The cake itself proved to be the bigger issue on this go-round. For some reason my go-to recipe decided to be a stinker. Bits of the cake stuck in the pan. The length of time to cook seems a bit off. I've tried following the directions from the cake recipe and the directions for the six-inch pans and had different results every time.
The fondant was much easier to work with. I used the bit of light blue I had left from the first attempt. It has been stored in the refrigerator all this time. When I dusted the counter with confectioner's sugar, I was very generous. I also rolled it out using the 3/16" guide rather than the 1/16" guide. I also pre-cut the circle of fondant to size before transferring it to the cake. Had the cake itself come out as nicely as it did on the first attempt, the final results would have been near perfect.
I did a little practicing with the decorative frosting. It's been quite some time since I last used a piping bag, so it was a bit messy. It didn't help much that I had my little 11-month old "helper" hanging off of me as I worked.
The end result looks decent and was a huge leap forward fro the first result. The taste was very good. The fondant was thin enough and good-tasting enough that you hardly noticed it... no greasy, plastic flavor. The flavor of the chocolate icing base underneath stood out more, which is more than I could have asked for.