The first is pretty simple, but life-changing for me when working with marshmallow fondant. I’ve had issues with it sticking to the worksurface when I’ve rolled it out. I use powdered sugar as do lots of people in the blog-o-sphere and youtube world. I’ve also “invested” in two sets of mats to roll it out on. But still, depending upon humidity and the fondant, I’ve still had a bit of sticking…and lots of frustration. Well, one day while walking down the baking section at the store, I saw cornstarch on the shelves. Now, I’ve read from some of the professional cake makers that I love, that they use cornstarch. So, I thought, hmmm, maybe they are smarter than I, I’ll try it!
I had a HALLELUJAH moment the first time I used it!!!!!!! I was like, “The people on youtube have NO idea what they’re talking about!” I was seriously sliding the fondant all over the countertop…not ONE bit of stickiness…I could roll it paper thin and NOTHING…NO STICKING! I guess that’s why the professionals get paid the big money! LOL! So, lesson #1 learned: NEVER use powdered sugar for rolling anything made of sugar out…use cornstarch! Don’t buy the silly mats either…you won’t need them once you use cornstarch!
The second lesson learned Meringue Powder does NOT equal egg whites! This is the silly mistake I made TWICE…I’m such a dunce!! The first time I made the amazing Swiss-Meringue Buttercream, I almost cried because I loved it so much and it’s so nice and stable for filling a cake! So, on the purse cakes I made, I thought I’d use the same recipe. Now, enter my CHEAP side! – I saw meringue powder at Michael’s, had a coupon and saw on the side, 2tsp powder + 2 Tbsp water = 1 egg white! – perfect…with coupon, it’s much cheaper than buying eggs and using just the egg whites! Plus, I’ve got it on hand for whenever I make it…no worries about having eggs around…cuz it takes a LOT of egg whites. Anyhoo, long story short, I get this amazing meringue in the blender and start adding the butter and it almost liquefies! I couldn’t figure out what I did differently except the egg whites were a bit warm, so I though, Okay, that melted the butter…let’s start over and do it again. The next time I made it, I made sure the egg whites where room temp and began adding the butter. SAME thing happened. I couldn’t get it to a frosting-like consistency! WHAT THE…
The only thing I changed was the powder. So, I called a pastry chef and asked her about it and she said meringue powder is NOT egg white…you need egg white powder. Meringue powder has starch and other stuff in it, so when you add the butter it chemically messes it up! Okay…lesson two learned: When a recipe calls for egg whites, don’t be cheap…use egg whites!
So, learn from me…and don’t make the same mistakes!! Happy baking!