There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Fondant is an indispensable tool in baking and pastry. It provides cakes with a crisp and clean surface and provides stability on which to add tiers. Fondant is, however, a bit temperamental when it comes to creating sharp corners, particularly on a square-tiered cake. Think of placing a layer of fondant on a square cake like placing a blanket on a bed. It will naturally crease, and you must take a few extra steps to remove the wrinkles. Creating sharp edges on a square-tiered cake with fondant is possible with the proper tools and a firm, yet pliable, batch of fondant.
Roll out the fondant to 3/4-inch thickness and 2 inches longer and wider than the size of the tiers, including the sides. Roll the fondant out as close as possible to a square shape.
Elevate each tier on a stable platform, such as a coffee can. The goal is to lift the cake enough so the fondant drapes over the sides of the cake and hangs suspended above the work surface.
Apply a thin layer of buttercream to the top and sides of each cake tier with a palette knife.
Lightly moisten your hands with water and cup them over each corner one at a time. Gently press each corner to the cake, making the corners as sharp as possible.
Position the palette knife, clean of buttercream, on the side of each corner and press in slightly. Repeat on all corners. This removes the slight depressions left by your hands when pressing the fondant in place and sharpens the edges.
Grasp the fondant that hangs from the sides and gently lift it up and out. This removes any creases that commonly occur when covering a square cake with fondant.
Rim the fondant that hangs over the sides of the cake. Repeat on the other tiers and assemble the cake.
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