So on Thursday I took my first cake decorating class. Practice makes perfect and I figured there’s a few things the teacher could show me that I may not be able to perfect by watching You Tube videos. The class was Wilton’s course 3: Gum paste and Fondant (yes I plan on taking 1 and 2 eventually), and it was awesome I learnt so much! With the course I purchased a a student kit that contained all of the tools I’ll need for the course, including…drum roll please…a ribbon cutter! One of our first tasks was to create a fondant bow. I’m sure everyone remembers my Christmas cake, but to refresh your memory:
So with this bow, I hand cut the bow loops with a knife and a ruler, and by following this tutorial I was able to create a fabulous present cake! The bow loops, once completely dry, were placed on a blob of buttercream at the point on the cake where I wanted the bow straps to meet. The Wilton class taught me how to create a bow with no buttercream, and by using a ribbon cutter which made things a lot easier. Also, another tip I got was to use a a roll and cut mat when working with the fondant or gum paste, and I found this was most helpful in preventing the fondant from sticking to my work surface. This was a pretty exciting revelation for me and i think it will make covering a cake in fondant a lot easier next time (and less of a mess!).
What you’ll need:
- a roll and cut mat
- a fondant roller
- a ribbon cutter set up for 1 inch cuts
- a gum paste and fondant mix (I did 6 oz fondant mixed with 6 ox gum paste, but I definiately had alot left over so you probably don’t need that much)
- vegetable shortening
- small brush
- 1/4 cup of water mixed with a small amount of gum paste (broken into pieces) – this is your glue.
- Wilton circle fondant cutters
Step one: Roll out your fondant and gum paste mix until approximately 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch thick, ensuring that it is equal on all sides. If it becomes sticky, while you’re kneading your fondant before rolling, apply a small amount of vegetable shortening to your hands and it will help.
Step two: Create your bow loop strips! On your ribbon cutter you will have the option of using straight, wavy, or zig zag cutters. I used wavy. Run your ribbon cutter over your rolled fondant, pressing firmly to ensure you cut all the way through (this can sometimes be difficult with thicker fondant)
Step three: For this bow, you will need 14 to 16 bow loops, each bow loop should be 1 inch wide (which your roller should take care of) and 5 inches long. You can cut them using an angled spatula.
Step four: Once you have your bow loop strips, add a small amount of your gum paste and water mix to one end of the strip using a small brush, and loop the strip to make the bow loop. Press the ends together firmly, and then cut the edges where you made the press using a angled spatula. Once this is done, place the bow loop on its side, and form them into bow loops. Try to curve them “up” slightly, they will be easier to place into a bow. Allow them to dry slightly, I left mine to sit for about an hour or so, but the thinner the bow loops the less time it takes.
Step five: Make your circles. The Wilton circle fondant cutters come in a pack of three. Make a circular fondant cutout of each of the three sizes.
Step six: Place the biggest circle down on a piece of waxed paper. Now you’re ready to start assembling the bow! Brush a small amount of the water and gum paste mixture on the bottom of the end of the bow loops, and press them to the circle. Because the edged of the bow loop have been cut off they will easily fit around the circle.
Step seven: Once the first row is done, place the medium circle over the edges of the bow loops, and start your second row. The bow should be place between the spaces of those in the first row.
Step eight: once the second row is complete place the smallest circle on the bow loop edges and complete your final row. Add in any extra bow loops where possible to fill in any gaps.
And voila! There’s your fondant bow! Of course you can do it in any colour, in any size, with any type of cutter attachments to make the bow different. The possibilities are endless! Happy decorating!