I took the Wilton I course a couple of months ago and it was a lot of fun so I decided it was time for a little more. I decided to check out the fondant and gum paste class. Fondant is the stuff they make a lot of wedding cakes out of and it is the stuff they use to make those perfect cakes on Ace of Cakes if you have ever seen that.
In the class you use rolled fondant and gum paste (or a mix of the two) for everything. Rolled Fondant is stiff and you can mold it or roll it out. Gum paste is the same but a little stronger and dries hard as a rock in a couple of days. The cake above is one that I made in the second week of class. It is a bit of a franken cake - it was more just to practice technique than to make a pretty cake. The blue covering for the cake is fondant and the embellishments are a 50/50 mix of fondant and gum paste. It is the gum paste that makes it stiff enough to let you do things like the draped sheet look in the above cake.
One thing the class makes you realize is that you would never want to make a cake like this. A lot of people don't really like fondant. It is not that it taste bad - it is mostly just sugar. It does have a stiff, chewy texture which I don't think is real pleasing on a cake.
A major reason I am taking these classes is because of my 22 month old son. I am going to be making a lot of birthday cakes in the future. I probably won't make any fondant covered cakes but I may be using some fondant/ gum paste to make little animals or people or whatever. Plus, I assume kids may not care that the texture is not great for frosting if it has enough sugar in it!
Watch next week for my final cake of this class.