little Bo Peep cupcake with steamed fondant finish
Been watching 'Cake Boss'? Always wanted to try steaming your fondant but worried your flowers will droop, your bows flop and your bits fall off? It's easier than you think, trays of fondanted cupcakes to your giant tiered creation literally take seconds to steam to that shiny finish you have always desired.
A quick look at steaming today...
my portable steamer for cakes... and my clothes when the fibromyalgia prevents me from ironing!
Firstly, the steamer unit; we are talking "clothing steamers" here, the type you would use to get the wrinkles out of a business shirt or your work jacket. Clothes steamers are either freestanding (like the ones Buddy uses on Cake Boss) or portable like the one I use.
I use a small portable steamer unit.
Make sure your steamer head is clear from any blockage.
All the steamers work in pretty much the same way; you put water in the tank and turn it on. Make sure your hose isn't tangled and your steamer head is clear from any blockage and you are ready to steam!! You will know it's ready to use when you see steam coming from the head.
Steam: Not standing too close to your cake and using light sweeping movements, (similar to if you are spraying painting) move your steamer head over your fondanted cake. This only take seconds. You will now have a shiny cake.
You don't want to melt your cake so don't linger on any one spot with the steamer... light sweeping movements only. As you can see on the quick demo cupcake I made, even the finest modelling paste pieces like the bow and crook won't collapse and your lashes/eyes and bit and bobs won't fall off when light steaming has taken place.
Avoid any risk of water spotting by making sure your hose is not kinked, a kinked hose will lead to a build up of steam and water droplets that will stain your cake. Ditto with the steaming head; blockages lead to water droplets.
Practice!! Practice steaming on dummy fondanted cupcakes/cake if it's your first time, it's the best way to get to know your particular steamer and will save you any heartbreak down the track.
Colors intensify/change with steaming. If you are matching a clients fabric sample for example you will need to check the steamed colour change.
I've used the cute little boiled lollies on the demo Little Bo Peep Cupcake today to remind you of what the surface of your steamed cake will feel like after steaming; a little bit sticky/tacky. Your cake will fingerprint easily, dust etc will attach to the surface, something to keep in mind if you will be transporting your cake.
Isomalt gems, sugar work, boiled lollies and candies are not meant to be steamed, but if your steaming at the venue, the cake is about to be devoured then of course you can steam.
That about covers it, steamed fondant finishes can look fabulous whether it's shiny, shiny, primary colours or a gentle sheen on ivory.
Have fun and happy steaming :)