This was the second cake in the Wilton fondant decorating classes. This was a very easy cake to make, even though fondant and I were in the beginning stages of our relationship and I was still a bit nervous. For this cake, the class had to make that tie looking thing with the cut-outs, make the drape, and cover the cake board in fondant. The pumpkins were something I made to cover the top of the drape. You can make whatever little doo-dad you like to go there.
I covered the cake board a few days ahead of time so it would have time to dry and harden. Since I’d be working on top of it later – placing the cake and arranging the drape – I wanted it to be as firm as possible. Covering a board isn’t hard work, it’s just sticky! I use piping gel to attach the fondant to the board. The gel will be all around the side edge of the board and will later get covered by fondant. No problem there. But if you get some of the gel on the bottom of the board you’ll have a mess. The gel never dries completely so the board will stick to anything you set it on. It’s not a permanent sticking thing, just enough to be annoying and make everything you sit it on sticky.
To cover a board, prepare your fondant by kneading it until it’s soft and pliable. If you’re coloring it, add the color gel while you’re kneading. Once your fondant is workable, roll it out to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch or so. You also want to roll it about 2 inches larger than your board. Put a small dot of piping gel in the center of the board then lift the fondant and drape it over the board. Smooth it out to the edges and then down the side. Gently lift the fondant away from the side, add a light coating of piping gel around the side and then press the fondant back onto it. Trim the excess fondant away from the bottom of the board. Smooth the edge down and under a bit to cover everything. Set it aside to firm up. Now would be a good time to make the pumpkins or whatever you chose so they can dry and harden.
Now it’s time to bake, frost, and cover your cake. You can read about my techniques here. Put your cake in the middle of the covered cake board. Even though you’ll be working with the fondant covered cake board, make your cake on a separate board. That way you don’t have to worry about keeping the covered board clean. Once your cake is covered, you can add a dot of piping gel to the covered board to hold the board with the cake and keep it from sliding around.
To make the drape and the tie thing, roll out your colored fondant to an even thickness, about 1/8th inch or so. Decide where you want the front corner of the drape and measure from that point on the cake down to the covered board. Add 1/2 inch to one edge and cut a fondant square to that size. Fold that extra 1/2 inch under the bottom of your drape. Loosely gather the top of the fondant and place it on the cake. Now just lift and fold and wrinkle and gather the fondant until the drape falls the way you like it. Use a dab of vanilla extract to tack the fondant to the cake in a few spots to keep it in place.
Going back to the front corner of the drape, measure where the tie will go across the top and down the side. Cut out a triangle that reaches the edge of the cake and trim it back in for the bit that hangs over the side. Trim the edges and cut out some shapes on the bottom to add interest. Use the vanilla extract again to attach it to the cake. Lay your pumpkins over the top of the drape, attaching them with the extract. Take lots of pictures then grab a knife and fork and dig in.