Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Fondant Zebra Striped Cake- Tatted Mom Style

Disclaimer: Please note, the pictures you are about to see are real; the mess is real, the pajamas are real, the wine is real, the tattoos are real, the cake is real. Please also note that this was my first attempt at using fondant icing. I do not claim to be a professional cake maker, and if the cake looks amateurish, that's because it is. But I had a great idea or two, that I wanted to pass on to those who may be able to execute the cake with more precision. Please also note, the cake tasted freaking amazing.

For The Girl's 10th birthday this year, I decided to try my hand at fondant icing. The result wasn't disastrous, but wasn't made for Cake Boss, either. We started the cake making at 11:30 at night, ended at 1:30 in the morning.

Yeah, it was a hell of a night.

Below is the step by step tutorial of a chocolate fondant zebra striped cake- Tatted Mom style, of course.

1. Gather your ingredients: 

Cake mix, boxed fondant icing, zebra sugar sheets,
 exacto knife, etc, and wine- for the baker, of course.
My daughter wanted chocolate cake with chocolate icing, and when we saw the zebra striped sugar sheets, we had to go for it. Note the most important ingredient for baking at 11:30 at night- red moscato wine. Helped me through.

2. Make cake according to directions, and here's the most important step: Lick the whisk. Don't
act like you don't do it... And you can't skip it, either. It's what gives momma cakes that amazing flavor.
Wine and cake batter break.

3. Give the cake a crumb coating. This, of course, is after baking it, letting it cool, and stacking it (I did two 9" round pans), with icing in the middle of the two layers. And y'all know the terms 'crumb coat' came from the Food Network- I didn't know that phrase otherwise. It's a very thin layer of regular icing to seal in any crumbs and give a smooth surface for the fondant.

Crumb coating on the cake- yeah, learned that on Food Network.
4. Knead the fondant icing. This stuff was stiff as sh*t, and I'll admit now I had to take a few wine breaks through this process. But, you need it to be the consistency of play dough.
Put your boobs into the kneading; it helps.
5. Roll out the fondant icing. Again, putting your boobs into it helps, which is probably why my sister did most of the rolling (she was blessed in that department, I wasn't). We had to have it 17" in diameter according to the wonderful mathematical equation given in the fondant instructions. As you'll see in the next picture, apparently our math at midnight, after wine, was a little off...
Rolling out 17"... a little too much, if you ask me...
6. Place fondant on cake. I tried what I saw on all of those baking shows, of rolling the fondant on the rolling pin and unrolling it onto the cake. Much to my surprise, it worked. I didn't exactly get it centered (thanks, moscato), and as stated in step #5, math at midnight isn't perfect, because we rolled too much. That is a spatula you see, smoothing the fondant out, because my cheap ass refused to spend $5 on a 'fondant smoother'. A spatula worked just fine. And don't forget to trim the excess around the bottom of the cake with an exacto knife.

Little lopsided due to it being after midnight, but all's good.
7. Unique supplies for the sugar sheets. Instead of spending the $18 on the special border cutter they have hanging with the sugar sheets, I bought a $5 pack of fancy border cutting scissors. And yes, they worked beautifully.
Save some money, and the scissors can be used for so many things!
8. Cut decorative border and shapes out of sugar sheets. Here's a tip: remove the plastic sheet on the back of the sugar sheet first. Yes, the decorative scissors will cut through it, but it pulls at the sugar sheets. When you remove the plastic backing, it cuts smoothly.

Cutting decorative trim with border scissors.
We also used the exacto knife to cut stars out of the sugar sheets.
Using exacto knife to cut shapes out of sugar sheets.
9. Adhere sugar sheet cut outs to fondant cake with water and paint brush. Use water sparingly, and I found it helpful to wet the fondant, stick the sugar sheet, and then smooth the edges down as we went. 

Notice, too, the tongue sticking out of my mouth in the first picture. This is necessary for concentration.
"Painting" the zebra border onto the cake.
"Painting" on the stars.
10. Use decorative icing to create designs and add those special details. Again, I am no cake decorator, so I improvised some piping around the bottom edge (to hide the wonky lines from cutting the fondant and how the zebra trim is crooked in places), and around some of the stars, then just squeezed some dots here and there for filler. Added the writing to to the top (in crooked lettering, by the way), and bam!
Decorative piping around edges.

Wonky ass lettering.
A completed chocolate fondant zebra striped cake- Tatted Mom style!

I blurred out my daughter's name; that's not a problem with the cake or picture.

Again, blurred out my daughter's name.
So there you have it! My first attempt at using fondant icing, and probably my last. It was tiring. But, it was fun, and I got some great feedback on it when family came over that night for cake and presents. And the birthday girl? All she could say was, 'Cool.'

I rendered the 10 year old speechless. I'd say that's a success.

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  1. You know, Ive seen those sugar sheets in my local hobby stores, and Ive always been curious about them but never tried them out. I think I might try them at the next birthday we celebrate!


  2. omg! U had me cracking up!! So I tried those sugar sheets they wouldnt stick for noting and it looked cheap :( and yes I feel you on using the spatula, instead of those fancy expensive tools heheh I would actually subcribe to your blog bc of your sense of humor!!!

    1. It took some time to get the sugar sheets right, but I tell you what- I won't use them again, lol.

      Glad you subscribed and like my writing style! =)