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Rolling out Fondant: Corn Starch vs. Powdered Sugar

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm still a novice with fondant, and I'd like to know why it always says to use corn starch when rolling out fondant instead of powdered sugar. You use powdered sugar when you make it, so I would think that would be the one to use. I've tried both ways with MMF, and the corn starch made the fondant trimmings unreworkable. I didn't have a problem with the powdered sugar. Is it just regular fondant that you're suppose to use corn starch with? Did I use too much?
"We never make mistakes, we only have happy accidents." And every tree has a friend.
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"We never make mistakes, we only have happy accidents." And every tree has a friend.
-Bob Ross
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post #2 of 23
I use neither - I prefer applying shortening to the rolling surface, if I use my board.

If I am rolling larger pieces, and use my board, I use my sheets of vinyl.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 23
I agree with playingwithsugar. Shortening is a much better choice. No powdery surface. If you use some kind of rollng mat, even better.
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Cake. So many flavors, so little time.
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post #4 of 23
I had a lot of trouble with my mmf when I used cornstarch. I've tried powdered sugar, and it works well, but I also prefer shortening. icon_smile.gif
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Proud Navy Veteran, Proud Navy Wife!

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post #5 of 23
Shortening here too! No drying out and MUCH less cracking! Don't need to worry about thow to wipe off the white stuff too!
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post #6 of 23
Right, JoannB!

It works very well for me, and I think that all newbies to rolled fondant should use shortening, too.

I have arthritis, and I can't do things too quickly on a lot of days. If I try rolling out fondant with PS or CS, it ends up drying out on the ends because I can't work with it fast enough.

Newbies won't exactly be speedy when working with it the first few times, so I highly recommend that anyone just learning how to work with any paste (fondants, gumpaste, pastillage) should start out using shortening to grease their surface and rolling pin, at least until they become more proficient with it.

When rolling large sheets of fondant to cover a cake, I use vinyl sheets, which has been so highly recommended here on CC. It protects the fondant from air drying it out, and it is clear, so it is easier to see what you are doing when positioning the fondant on the cake than if you use a silicone mat.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 23
I'm in the powdered sugar camp. icon_smile.gif I think cornstarch may be used because it's supposed to brush off easier and doesn't add any extra sweetness to the fondant, but I use a Silpat to roll out my fondant, and I use a little bit of powdered sugar to roll it out with.

Too much shortening will break down your fondant, and I don't want it to get too shiny, so I prefer the powdered sugar. I've never had a problem.

Angie
post #8 of 23
I had heard about the vinyl sheets before and went and bought some, but I am still strying to work out how to stop it from sticking to itself, and how to get the fold creases out. Any suggestions?
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post #9 of 23
I finished a class not to long ago with a lady that was a founding member of ICES. I don't know if that makes her an expert but this is what we were told. First you should make a pouf with both ps and cs. To make your pouf all you have to do is get a new pair of white knee highs (Walmart has them in a clear little thing for under a dollar), then fill the foot part with either the ps or the cs and then wrap a rubber band to close off the hose then take and roll it like some people do with socks.

If you are rolling out fondant to make decorations for your cake you would dust your surface with your corn starch pouf. It only takes a little.

If you are rolling our fondant to cover your cake you should use your pouf with the powder sugar.

The reason you don't use corn starch for this is that cs has wheat products in it and can after a while produce a bacteria that could affect your cake. (this is what we were told I am not a science expert I just took it that she knew what she was talking about). The reason you don't always use ps is that it dries your fondant more than the cs. Of course if your fondant needs it you can always add some shortning to it.

I don't know all there is to know about this I just am repeating what I was told. I hope it helps some.

Melissa
Grandma's are Mommys with lots of frosting....
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Grandma's are Mommys with lots of frosting....
My two grandkids Lily and Thomas are the sparkle in my eye!
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post #10 of 23
Where do you get the vinyl sheets and when rolling out big circles of fondant, for larger cakes, where do you roll it? The counter isn't big enough I would think.
I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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post #11 of 23
Shortening & occassionally powdered sugar for me. I love the silpat mat, it makes a world of difference too icon_smile.gif
post #12 of 23
When I bought mine, I specifically told them not to fold it, for that very reason - creases. It took her longer, which I am sure she wasn't happy about, but I insisted that it be rolled up instead.

I kept the paper that was in between the vinyl at the store, and replace it when the vinyl is not in use.

Also, if you go to a fabric store instead of Wal-Mart, they should be able to provide you with a cardboard tube that is long enough to roll it back up on.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 23
so is there a specific kind of vinyl or do you just go to the fabric store and say hey I need a yard of vinyl?
I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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post #14 of 23
The paper in between the vinyl is color coded, so you have to ask which is which at the store.

The first time I bought vinyl, I went to Joann Fabrics, and got the softer stuff. Big mistake - I ended up washing it and using it on the windows that winter.

Next I bought it at Wal-Mart, and asked which was the heaviest gauge they had (they sell 4 different types). I bought the stiffest they had, which was the pink papered one. It's a little bit more stiffer to handle, but in the long run, it worked better for me than the lighter gauge vinyl.

It's not very expensive, so to experiment with the different thicknesses until you find which one works for you is not going to break the bank account.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 23
Cool, Thanks! I will check it out! I really appreciate the help!
I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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I don't need to know'd where I 'm goin', just need to know where I been! ~'Mater~
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