate plastic. I forgot to mention earlier, but somewhere along the lines, I decided to cover the cake with white chocolate instead of regular fondant. Yes, I really love to make my life tougher at times. Rolling the white chocolate was pretty challenging, but easy enough.
Layering the cake with it, was another story. Unlike fondant, which we can roll with rolling pins and then unroll it on top of the cake, I can’t do it with white chocolate. They stick together! I don’t recall how I managed, but I did, amidst trembling fingers I layered the cake. The cake’s square shape didn’t help. The hot weather didn’t help either, as the chocolote, rolled thin, was beginning to melt and stick everywhere. I finally ended up with this, and simply pressed in the edges onto the board to get the wavy effect.
All in all, the cake was a success. One happy birthday girl.