Maaarvelous!!! Chef Dominic and the team at Marvelous Molds have been turning out amazing molds and mold making kits since before I started decorating cakes. Not too long ago, they released a new series of onlays. I watched ALL the videos, looked at all the styles and although they seemed amazing…I must say I was pretty skeptical. It cannot be that simple to make a beautiful damask or chevron cake. I mean just watch the 2 minute video http://www.marvelousmolds.com/onlays. Could it really be that easy?
So for Christmas, I was the lucky recipient of the small chevron onlay. I just couldn’t wait to try it and was lucky enough to get to use it on a cake this month.
Chevron is crazy trendy right now and terrifying to most cake decorators. Chevron is a graphic look that demands clean edges and straight lines. There are cookie cutters and cutting machines but once you get the rows cut out, trying to get them lined up on the cake is an entirely different matter. It also doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a nut job when it comes to things lining up straight so this was not a design I wanted to do free hand.
As far as a review goes, I can’t say enough about how great it was to work with onlay. So now on to the point of the post. My tips and tricks for using the onlays. There is a great 40 minute masters class video for using the onlays.
I highly recommend you watch it a couple of times before you attack your cake.
I followed the instructional video but now that I’ve completed my first cake here are a few of my personal recommendations. Please remember I have only done a cake using the chevron onlay so you may have different experiences with different designs. I’m looking forward to adding more onlays to my collection over time.
8 inch round cake
Iced in buttercream
Small Chevron Onlay
Tip 1: The instructional video suggests rolling out the fondant to a #2 on the KitchenAid KPSA Stand-Mixer Pasta-Roller Attachment. I did this and felt the fondant was a bit thicker than it should have been. Next time I’ll roll it out to a #3
Tip 2: Place the buttercream cake in the freezer while you prepare each application of the onlay. So cake in the freezer, prep onlay, pull cake out of freezer, apply onlay, cake back in freezer. Repeat until completed.
Tip 3: After you press the fondant into the mat, Chef Dominic suggests rolling over the fondant with a small rolling pin. In my case, this kept causing the fondant to shift in the mold. I found rubbing the fondant over the blades of the onlay with a bit of shortening made a very clean cut. I am interested to see if the rolling pin will work better when I roll the fondant out to a #3.
Tip 4: For this cake, I wanted the top chevron to line up with the top of the cake. So instead of lining up the bottom (straight edge) of the onlay with the bottom of the cake, I flipped the onlay over and placed the pointed edge along the bottom of the cake so the pink chevron would now be the top. I was worried that it wouldn’t stay straight using it upside down but it worked perfectly.
Tip 5: After applying the onlays to my cake, there was still a gap between the first and last onlay. Do NOT panic! Even though I used an even sized cake, I attribute the gap to the fact that I use a thick layer of buttercream on my cakes. That said, this is the point where most people say “Don’t worry every cake has a back.” I actually did the opposite and made the area with the gap the front of my cake and filled the gap with coordinating buttons. This gave a little more interest to the bottom tier. You can of course put the gap to the back but take advantage of the opportunity to add some fun accents like buttons, bows or ribbons to the cake.
Tip 6: I did not apply the corn syrup glue onto all of the fondant and then remove every the opposite pattern. I just used a small brush painted the corn syrup mixture onto each panel that was going on the cake.
Tip 7: This is more an idea than a tip. For the rainbow chevron, it was very time consuming to do one color per chevron and I worried about the other ones drying out as I added each color. Next time I will do the entire onlay in a single color, remove them and place them under plastic. Then add them back in a rainbow fashion to the onlay and apply it to the cake. Since you add a bit of tylose to the fondant it holds its shape well so I don’t see this being a problem.
If you were skeptical like me, I hope the review and tips encourage you to try the onlays.
I would love to hear from others who have used the onlays, so feel free to add your own tips and tricks in the comments.