Saturday, January 3, 2009

Marshmallow Fondant

The last several wedding cakes I have done have been iced with fondant. I used to shy away from using fondant at all costs until I found a recipe on the Internet for marshmallow fondant. It is basically melted marshmallows and powdered sugar. I will leave the exact recipe later on this post. I love the way my cakes look when I use the marshmallow fondant. I used to smooth my buttercream icing to resemble fondant, since I wouldn't work with traditional fondant because I thought it tasted nasty and was very difficult to work with. I must say I did a pretty good job of smoothing it, but you could always tell that it didn't have that very smooth porcelain finish that fondant cakes do. Not only does the marshmallow fondant taste better, but it is more pliable and easier to work with, and it costs less than the traditional fondant. There is a lot of work involved in decorating a cake with fondant, and it still always takes me longer than I anticipate; therefore, the cost is higher, but is usually well worth the money. When a cake is iced in marshmallow fondant, you must first ice the cake in a layer of buttercream. This not only gives the fondant something to adhere to, but it makes that smooth finish on top. An added benefit is that if your guests still don't like the taste of the fondant, they can peel it off, and still have the buttercream underneath. Below is a picture of the cake that I did yesterday for Melissa Atkinson's wedding reception. The design and decorations were simple, but I thought the colors were striking, making for a beautiful finished product. The cake flavors were fudge marble with chocolate mousse, chocolate with chocolate mousse, and yellow with raspberry mousse.


Recipe for Mashmallow Fondant:

(1) 16 oz. package Kraft miniature marshmallows (it is best to use a quality brand)

3 Tablespoons water

Flavoring

2 lb. C&H powdered sugar ( I always use C&H)

Crisco

Cornstarch

In a large bowl, melt the marshmallows with the water in the microwave, stirring after each 30 seconds. This should take approx. 2 minutes total. Stir until completely smooth. Add whatever flavor you want to compliment your cake. I most often just use my butter vanilla flavoring. Also, at this point you can add coloring or chocolate, if desired. The mixture will be pretty runny. Add about 3/4 of the sugar and mix with a large spoon until incorporated; then add the remainder of the sugar and stir and knead with the spoon until you can't anymore. (If your sugar is lumpy, you will need to sift it before adding it to the marshmallow mixture.) Pour mixture onto a clean work surface greased generously with Crisco. Also, make sure your hands are greased well to prevent the fondant from sticking to them. Knead the fondant dough until all sugar is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes. Use more Crisco as needed. When finished, store in airtight container or Ziplock bag until ready to roll out.

When you are ready to roll out the fondant, smooth out a generous amount of cornstarch onto your surface and your rolling pin. I use a piece of clear vinyl sheeting that I purchased from the fabric dept. and Wilton's large white fondant rolling pin. Even though I don't always use Wilton products, I find that this rolling pin works the best. Roll out about 1/8 inch thick, a little larger than your desired size. Roll back onto the rolling pin and then, starting at one edge of your cake, carefully unroll the fondant onto the cake, just as you would if you were putting pie crust on top of a pie. Do not fold the fondant. Make sure your cake is completely cool and covered with a generous layer of buttercream frosting prior to putting the fondant on the cake. Now, shape and smooth the fondant onto the cake with your hands. Dust any excess cornstarch off of the cake with a finely bristled brush. Once you are satisfied with your results, cut the excess fondant away from the bottom with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

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