In the June 2018 Bake It Box, you'll be getting a set of x4 flower plunger cutters to make the fondant flowers decorations for your Royal Cake. If you've never used one of these plunger cutters before or if it's your first time using fondant, never fear, this blog is for you. :)
Watch our video tutorial below, then scroll down for some basic Q&A & extra tips from us.
Things you will need:
- A plunger cutter
- Fondant & CMC Powder (strongly recommended)**
- A rolling pin
- Baking paper or corn starch
** These plunger cutters also work on gum paste or marzipan.
Notes: You'll find CMC Powder at your local decorating store. It's not necessary but useful, as it speeds up the drying process. Click here for a more detailed explanation
- Knead the CMC powder into your fondant & roll it out to a thickness of about 2-3mm.
- Hold the cutter at the base & press it down into the rolled out fondant. Wiggle to detach & lift up.
- Lightly run your finger along the bottom to smooth out the edges.
- Place cutter on your surface & lightly tap the plunger down. This step will emboss the fondant cutout.
- Lift the cutter off your surface & press the plunger down again to release your fondant cutout.
Fondant (aka. sugar paste, ready to roll icing) is an edible sugary thick paste used in cake decorating. It feels just like play dough & you can do many things with it. It’s commonly used to cover a cake. You can also mould into shapes, make figurines & other decorations.
CMC Powder is Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, a chemical version of natural Gum Tragacanth. In food, CMC Powder is used as a thickener & stabiliser. In our case, adding it to the fondant helps it to dry & firm up quicker than without. You'll also be able to roll it out much thinner than without CMC added.
Eg. It'd take one day with CMC powder vs a few days without CMC.
Choosing to add/ not add CMC powder really depends on what you are wanting to mould out of the fondant. In making these flower decorations, CMC is optional. Just let your fondant cutouts air dry over a few days & regularly turn them over.
Don't worry, that's normal! That happens because when you knead the fondant, you're warming it up & so it'd start to soften. Leave it on your benchtop to rest for a few minutes & you'll find it won't be sticky anymore.
If that doesn't work, you can lightly dust your surface & your rolling pin with corn flour or roll the fondant between two sheets of baking paper.
BUT don't let it sit for too long! Once you mix the CMC into the fondant, you want to use it very soon.
Once the fondant is in contact with air, it'll start to dry. If you are only going to let it sit for a short time, wrap it in cling wrap or put it in a zipped lock bag will do.
With fondant, with CMC already mixed into it, you can leave it for an hour or so with no issues. just not overnight. (Of course, this also depends on how much CMC you put into the fondant. If you put a lot, it will dry faster).
Discard any leftover fondant that has CMC mixed into it.
For long term storage of fondant, we always recommend these three steps - wrap in cling wrap, then in a zipped lock bag, then in an air-tight container.
Store your dried fondant flower decoration in an air-tight container until assembly.
:) Yes, broadly speaking, you are absolutely correct! It is not recommended to store a fondant covered cake in the fridge because, most home refrigerators will cause the fondant to start to 'sweat', making the fondant shiny & wet.
With our June box, because the icing contains dairy, it must be refrigerated. But we found that, as long as your fondant flowers are completely dried, refrigeration didn't affect them at all! (Keep in mind, this depends on your fridge).
But FYI, over a few days, the fondant flowers will naturally soften as it will absorb some of the moisture from the icing. So we do recommend you place the fondant decorations on just before serving!
6. Why do I have to let the fondant dry? Why can't I stick them on the cake while the fondant is still soft?
The answer is no, you don't need to let the fondant cutouts dry before attaching them onto your cake. However, we strongly recommend that you, at least let them air dry for a few hours until they are firm enough to touch!
Reason being, 1) they are easier to handle when firm, 2) they will retain their shape & 3) once they are on your cake, they will absorb moisture from the cake & will soften over time. So if they are already soft to begin with, they'd turn mushy & wet much quicker.
It's likely because you are tapping the plunger down a little too hard. Try tapping lightly once & then test to see how deep the imprint is. As long as your flower cutout hasn't dried, you can always mix it back into your fondant & re-use.
Another reason is that you may have rolled your fondant out too thin. Take out a ruler & measure the thickness - it should be at least >2-3mm thick.