An Expression of Art

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roses: How to Make Fondant Roses

Fondant roses are beautiful. These roses harden up and are less fragile than royal icing flowers. If you are able to roll the fondant "dough" very thin, the roses can look very realistic. They do take a little bit longer than icing roses, but the end result is wonderful. Not to mention that they last longer.

Please note that the instructions below may seem a little intimidating. To make a full rose takes about 5 minutes. The first time may take longer. Once you get a hold of it, you will be making these roses a bunch at a time. They are worth it.

Before you start make sure you have the following:

  1. Fondant (and the color of choice: I use Wilton Gel Food Colors)

  2. A plastic mat (this will be for rolling the fondant). I use the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel (it works wonders for me and it has many uses).

  3. A tiny bit of shortening (to rub the mat so the fondant won't stick)

  4. A rolling pin

  5. Flower fondant cutters (I use the Wilton Rose Bouquet Cutter Set)

  6. Ball tool (I prefer the one that has the ball tool on one side and the veining tool on the other- very practical)

  7. Art brush

  8. Icing flavoring (this will be used to glue the fondant)

  9. Toothpicks

  10. Thin and Thick Foam pads

  11. And last but not least: Before you start, read the "Working with Fondant" that I have previously posted.

Step 1:
Have the amount of rose centers you need ready (toothpick with cone fondant centers). Instructions on how to make this: "Fondant Rose Centers".

Step 2:
Prepare your mat by applying a very thin layer of shortening. This will avoid the fondant from sticking to it. Make sure the amount of shortening you place is very minimal. Too much and it will make the fondant sticky.

Step 3:
Knead a portion of your colored fondant until it is a little bit softer (this shouldn't take long). Roll it into a ball and place on top of the mat.

Step 4:
Roll the fondant from center to the edge to stretch into a very thin layer. I know it is thin enough when I cannot roll it any thinner and I can read the mat printed font through it (see picture below).

Thin rolled fondant

Step 5:
Use your medium sized flower cutter and cut as many flowers as you can (remember we are only rolling a portion of the fondant as this will dry very fast). You need three flower cutouts to make one full bloom flower.

Cutting fondant

Step 6:
Take one cut out (tip: wrap the rest with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and place on top of your thin foam. Make short straight incisions in between each petal as shown on the picture below. This will allow the petals to be more flexible and not rip when bended.

petal incision

Step 7:
In order to create a more realistic effect, we have to thin the edges of each petal with the ball tool. Place the one side of the ball tool at its middle (i.e., half of the ball is touching the fondant and the second half the thin mat). Roll your ball at the edge on each petal by pressing a little hard. You will see the petals "rippling". DO NOT go back and use the ball tool again on a thinned petal. This will rip the petal. This is a one chance only. I will refer to this step as "balling".


Step 8:
Place your thinned or "balled" flower cut out on top of the thick foam pad. Note that I covered the foam with some corn starch to prevent sticking. With the ball, press its center (as shown on the picture below) slightly hard. This will create a "cupped" center.


Step 9:
Apply a little icing flavoring with an art brush at the cupped center. We use icing flavoring instead of water because the flavoring has alcohol and this evaporates faster thus the flower will dry faster. Insert the rose center toothpick through it. This first petal will be the center petals of your rose.


Before we continue to setp 10, visualize the picture below. Each cutout has 5 petals. Imagine that this looks like a gingerbread man, with petal 0 beign the head; petal 1 and 2 the arms; and petals 3 and 4 the legs.

Step 10:
Apply flavoring to petal 0 (the head). Glue the petal to the center fondant cone as shown on the picture below.


Step 11: Apply flavoring to one arm petal, in this case petal 1 and 'glue' it with flavoring to the cone center.


Step 12:
I assume that by this time you know the process, so a picture is not necessary. Apply flavoring to opposite leg, in this case petal 4 and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 13:
Apply flavoring to the remaining arm (petal 2) and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 14:
Apply flavoring to the remaining leg (petal 3) and 'glue' it to the cone center. The center petals of the rose are complete. Stop here if you want a rose button.


Step 15:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 16:
Place the ball tool on middle of one of the arm petals (petal 1) and cup the petal. Do the same to the second arm (petal 2) and then to the center. Turn the petal to the other side and cup the head (petal 0) the two legs (petal 3 and 4).


Turn the petal to the other side and insert the toothpick with cone center and first layer of petals. Glue one arm petal (petal 1) to the one layer rose (exactly where two petals meet) do the same for the second arm (petal 2). Glue the head (petal 0) next, then the opposite leg (petal 4) then remaining leg (petal 3). You have completed the second layer of petals of the rose. Stop here if you want a medium size rose.


Step 16:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 17:

Cup the center of the flower cut out with your ball tool and then cup all the petals one by one.


Turn the flower cutout to the other side and insert the toothpick on cupped center (petals should be curved on the outside) and glue the petals one by one to the 2 layer rose (where two petals meet).

An easier way is to turn the rose upside down and glue all the petas one by one to the 2 layer rose.

Your full rose bloom is done. CONGRATULATIONS.


Roses: Fondant Rose Centers

How to prepare rose centers for your Fondant roses:

1) Roll the fondant to be a 1/4 inch thick (use wood rods when rolling to mark the thickness).

2) Use smallest flower cutter and cut your 1/4 inch thick fondant. Each cutout will be the amount used to create the fondant centers.


3) Roll fondant cutout into a ball.

4) Insert this ball into toothpick and roll it with fingertips to form a cone as show below:


5) Make sure this cone center is as long as the width of one petal from large flower cutter.


Fondant: Working with Fondant

Read: What is Fondant.

Basics of Fondant
As most of you kow, fondant is made of sugar. When working with fondant, the decorator will have to knead the fondant like it would with dough. Fondant dries very quickly and hardens, therefore, the decorator must work fast with fondant. It is advisable to keep plastic wrap nearby to wrap the fondant when needed and prevent it from being exposed to the air.

If your fondant ever dries, never add any liquid to it as the fondant will go back to its basic sticky form. Hard fondant should be disposed.

Storing Fondant
It is advisable to wrap fondant tightly in plastic wrap. Then place this inside a sealable plastic bag. Make sure you remove all the air when wrapping. Fondant should NOT be stored in the refrigerator. The refrigerator holds moisture, and moisture is not good for fondant. Fondant can be stored in a cool and dry cabinet at room temperature.

Working with Fondant
As you knead or work with fondant, your hands can expell body heat and it will soften the fondant In some cases it will feel sticky. Most people feel compelled to use powder sugar to make the fondant less sticky. Note that powder sugar is not the right thickening agent that must be used here. When working with fondant, only use corn starch. Most decorators that work with fondant use a corn starch "puff" that is very easy to make. Buy a disposable cleaning towel as shown below (make sure you buy the one with the thin pores). Place some corn starch in the middle and tighten with a ribbon to make a pouch. Use it as a "puff".


You will use this puff when working with fondant to cover working surfaces or to thicken over-kneaded fondant.

Decorating with Fondant
In order to "glue" pieces of fondant to other fondant, it is advisable to use food flavorings (any flavor, such as clear Vanilla Extract as this doesn't have any color). Food flavoring contains alcohol, which evaporates (dries) faster than water. Remember, moisture is not good for fondant as it makes it sticky. Therefore, this will work perfectly.

When gluing fondant to cake frosting or cardboard, you can use piping gel. Piping gel is thick and it can help 'glue' fondant tightly.

Coloring Fondant
Since moisture is not good for fondant, avoid using liquid food coloring to color fondant. I use the wilton gel colors and this works great.

How to-
I pat the fondant into a little pancake. Place desired amount of gel food coloring in the middle. Fold halfway to make a half circle. Press until flat again incorportating the gel into the fondant. Fold again and press. Repeat process until you feel the gel color has incorporated into the fondant. Knead the fondant "dough" to color evenly. I like this process because it avoids getting food color on my hands. You can use disposable gloves (no latex) to tint fondant as well.

Where to Find Fondant
Fondant can be bought or made at home. I usually buy my fondant. I will try and make a couple of recipes and test them. If all goes well, I will post them with comments in the near future.

Have fun working with fondant and visit us soon. Let us know how informational this blog was.

What is Fondant?

Fondant is a paste often used to embellish cakes. In its basic form, fondant is made of sugar and water. This paste is rolled and flattened then placed on top of a cake previously frosted in order for the fondant to "glue" itself to it. In other words, fondant is a thick chewy form of frosting.
Fondant cakes are most often used to embellish wedding cakes. However, it can be used to decorate any type of cake. Specially if you want to create 3 dimensional flowers, bows and ribbons.

Fondant can be bought or home made. Fondant prices are a little bit expensive, but worth it. Please see later posts for fondant recipes and tips. Check the Pictures category to the right for pictures of fondant cakes I have made recently.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

2008 San Diego's Cake Show PICTURES

The San diego Cake Club: "Confections on Parade" was so much fun. There were so many beautiful cakes on display. I got some captured in the picture video below. They are in no particular order as the categories are mixed. I'll let you decide who the winners were. I hope you enjoy the pictures.