Its great to have you here! I have so much to share with you. So recently I did a survey to know the things that give people major headaches in their Cake business. It wasn’t a huge surprise when majority said ‘Fondant decoration’. As much as I love making fondant cakes, I know there was a time that this gave me a major headache too. In fact, I always said a little prayer before covering my fondant cakes, you can imagine. But after learning from great tutors, adding and subtracting my own ideas, I finally got how to make beautiful fondant cakes with a perfect finish.
Its a beautiful thing when you have a neatly covered cake with a sharp edge. That’s exactly where the beauty of your cake starts from. Once you get this right, the rest is history.
So, I guess you have the ‘Perfect fondant recipe’ I shared with you recently. If you don’t, please click right here
So going forward, I want to share with you 6 Secrets of having a neatly covered cake” The mistake most people make is that, they assume they can get away with little things and just magically have a perfect fondant finish, that is so so wrong! You may get away with butter cream, but fondant is a whole different ball game, trust me, all those flaws will show! So its better you do it right from the beginning.
So what do I mean by the beginning? There are six steps I have pointed out in preparation for your fondant covering.
1. Use Good pans for baking:
You should use very sturdy pans with a regualar shape to bake your cakes. if you are arranging layers of cakes, try and ensure that the pans used are identical.
2. Use Cake levelling tools:
Most of the time, our cakes don’t come out from the oven with a perfect shape, do not assume your eyes can do the trick, use cake levelling tools. There are several tools you can use for this, personally, I use a cake leveler and a cake marker (though I like to call it a standing ruler) to get a totally parallel cake.
A Cake Marker
Thou there are other new tools in the market to also achieve this, this 2 tools are my favourite.
To use the cake leveller, you have to ensure that the string is placed correctly, it is calibrated on both sides, so if you set it on number 4 on the right side, it also has to be number 4 on the left.
As for the cake marker, ensure that it sits flat on a regular surface, probably on your board before taking it round the cake and marking the exact point that would be trimmed off. The marker is also calibrated, and you can adjust it depending on the height of your cake.
Other essential tools you need include the turn table, your metal spatula and your trimming knife.
3. Use butter cream to coat your cake
People use different things to coat their cakes before covering it. Some use egg white (Ewww, I cant stand that), some use jam and others use plain butter. Now, the thing is, all this are sticky enough for your fondant to gum to the cake, but butter icing has more advantages.
I personally use American butter icing, its just a mixture of butter and icing sugar in the ratio 1:2. It is better in the sense that:
- It keeps your cake moist, when the cake has been covered and left on the table or fridge for several days, it remains moist, moisture is not lost.
- It fills up the loop holes of your cakes. You know the way there can be little gaps between your cake layers, butter cream fills it up and stays firm, unlike the other methods.
- It is also nice in taste, you don’t want your clients eating plain cakes, butter cream goes great with any cake.
- It doesn’t get spoilt easily
Thou, chocolate ganache can also be used, but its on the expensive side here in Nigeria.
4. Step back and have a better look at your cake
Sometimes, at a close range, we don’t seem to see the flaws in the alignment of our cake. But if you step back and look at it from different angles, you’ll be able to tell if your cake is tilted sideways.
The cake marker can be taking around the cake to ensure that the cake is totally flat, but the side may still not be a perfect 90 degrees, so step back and give it a little adjustment if it is necessary.
You can also trim from the sides slightly to ensure a straight side in case some parts of the cake is bulging out. I usually trim the middle layer not from the to so as not to spoil the edges at d top.
5. Crumble coat then coat your cake for a perfect finish
What do I mean by this? Now, using butter cream is great like I said, but you may want to add some cake crumbs in a little quantity of butter cream to form a thicker paste. I personally dont like to over trim my cakes, because I see it as a waste, so chances are that there are gaps between the layers of my cakes.
So this is where Crumb coating comes in, fill the gaps with the thick paste then add the normal butter cream and smooth with your butter cream smoother. Make sure to scrape off excess butter cream from your cake. This would ensure that after your cake has been covered, lines of bulging out butter cream are not showing. Have you experienced this before? I have. So crumb coating is a simple solution.
6. Brush or sprinkle your cake with a little water
So once you have covered and smoothed your cake with butter cream, it doesn’t end there, sprinkling or brush your cake with a little water to ensure that isn’t dry before covering the cake with fondant.
If you don’t do this, especially when the weather is dry, your fondant wont be able to gum to your cake easily and this could cause your fondant to tear and simply frustrate you when you are covering your cake.
So there it is, I hope this helped. I’ll like to read your comments in the comment session. You can’t go wrong with fondant cakes once you start right!