For the final class of Fondant and Gum Paste we got to make whatever kind of cake we wanted. At that point it was only me and one other student so we got to get crazy with our cakes. We each brought in 2 two layered cakes so that we could make a two tiered cake. Since the class was four days before the fourth of July I baked the cake the day of class to ensure that it was as fresh as possible.
Well actually hubby helped me by baking the red layers the night before while I was off seeing the new Eclipse movie.
I ran into some problems before class. I was supposed to have my cakes covered in fondant before class and show up and hour early so that I could start cutting out my stars for my inlays. Although I did end up showing up to class and hour early, I didn't have my cake covered in fondant. I thought that it would be smart to make my own fondant made from marshmallows since store bought fondant smells a lot like play dough to me. The fondant was probably about the easiest thing that day for me. If you plan on making fondant skip the store and make your own.
My problems were that the icing was pulling my cake apart, the filling was gushing out of the sides and the fondant wouldn't stop sticking to the counter top. So I left the house and got to class so that I could work on it there with crisco. It worked and I got the fondant on the cake with no problem. Then we made the platform for our second tier and assembled it so that the top tier wouldn't squish the bottom tier. Once that was done it was time to start making my stars and then finished the cake off with my border. The border didn't turn out the way I imagined it but in the end it worked out. I even added my own border to it. I was trying to make this one border with icing but started making a waved border instead.
The best part about making this cake was not only was I finally done with the madness of taking all three courses of cake decorating in one month but I got to share this cake with my family! My mother, sister, niece and cousins were here to help dig into this beauty. I even brought the top tier over to my neighbor. Her mother (who is visiting) thanked me for it later and told me that I should make cakes for a living! :o) Now I would gladly pay triple for this cake. It certainly surpassed the $10 limit.
In case you wanted the fondant recipe that I used...
- 8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
- 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
- 2 tbsp water
- Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional
- Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
- Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth and free of lumps. If you want colored or flavored fondant, you can add several drops of food coloring or extracts at this point and stir until incorporated. If you want to create multiple colors or flavors from one batch of fondant, do not add the colors or flavors now. Instead, refer to step 6 below for instructions.
- Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.
- Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet--this is normal. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.
- Continue to knead the fondant until it smooths out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth--too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with. Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.
- If you want to add coloring or flavoring to your fondant, flatten it into a round disc. You might want to wear gloves to avoid getting food coloring on your hands during this step. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over on itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball.
- Begin to knead the ball of fondant just like you did before. As you work it, you will begin to see streaks of color coming through from the center. Continue to knead until the streaks are gone and the fondant is a uniform color. Your fondant is now ready to be used or stored as outlined above.