I remember almost 10 years ago when I started my very first cake decorating class. Our teacher told us we could go and buy commercial fondant or we could go home and make our own with the recipe she provided. I was so over eager that I decided I was going to make my own, because somehow, the thought of buying it commercially felt like I was cheating... big mistake.
The fondant I made was all dry and rough and pretty much unusable. So I went out to the shop and bought some from a supermarket. It was better than the stuff I made, but it was still not so great. But I didn't know better and continued to use it for years. I didn't know it at the time but there is such a wide range of fondant quality on the market and it can make a big difference to the finished quality of your work.
Over the years because I travelled all over the world to teach, I have had a chance to use a wide range of different fondant brands and have learned to troubleshoot different issues. Most of the time, students struggled with fondant because of two main issues - it was either too humid (soft and sticky) or too dry (crumbly with no elasticity). And I understand that it can be so frustrating to encounter these issues when you have worked so hard to create a cake, only to have the fondant finish not be as flawless as you'd like it to be.
These issues are usually fixable if you understand how and why it happens. So I have put together a 2 part blog post to help you understand fondant better and how to fix issues of humidity or dryness. Read all about it below and please comment if you have any questions or additional tips. Or if you found it helpful, please share the blog posts with your cake friends :)
P.S. Buying commercially made fondant or using pre-mixes or anything that makes your life easier is not 'cheating'. Everyone has their own preference and choices so don't ever feel guilty about your choices!