mot du jour: fondant
Fondant gives cakes a smooth appearance. Although bakers can generally get buttercream pretty smooth, buttercream will never be quite as smooth or as white as fondant. Fondant is also brilliant for another, and often more important reason in Virginia — it protects the integrity of the cake in heat. Fondant is an absolute must if you’re having an outdoor wedding in Virginia and will display your cake during the months of June-September.*
Most people are put off by fondant because they’re worried about the taste or how it’s made. Fondant is a rolled sugar paste that covers cakes after they have been assembled with filling and icing. It is often made from confectioner’s sugar and a binding mixture of gelatin and glucose. It’s completely edible, but it can also be pulled away from the cake when it’s served if you’d prefer.
To see the way a cake is constructed, click over to this diagram.
*Any cake will have trouble standing up to a 90+ degree day, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your event. I’ve seen fondant covered cakes droop on 100 degree days. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and heat is in the forecast, cut your cake earlier in the evening.