Fondant Partaaay

by janet on September 27th, 2007

Did I tell you that I’m making Shimi’s wedding cake? I’m impressed that she is trusting enough to let me make her wedding cake when I have never before made one, but she’s pretty laid back about stuff so I guess it makes sense.

I’m psyched! The plan is to practice making one per month (although, in light of circumstances to be described in future posts, this might not be possible).

But FIRST! As an Asian my first instinct is to get EDUCATED! So Tinx, Simon, and I went to a fondant class at a to-be-UNnamed location. (Reasons later).

We walked into class and our teacher came in – a rather out-of-it Caribbean-type woman I’ll call Esmerelda who told us her entire life history (she has a degree in bio but now she works as a cake decorating teacher, and also does cakes at a cake department at a grocery store). She had a habit of saying, “you know?” after every sentence, even when it didn’t make sense. Like, “So I teach in North Hollywood, too, though this is my main location, you know?”

We did not realize that the class we signed up for was actually the first in a series. So the first thing she said is, “Today we are not going to work with the fondant, I’ll just show you the tools you’ll need to buy for next week, you know?” WTF? I didn’t even need to make eye contact with Tinx and Simon to know they were thinking the same thing.

Once she finished telling us what we needed, she was like, “Weeeelllll, maybe I can show you just how to cover a cake with fondant since you don’t know how you know?” I yelled, “YEAH!” and she went to get a foam round to cover, and opened a fresh package of fondant.

Fondant. It is sooooo smooth, like soft and squishy…paper? I just wanted to make a pillow out of it and rub it against my cheek. Esmerelda showed us how to knead it and roll it out, and went “ooooooh” and told Simon that he was very strong you know? when he kneaded it.

I was expecting to learn some sort of extremely tricky technique to get the fondant onto the cake. Instead, she picked up the sheet and flipped it very ungracefully over onto the cake and kind of shifted it around. The End.

Shit, man. Fondant is easy. If even Esmerelda the Clumsytron could do it and make a living from it, I certainly could bang out a gorgeous cake for Shimi.

I doubted that my compatriots would want to come to 3 more classes like this, so I decided to get the most out of this class. Shimi and I had agreed on a white fondant cake with satin ribbon at the bottom with fresh flowers. Sort of like this cake that I found in a gift shop window:

GORGEOUS. But Shimi’s cake will not be as flower-flowery (Shimi wants orchids).

So, beyond covering the cake with fondant, I only needed a little more information…

“Esmerelda,” I said casually, “I’ve seen fondant cakes with ribbon on the bottom. Do they use royal icing to stick the ribbon to the cake? Or…yeah. How do they do it?”

“OH, is easy, you go like this, you know?” she said, doing some poke-pokes with scissors, and pressing ribbon sections into the cake to anchor it.

“Interesting,” I said.

“So… how long does a cake last? Like if the wedding is on a Saturday, when do you make it?”

“OH, you know, if you put like dried fruits and rum in it it will last a while, but you know, like three days or so, you know.”

Excellent.

For the rest of the class we just fucked around, making patterns out of the kit and learning how to do uber-cute things like polka dots and flowers. It was tons of fun. Tinx went OCD and spent most of her time smoothing the fondant. Simon made flowers that I thought were way cuter than Esmerelda’s “pro” flowers. I enjoyed poking holes out of the fondant and filling it with blue fondant. The end result was quite insane-looking:

Simon’s flowers are the two on top. Teacher’s is on the toothpick. You see what I mean?

We went home and decided to do some fondant homework. We didn’t have cake, so Tinx and Simon covered candles, while I used a band-aid box. We also didn’t have quite enough fondant to cover everything and it was a little too dried out, but we were having fun. Behold, our creations:

Mine. Like Hung from Top Chef, I was finished in like 3 minutes and spent the rest of the time watching the others.

Tinx’s. It was sort of a disaster, and it really didn’t help when she dumped a shitload of confectioner’s sugar on top to cover up her attempt to ice “Happy Birthday.” LOL. Soon after this photo was taken, I made matters worse by smashing my elbow into it and smearing the red icing everywhere. It now looks like bloody death cake (yes, weeks later, they are still on our dining room table).

Simon is good at everything (poo his face), from Facebook graffiti to programming php to doing complicated taxes to Scrabble to, I discovered, cake decorating. While Tinx and I were messing around, he was quietly working on this cute cake above, pissing me and Tinx off for unexpectedly setting the bar so high. This photo isn’t even the finished product – he finished by doing a chic braided rope of fondant around the base of the cake. ASS.

I’m just jealous. But I’m lucky to have these two on my side for when I do Shimi’s real cake next August. Now, I just have to avoid Esmerelda’s increasingly pissy voicemails asking me where I am every week. She’s waaay too out of it to read blogs (or even know what a blog is), but I’m not naming the place where we went to, just in case.

Cake makers are really running a racket. The fondant costs like 30 bux. Esmerelda told us not to accept less than $1000 for a fondant cake. So that’s like a $900 profit with all the materials. Holy! Cash. Money.

6 Responses to “Fondant Partaaay”

  1. David says:

    Why aren’t there pictures of Simon’s finished product?

  2. tinks says:

    the blue flower is mine! it’s the only pretty thing i made, gotta give myself some credit. but she didn’t call this week, thank god.

  3. janet says:

    David: Well, the most excellent photo was this one, and CM only offers excellence, so… But you can see it in person – it’s still on our dining room table.

    Tinx: Oh, yeah. And…sorry I fucked up your “cake.”

  4. simon says:

    WOOOOOOT. i am the best.

  5. [...] But that means PRACTICE! If you recall, I already took a lesson and practiced a little. Well over the holidays I (along with my dream team of Simon, Finni, and Tinx) had another fondant partaaay and this is what we made. [...]

  6. [...] that means PRACTICE! If you recall, I already took a lesson and practiced a little. Well over the holidays I (along with my dream team of Simon, Finni, and [...]

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