I had the pleasure of making this “Seven Swans A Swimming” Christmas cake for a 12 Days of Christmas Cake collaboration. And, for this post, I’m going to show you how I made the fondant grass!!!! If you want to check out the original post where I talk about what this whole thing means, and how I came up with all the elements, and why there is a wand, and swans, and a book and more, click HERE.
Stay tuned for all the tutorials on this cake here on my site by subscribing on the side bar above. I’ll be releasing tutorials on how to do the swans, the tree and the book within the next week or so!
Onto the grass!!
I decided to add some Tylose powder to my marshmallow fondant in order to make a gumpaste type product instead of buying or making gumpaste. I had the fondant on hand, so it was easier to do it this way. I added about a teaspoon of Tylose to 1/2 pound of fondant. Next grab a golf ball size of “gumpaste” (or whatever your project requires) and create three shades of green then roll it out THIN…I went to the #4 on the pasta machine. I wanted to use three colors of green to make it look a bit more organic and not so flat. I love a little color variation!
After you roll it out, let the fondant/gumpaste sit for a bit so it’s not so stretchy. Marshmallow fondant with Tylose takes a bit to set up, so I let mine sit a good 30 min, but could have gone longer.
Start cutting 1/4″ long strips from the gumpaste. Then, cut strips into uneven, smaller strips so there is lots of size variation. I ended up taking a pair of scissors I use for fondant and cutting points in the tips of the grass. I tried doing it with the scalpel, but the fondant was a bit too stretchy. The scissors worked SO fast and was way easier!
Once I had all my strips cut out, I grabbed a cookie sheet and lined it with some wax paper and began laying each strip out slightly different. Some I curled slightly, some I placed on their sides and twisted, some I leaned up against the side of the pan. The more variation the better. Make sure you make a good amount of smaller ones…they hide the larger ones in the front. I actually ended up cutting down a few taller grasses because I needed more little ones as I was assembling.
Now, let your little grasses sit somewhere safe for 4-5 days so they get nice and hard!!
You also need to make the “stands” to attach the grasses!! I kept thinking, “how am I going to make them stand up!?” I knew they were not going up against a cake, but would be sticking out of the snow at the foot of the bank along the side and some would even be sticking straight up from the water and snow without anything to support them.
So, in the #1 picture below, you can see a dark green fondant ribbon in the upper left corner. I took my left over green “gumpaste” and created thick ribbons (#1 on the pasta machine), about 1″ high, and stood them up on end in various positions on my cake board where I wanted the grass to sit. I positioned them so they would stand on their own. Then, I let those dry 3-4 days. These little ribbons would give me something to “glue” my grass to and would follow the shape that I wanted the grass to have on the board. For the grass up in the back to the right of the tree, I actually had a ribbon circle and ended up sticking some grass in the center, then along the outside so it looked like a clump of grass!! It worked beautifully!!
So, in the picture above, you can see I had my grasses and my fondant ribbon ready to go and hardened (#1). I used some green melted chocolate as “glue” (#2) and began attaching my gumpaste grasses to the ribbon stand I made. I put some in the back, and along the sides. I layered them however it looked best. This actually took me a good amount of time because it was like a big puzzle. Not all the grasses wanted to work together due to the ways I had dried them. So, it was fun figuring it out!! Continue to add more and more grass onto the ribbon until the ribbon is covered and you like the look!!
Now, to attach your ribbons to the bank or the board, just use a little more melted chocolate and you’re good to go! I added the “snow” and poured the water after I had the grasses in place so they looked “buried” under the snow and water. The snow was poured royal icing that I dusted with corn starch and the water was piping gel I poured onto the board.
I hope that helps you for your next “grass” type cake project!!
Check out all my favorite tools HERE (including the scalpel I used for the grass)
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