This’ll be the first part in a several part series, documenting mu journey to make, bake & decorate two cakes for a birthday party. These are a trial run for a wedding cake I’m making later in the fall.
We’ve all seen beautiful cakes, whether in bakeries, at events, or on one of the many cake-inspired TV shows on right now. The one thing that the majority of these cakes have in common? Fondant. That sickly-sweet, nearly-inedible sugar paste that makes things look smooth and perfect. Anyone who has watched Ace of Cakes for more than about 5 minutes sees how potentially difficult working with fondant can be. But of course, because I can’t say no, and because I’m overly ambitious, I’m making a three-tiered, fondant-covered monstrosity of a wedding cake for a family member.
Now, I’m not completely ridiculous. I knew I couldn’t just dive right in and make a wedding cake on the first shot. I’ve worked with fondant before, but only as decoration; never to fully cover a cake. So when we were in need of birthday cakes for a family event this weekend, I jumped at the chance to practice.
Any normal first-timer would run to the store, buy the biggest tub of Wilton pre-made fondant possible, and get to work. But that massive tub cost a FORTUNE, And I’m super cheap (because I spend all of my money on this stupid infertility thing. And chocolate). Enter the Wilton website, which not only sells all variety of cake decorating supplies, but also provides the recipes for everything!
Yep, you got it. I made my own fondant. Wanna see?
These are the small sections of fondant that I coloured for decorating purposes. The rest (about 4x this amount) was white.
Isn’t it fun? Here’s the recipe:
1 bag (16oz) mini marshmallows
2 tbsp water
1 bag (1 kg) icing sugar
icing colours, if desired
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the marshmallows and water on high for about 1 minute. Stir marshmallows until they are melted and smooth. If there are still lumps, stick it back into the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Stir about half of the icing sugar into the marshmallow mix, until it becomes thick. Put the rest of the icing sugar on the counter top, and spread it over your work surface. HEAVILY grease your hands with shortening, and pour the marshmallow mix on top of the icing sugar. Knead all of the icing sugar into the marshmallow, until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Add more icing sugar if needed. Wrap well, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
If you want to colour your fondant, there are two ways to do this. If you want all one colour, then add your icing colours directly to the melted marshmallows, remembering that icing sugar will fade the colour. If you want several different colours of fondant, you will need to tint it at the end. Divide the finished fondant into sections, and put a tiny bit of colour onto the section of fondant you want to tint. Knead this colour well into the fondant until it is thoroughly incorporated. Wrap and refrigerate.
The fondant that you don’t use to cover the cakes can be used to make all sorts of fun decorations. More on this later.