Marshmallow Fondant Cake

Many people may have heard that (typically) fondant does not taste good.  I myself have never had it, so I couldn’t tell you.  I can tell you, however, that Marshmallow Fondant or, MMF, is quite tasty.  It is also pretty simple to make.

You need:

1 16oz bag of mini marshmallows

6oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips *For Dark Colors*

6oz of white chocolate chips (if you want chocolate fondant, but not dark)

3 Tablespoons clear corn syrup *For Dark Colors or Chocolate*

1 32oz bag powdered sugar

1/4 cup or more of shortening

First, grease the crap out of a large microwave safe bowl, pour in the marshmallows and microwave in 30 second intervals until they’re melted, about 1.5 minutes.  At this point, if you’re going the dark color route (or the white chocolate route), you add in the chocolate chips and stir until they’re melted.  You may need to microwave it a little more.  Keep stirring until all the marshmallows and chocolate are melted.  Add clear corn syrup at this point to keep the fondant from getting too stiff with the chocolate.  If you like, you can also add food coloring if you need a specific color, or you can add it later.

Then, stir in about half a bag of powdered sugar with a wooden spoon literally dunked in shortening.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar gradually until you have a thick dough.  Turn the marshmallow goo out onto a powdered sugar dusted counter top and begin kneading.  I suggest greasing your hands with shortening for this part; it does seem to help with the stickiness.  Once you reach a good consistency (think stretchy, but not weak or super sticky), form it into a ball and slather with more shortening.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature before you roll it out or leave it on the counter in an air-tight container until the next day.  DO NOT REFRIDGERATE.  It will harden way too much!  Plus, condensation is the enemy of MMF!

If you go to use the fondant the next day, you may need to microwave it a little in order to achieve the right consistency again.  Do it for about ten seconds and then knead it out again.  At this point, you can add color if you didn’t already.  To add color, use a toothpick to apply the desired amount into the fondant and then knead away until the color is even, or go for a marbled look.

Pretty messy and sticky, but definitely tasty and relatively simple to make. The first time I used MMF, I was surprised at how easy it was.  The only problem I had was that I left it a bit thick when I put it on the cake, which I have since been more cautious about when I roll it out.  I made a two-tier chocolate chunk birthday cake with strawberry filling for a coworker of my husband’s.  It turned out quite well!  I did an 8″ and a 6″ tier, crumb coated with chocolate buttercream frosting.  I rolled out my fondant and added another coat of frosting, which I tried my best to make completely smooth, right before I covered the layers so the fondant would adhere to the frosting better.  Once again I visited the University of YouTube to learn the best ways to cover a round cake with fondant and the best way to wrap a strip of fondant around the top tier for the bow.  Ultimately, it turned out really well, especially for my first fondant cake.  I’d love to eventually take a fondant class to learn more techniques, including how to make a proper bow or flowers. Check out the cake!

Fondant Cake 1Fondant Cake 2

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The Second Cake

After my wedding cake, I was approached by friends to do their wedding cake.  The groom’s mom remembered that I had done my wedding cake, so she suggested they ask me to do theirs.  I was a bit nervous, but also thrilled to be asked.  I agreed, and did it as my gift to them.  They wanted a vanilla almond cake, with almond buttercream frosting, and Bavarian cream filling.

**Just as a note, this was about a year BEFORE I became a Cottage Food Business.  Under the MCFL, I am NOT allowed to use frosting or filling that requires refrigeration to maintain food safety.  This means that I am NOT allowed to sell anyone a cake with Bavarian cream filling.  Bummer, I know, because that stuff is delicious!  So, if you are wanting Bavarian Cream filling, I unfortunately cannot do that for you.**

Disclaimer aside,  let me get back to the cake at hand.

As for sizing, they wanted a six-inch cake for them to cut (and have all to themselves) and 150 cupcakes for their guests.  So, I started hunting for recipes for Vanilla Almond cake and I found an awesome recipe. It’s called the Mary Todd Lincoln Vanilla Almond cake and it is so good you’ll jump at any opportunity to bake it.  I found the recipe after much Googling at bakethiscake.com. However, instead of using a tube pan as the recipe calls for, I made the six-inch cake and cupcakes.  It actually converted quite well to different pan sizes.  Pair this cake with almond buttercream frosting and Bavarian cream filling… OMG.  Best cake ever.  I even had people tell me at the wedding it was the best cake they had ever eaten.  Definite confidence booster.  It was official, other people besides my family and friends thought my cake was good.  Yay!

The First Cake

It was a fun, stressful, labor intensive process, but it turned out great and really showed me that I could do this as a business.  Not long after their wedding, I began the process of figuring out how I could become a business, and found the Michigan Cottage Food Law.  At times the law is tricky and annoying, but it’s the best way for me to pursue what I love to do!

 

The First Cake

I have loved baking and decorating cakes and cookies since I was a kid, but it never occurred to me that I could do that for other people, for money, until some friends asked me to do their wedding cake.  And why did they ask me to do their cake? Because I had done my wedding cake a couple of months prior.  I must say, the cake did turn out awesome, especially since it was my first “real” attempt at a cake.  And, compared to my prior attempts, it was infinitely better.  The first time I even tried a two-tier cake it turned out pretty pathetic.  It wasn’t even, the edges weren’t sharp, the frosting wasn’t very nice or smooth and my piping was dreadful!  However low-grade my effort was, I was determined to hone my skills.

Oh, the poor thing!

Oh, the poor thing!

I attended the “University of YouTube” (as my husband and I lovingly refer to said website) and studied up on some basic techniques.  I also found a frosting, Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC), which is my all-time favorite frosting recipe EVER, but unfortunately, due to the MCFL regulations, I am not allowed to sell to my customers. :C  But, I will gush about SMBC anyway in a future post because it is awesome and not that hard for any baker to make.

Sorry to say I did not make the cake itself from scratch, but I had my reasons.  I was planning my wedding, baking and decorating the cake the morning of, we made the food, flower arrangements, and bouquets, too!  AGH!  What was I thinking?  I didn’t really want to spend the extra time to bake the cake from scratch.  Not saying that box cakes aren’t sometimes good, but with certain brands, you really can tell it’s not homemade.  So, without further ado, the cake!

Our Wedding Cake.  Cupcakes not made by me.

Our Wedding Cake. Cupcakes not made by me.

I made a three-tier white cake with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  No filling.  It was the first time, and only time, I have done a three-tier cake (so far anyway).  My husband drove and I ended up carrying it on top of a piece of plywood 20 minutes to the reception hall the morning of the wedding. Yikes!  The worst car ride of my life!  Lucky for me, there was no slippage or spillage or smudging of any kind.  Thank the Cake Gods!  I had my mom pick up three white roses (the stems I wrapped in foil before sticking them in the cake) and ta da! the cake was done.  A local grocery store made the cupcakes (150 of ’em) in our wedding colors, purple and green.

This cake has it flaws, which I see every time I look at the picture, but I made it with love and it turned out tasty and that’s what’s most important.  I’m pretty darn proud of my n00b cake.