The desire to play with fondant had been growing and the thought of decorating a beautiful or fun or funky cake was almost too exciting to stop thinking about. My usual perusal through foodie websites and flipping through shows like Cake Boss and Extreme Challenge on TV only encouraged this desire. As everyone knows, I really enjoy trying new things and learning how to perfect them to my style, but without the actual opportunity, why would I just make a fondant cake.
I can thank my mother for her impromptu wedding for just that opportunity to play with fondant. That's right...I said impromptu wedding...four days notice...or more like 8 years in the making, but only four days notice for the actual service and small reception. Some how managed to help plan, put together, make a cake and clean (with the help of some really wonderful people) in less that 48 hours and everything was absolutely beautiful.
Congrats to the happy couple!
But, back to the food, cause that's why I'm here. Admission - the cakes themselves were box mix that my mom made the day before and froze. I wasn't going to have time to bake them, cool them and decorate, so big help from the bride on that one.
The fondant was easy to make (recipe below). As a novice with fondant, I quickly learned a few things about working with it:
- First, it is kind of working with play-dough....which is awesome because it can bring out the child in anyone.
- Second, use gel food coloring (Wilton brand is suggested and can be found at local craft stores like Michael's & JoAnn Fabrics). If you use liquid food coloring, it could get too thin to be able to work with. This is definitely accurate with darker colors that you are trying to achieve, like reds.
- Lastly, the biggest tip that I can give is that temperature is key. The fondant needs to be slightly chilled to the point where it is still easy to roll out, but not too warm so when you lift a sheet, it doesn't pull apart.
Butter Cream Fondant Recipe
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
- In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners' sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.
The flowers were one of the easiest parts of decorating this cake. Take a small approx 1/2 - 1 teaspoon size ball of fondant and shape it into a tube. Use a rolling pin to roll out to desired thickness. On one of the long sides of the rolled fondant, place your pointer finger at the top of the roll, press gently and pull the fondant out from itself. Repeat all the way down one side of the fondant - it will have a scalloped appearance on that side. Roll the fondant from the bottom (small side) toward the other end (the flower shape will start to form on the side you scalloped). Once all rolled, pinch the bottom to create the base of the flower and gently roll out the tops of the petals to finish the flower as you wish. SOOOO MUCH FUN!