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Birthday Fun With Fondant

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Everyone's in the mood to sing "Happy Birthday"! In fact, birthdays are the celebration most frequently attended by Americans, and they rank second (after Christmas) as the most memorable celebration, according to the 2006 Celebration Report from Wilton Industries, Inc.

A birthday isn't complete without a cake - especially a decorated cake! For a fast and easy way to add panache to a cake, try fondant. The sweet confection can be molded, like modeling clay, or cut into just about any design imaginable. Pliable fondant can be rolled into a sheet large enough to cover an entire cake or it can be cut into shapes, like balloons or stars and used to decorate a cake.

Once reserved for professional cake decorators, packaged fondant is now widely available and can be used by anyone, even first-time cake decorators. It comes in a variety of colors, including neon, pastel, and natural hues.

Fondant also makes a fabulous finish. Use fondant to create unique borders that can easily turn an ordinary cake into a decorated delight. To make a ruffled border, slice a strip of fondant with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and gently pinch to make ruffles. Place the border flat or stand it on edge for a different look. Even the simplest fondant borders - hand-rolled balls or ropes - can enhance a frosted or plain cake.

Fondant makes a great medium for kids to decorate with too. Let your little ones roll or cut it. For even more fun, have kids paint or draw on fondant using edible brush-on color or color markers. Or try decorating frosted cupcakes or cookies with fondant as a fun party activity.

To make decorating with fondant easier, follow these tips:

Before decorating, make sure the cake has a sturdy and attractive base such as a cake board covered with foil. Turn the cake onto the board after it has cooled.

If fondant feels a little sticky, knead in a small amount of confectioners' sugar. Lightly dust work surface and rolling pin with confectioners' sugar to prevent sticking.

When covering a cake in a layer of fondant, frost the cake first with a light layer of buttercream icing. Icing seals in moisture and helps fondant stick to the cake.

Visit www.wilton.com for instructions, to purchase fondant and tools or to order a copy of "Celebrate! With Fondant," a full-color book filled with decorating ideas and instructions. For more tips and great project ideas, visit www.bakedecoratecelebrate.com.

SOURCE: Wilton Enterprises, Inc.


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