April 14, 2010

Fancy Nancy Party Part 1 - Marshmallow fondant

So, the countdown is on.. Aria's fourth birthday will be upon us in a matter of only 4 sleeps!  And the big party in only 3 sleeps!  Foolish me, I took both kids shopping with me today to pick up some groceries and some last minute items for the party.  I came home with a splitting headache that only went away after I got the kids in bed this evening.  But, I did accomplish my goal for the evening: to make up a batch of marshmallow fondant to decorate the cake.  I used this recipe last year on a Dora cake, and everyone loved the fondant-look, but enjoyed the taste of it so much more than a conventional fondant.  I must admit, I am inspired by such shows as "Ace of Cakes" and "Cake Boss".  So we're doing a much more grown-up looking cake this year, but one that will be exquisite (that's an even fancier word than beautiful) and posh (that's a fancy word for fancy)!  Oo la la!
(Aria's 3rd Birthday Cake... my first fondant attempt)

Marshmallow Fondant
1 package (400 g) of mini marshmallows
4 Tbsp water
1 tsp flavor - I used imitation coconut because I couldn't find a clear version of vanilla, and I like to use just white fondant and I thought that dark vanilla would make it kind of beige.
1 bag (1kg) of icing sugar
1/4 c crisco (works much better than butter for this)
1. Place crisco in a bowl to the side for easy access
2. Place marshmallows in a bowl and microwave on high for one minute to start melting.
3. Add water and flavor to hot marshmallows and stir.  Slowly beat in icing sugar, one cup at a time.  Keep one cup of sugar for kneading.  ***This is VERY sticky***
4. Rub hands and work surface liberally with crisco.  Knead "dough" until smooth and slightly less sticky, using reserved one cup of sugar to dust work surface and "dough".  ***I snickered at these directions I found, because as if marshmallows and icing sugar aren't ever going to be sticky!***
5. I added the color at this point, because I wanted to have several different colors.  I divided the dough into portions relative to the amount per color I thought I would need, and then mixed in the color.
6. Spread some crisco on a piece of plastic wrap.  Wrap plastic around the fondant, and then cut another piece of plastic, and double wrap the fondant.  This ensures that the fondant won't dry out.  Then, stick it in the fridge.  I've read that you can store the fondant this way up to two weeks.  That's planning REALLY far ahead in my mind, or maybe its a way to save leftovers for use on something else later.

When you go to use the fondant, grease up the work surface and your hands and rolling pin first.  Then use CORN STARCH to dust the surface.  It makes the whole rolling it out step WAY less frustrating.  I had a friend suggest rolling the fondant onto wax paper, so that you can just flip the rolled out fondant onto the cake and peel away the paper rather than carrying the fondant, and hoping it doesn't tear.  Use a little bit of water if your fondant does tear on the cake, for minor repairs.

I'll post pics of the cake later, after the party's done!  Enjoy!

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