so after a fast 3 hour session, here is my masterpiece. not the best i've ever seen (please disregard the tissue used to hold up the bow until it hardens), but i'm happy to say it isn't the worst i could have done! I definitely need a lot more practice and have a lot more to learn, but what surprised me the most was just how easy fondant is to work with. in fact, incredibly so. i'd even argue that if you wanted to really impress guests and you didn't feel overly confident, go with fondant. I wouldn't say you could master it perfectly in one go, but i think you would very much surprise yourself at how good you are, like we did!
here is the coles notes version for those of you who might want to give this a whirl. start by baking your cake of choice. once it has cooled, shave off any rough edges or bubbles on the top to make your working surface as nice as straight as possible. mix up a basic butter cream recipe (like this one) and apply a quick thin coating of buttercream all over the cake to create your crumb coat, which will hold your fondant in place. next make sure your work surface for fondant is super clean (no crumbs to get stuck). then take some icing sugar and dust your work surface. grab your premixed and coloured fondant (use a brand like Satin Ice) and gently roll it out making sure not to flip it over, or allow it to stick to your surface. because of the gum in fondant it will roll crazy easy so all you need to do is make sure it's big enough for your cake. next drape it over your cake and lightly pat it into place, watching out for finger or nail marks as you press, and cut off any excess. quickly using your your left over fondant before it dries, you can cut out shapes, or roll into braids, or molds etc and attach these decorations using small dabs of water.
now i'm jazzed to find a pipping class as our next challenge and i'm pretty certain it is going to knock us off our chairs!