So recently I made two cakes for my kids for each of their birthdays and I decided to decorate each cake with fondant icing. It was my first time and I have to admit, I got pretty frustrated at certain points. I hope through these tips and advice you will be able to learn from my mistakes and you can make some great icing for your cakes next time!
Let’s start with the don’t do’s…
- Don’t worry if your icing ball doesn’t form straight away, you can add in a little more glucose syrup to get the right consistency. That’s what happened to me.
- Don’t use your hands when adding glucose syrup. Unless you want to spend the next 10 minutes having someone scrap it off with a spoon before having to wash your hands.
- Don’t use a small area to make fondant icing. You need space. It will get messy, especially if it’s your first time. Make sure you have extra icing sugar to spread over your work surface so your icing sugar does not stick to things you don’t want it too.
- Don’t forget to use latex gloves when adding food colouring. Especially if you plan on adding many different colours. You don’t want to touch white fondant with red hands and stuff it up.
- Don’t do it in a rush. This was my biggest problem when making mine the first time. I didn’t give myself enough time, so I was up until 4:30 am in the morning the day before my son and daughter’s birthday party finish off the cakes.
The How to’s:
- 1 egg white
- 450 g icing sugar
- 50 g liquid glucose
- food colour
1.Weigh out your icing sugar and place it in a large mixing bowl.
2.Crack in 1 egg white and add in your 50 g of glucose syrup.
3.Starting with a metal spoon, begin to mix the icing together until it forms a crumbly ball.
4.At this point you can get your hands in and start to knead it like dough. Once you have a good solid ball. Dust some extra icing sugar onto a clean surface and turn your icing out onto the surface.
5.Start kneading the icing with your hands until it turns into a nice smooth ball of sugar!
Adding food colour:
1.Once you have your fondant icing ball of dough ready, you can separate the pieces that you want to colour and add in your food dye.
2.I use a powder dye and I started by adding in a little at a time and kneading it in with my hands. I also recommend wearing something like surgical gloves so you don’t get the dye on your hands.
3.Keep adding in the dye little, by little until the icing changes colour and you get the desired colour for your cake.
4.Take a rolling-pin and add some more icing sugar to the surface and start rolling it out, just like making pastry.
5.At this point you can begin to cut out the shapes you want for you cake.
6.If you want to cover a cake in a sheet of icing. Rolling the icing back over your rolling-pin and then pick it up and gently roll it out over your cooled and iced (butter cream is usually used) cake. The icing underneath is important as it helps the fondant icing stick to the cake.
Well, I hope that my advice and tips have helped make fondant icing a little less intimidating and don’t forget the most important thing, even if you make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning experience, so next time you do it, you will know exactly what not to do!