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Fun with Fondant

by MayTM
Posted on 10 October 2012

Having children really enhances my life. I picked up a little hobby; ALL for my son. About four months before he turned one, I stumbled upon a full moon fondant* decorated cake. It was a beautiful baby block cake and the idea hit me, I can ‘try’ making one for Ryan too! I have heard that buying these cakes are costly and to be honest, I am not willing to spend so much on a birthday cake and also, a self-made cake will be much more satisfying.

I started my ‘research’ online, scouring the world wide web for articles, blogs, ‘free’ cake-making tutorials, etc. I contemplated joining a class but time was a factor (I was working then and I wanted to dedicate my weekends fully on the family). So, self-learning was the only choice. hmmm

Next, it was time to shop! For materials and tools (this was the fun part)…haha, I started with the basic stuff first (just in case I fail in my mission, at least I didn’t spend a bomb). I bought the following:-

  1. Fondant Modelling tools
  2. Non-stick Rolling Pin
  3. Fondant Smoother
  4. Non-stick Rubber Mat
  5. Cutters – Alphabets, Shapes (butterflies, flowers, hearts and stars – comes in 3 sizes)
  6. Ready-made Fondant (Brand: Pettinice)
  7. CMC Powder
  8. Gel colourings

Looking back at my list, it seems like I had purchased quite a lot of stuff!

My idea was to create an Animal-Themed cake. The first model I wanted to make was a bear (Ryan’s favourite animal).

I began with colouring/dyeing the fondant. You can get pre-coloured fondants now. Although it saves the hassle of colouring, mixing in the colour yourself means you can control the intensity of the fondant colour.

I started off with a small piece of fondant ball, used a toothpick to dab the colours around the ball and kneaded (with two palms) the colours in (adding more gel colour until desired colour was obtained). Then I slowly added a little CMC powder at a time so that it did not get too sticky. More and more fondant were added until I got the amount required for the modelling.

These were what I made after a few attempts (sorry, no step by step picture as I was too eager to get it right):

In the end, I did not use the brown bear as the colour seemed too bright for a children’s cake.

Some of the online tutorials have step-by-step pictures/videos that I can follow but for some of the animals, I had to create by trial and error. At the time I started the modeling (the animals), it was almost Christmas so I did a Christmas cake just to ‘test’ my skills:

As I was slowly getting the hang of modeling the animals, I decided to be a little more ambitious. I embarked on making a second cake as well, a Pocoyo-themed cake (to be honest, I find the animation rather engaging although Ryan doesn’t really watch it).

I made the fondant models approximately 2 weeks ahead as it needs time to ‘dry’. I also made cut-outs of flowers and butterflies using the shape cutter. The models can be kept in an air-tight container in room temperature. One thing I realized was never to keep it in the fridge.  Once the fondant models/cakes are removed from the fridge, it will start to ‘melt’ due to our hot room temperature. So, I will only cover the cake with fondant and assemble all the decorations a day before the ‘day’. Then it kept it in an air-conditioned room (yes, I took the cake literally to bed to ensure it is kept in a cool - not cold, condition). I am not sure if it can be kept at normal room temperature; have yet to attempt as I am paranoid that it may start ‘melting’! grin

These are the two First Year Birthday Cakes for Ryan:-

For his second birthday, I decided to create one of his favourite toys; Thomas the Engine:-

I don’t have any formal training in baking/cake decorating. I learned through the years by observing my mom getting herself busy in her kitchen. It was when I had my own family that I started baking a little more (getting domesticated…haha!). I am truly blessed that my mon had indirectly inspired me to pick up this hobby.

  [Fondant (UK: /ˈfɒndənt/, US: /ˈfɑndənt/ or /ˈfɑndɑnt/, from the French: /f.d) is one of several kinds of icing-like substance used to decorate or sculpt pastries. The word, in French, means “melting”, coming from the same root as “foundry” in English.]

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Thank you for the tips, MayTM!

My attempt was a disaster! I put them in the fridge as it was melting but when I took them out again, it melted more. Hahaha…I had melting snowmen smile)

By Lai Lin on 2012 10 11

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