Friday, September 23, 2011

Fondant Hell

My brother-in-law is coming to Missouri from California for a visit, and his birthday falls on his vacation here. So what did I do?

Well I HAD to bake him a cake, ofcourse!

For this cake, though, I decided I wanted to go all out. I don't even do this for my kids. I love them to pieces, but I'm not sure this would ever be something I'd do again. Ever. 

I tried making fondant for the first time. Marshmallow fondant. It tastes delicious. But it's a HUGE pain in the ass. There was a lot of foul words thrown around in the kitchen that night. Kyle was getting a kick out of it all. You know, as he sat back playing his XBox 360. *eye roll*

Melty marshmallow goodness.

This is where the Hell begins.

Tasty Torturous Marshmallow Fondant

16 oz. bag mini marshmallows
2 lbs. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. water
1/2 c. shortening (I suggest putting this in a bowl you can easily continue digging into)

Pour your marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the water over them. Heat for 30 second increments, mixing between. You want to make sure all the marshmallows are melted together and there's no clumps. BE CAREFUL. If you never noticed, foods with high sugar contents tend to heat up QUICK. This will be quite hot when you pull it out.
Add 3/4 of your 2 lb. bag of powdered sugar over the marshmallows. CAREFULLY, mix it a bit. You just want to try and combine the powdered sugar into the marshmallows roughly. Set aside real quick.
Take some shortening and coat your countertop in it. Then coat your hands generously. I'm talking cover your palms, back of your hands, inbetween your fingers, etc. 
Turn the marshmallow/powdered sugar mix onto the greased countertop, getting as much out of the bowl as you can. Begin kneading it like your life depended on it. You know, like a piece of bread dough. It should be warm, but not too hot to touch. If it's still too hot, you may want to let it cool just a bit before kneading. 

Knead, knead, knead, and gradually add more of the powdered sugar until the bag is empty. As the fondant starts getting sticky, re-grease the countertop and your hands. If it's tearing easily, add some water to it, but you want to do this SLOWLY, so go by 1/4-1/2 tsp. at a time. You're done kneading after everything is completely combined and looks flush. This will take some time. Don't be impatient. Just let it go and work at it. And bitch the entire time. I think that has a lot to do with making sure it tastes good.
After you're finally done kneading (and making anyone around you think you should be locked up in the looney bin) coat it in a very good amount of shortening. Then wrap it up in saran wrap. Try to get as much air out as possible.

Then pop the wrapped fondant into a resealable freezer bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible, again, before closing. 

Marshmallow fondant will keep for WEEKS in the fridge. You may find it a lot easier to make a few batches and throw them in the fridge if you know you're wanting to cover a good sized cake. Just make sure you pull out a pen/marker and date your bag of fondant, so you know just how long ago you made it. And also, don't store it next to the ample amount of garlic bulbs or fish sitting in your fridge. 
I don't suggest storing it after coloring. You can use food coloring to color the fondant, but it will stain your hands, so use gloves. But if you store it after coloring, some colors will discolor and make your fondant disgusting looking. And then you're stuck with a ball of icky looking - yet tasty - fondant. It's a lot easier, and safer, to color it before it goes on the cake.

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