Posts Tagged ‘fondant’
What a FUN new cake I made today!!! A friend in the neighborhood is pregnant with her second child…a boy. Gee, imagine that…me with a pregnant friend! She has an older son, but there are several years between the two children and she and her husband are starting fresh with all the fun goods and excitement with baby number two! Today is her baby shower and my wonderful friend who is throwing it, enlisted my services to make a baby shower cake. We looked in books and magazines and just couldn’t really decide what to do. Our friend, J, is not doing the uber baby theme for the little guy. No pastels, no ducks, no choo choos. Though I would be the exact same way, it also made it a little hard to choose a cake!
My friend spoke to J’s sister and after they did some searching online they decided on this pregnant belly cake. I have to admit, at first I didn’t think it would be something down J’s alley, but sis knows best! As I started working on it, my first thoughts were “Oh, I don’t know that this is going to come out as pretty as the pictures they found!” As you can see in step one with the chocolate belly and yellow boobs, it wasn’t exactly the shining example of a beautiful cake shape. But lo…I trudged on and continued to the next few steps.
I was very proud of my awesome buttercream crumb layer and proceeded to make my usual marshmallow fondant. I died it with plenty of Wilton Teal food coloring and draped it over the figure.
I trimmed the edges and added a little bit of detail before dealing with the brown fondant. I have recently discovered that making brown fondant, and any brown icing for that matter, is not an easy task. Basically, if you want a dark brown, you need to add chocolate to the mix. The brown icing coloring is just not enough to do the job. Some recommend melting chocolate and kneading it in to your fondant. Others say to add cocoa powder. I chose the former and boy was it messy! I’ll try the latter next time, just to be able to compare easy of mixing. I used the chocolate to create the trim on the pregnant cake’s bustline, as well as to add some accents to the dress.
I. AM. SO. HAPPY. with the way this turned out as you can see at the top of the page. It if weren’t 1:20 in the morning right now, I would be sending pictures of it over my phone to everyone I know! I cannot wait to bring it to the party tomorrow and I hope everyone loves it…especially J!
To continue with my posts about the cupcakes I am working on for J for her anniversary, tonight is a quick one about the toppers I am making. I have decided I am going to take this opportunity to try a whole lot of different things that I haven’t done yet. So far, I have made the cupcake wrappers and a candy heart topper. Tonight is an additional topper, made out of rolled fondant. I only needed a small amount of fonday so I decided I didn’t want to make my own. I went ahead and bought the Wilton rolled fondant from the store and was incredibly disappointed. That is the first time, to my knowledge I have actually tried pre-made fondant. No wonder everyone always complains about the way fondant tastes! I will stick with my marhsmallow fondant! It is SO worth the effort! In any case, since I was only making little toppers I still used the rolled fondant.
I rolled the fondant out on a surface sprinkled with cornstarch. I then cut the fondant into the appropriate sized pieces using a pizza cutter (best way to cut the fondant in my opinion). I used some of my (clean) rubber stamps to stamp the initials D and J for the lovely married couple of 7 years! I wish I had an ampersand stamp to put in the middle, but didn’t, so I used a star.
After I cut and stamped the pieces I laid them on a water bottle covered in a piece of parchment paper so they pieces would dry out in the curved shape I wanted. From beginning to end this only took about 20 – 30 minutes.
Other than those minor things, it really was an enjoyable experience. I learned so much about my own abilities and different techniques working with fondant. I used two different types of fondant – rolled fondant to make the creatures and marshmallow fondant to actually cover the cakes. I have found that the rolled fondant works much better when it comes to molding things than the marshmallow. But the marshmallow tastes so much better (in all the opinions of the people I have polled) so I prefer to use it to do the covering. As usual, I made all of the fondant myself, which I still prefer doing as well. The extreme heat made it difficult to work with the fondant at times. I felt like the Cake Boss when the edges of his Empire State Building were falling off in the heat. My A/C is already working double time with it being 104 degrees outside though, so there was little I could do about it!
I would have to say that Mario was the most difficult to make (go figure, the one I wanted to have the most detail!) and I had the most fun making Yoshi and the mushroom head guys. My 8 year old was ready and willing at all times to tell me what creatures I should be making, what they should look like, and what I was doing wrong with them!!! :) Credit is also due to my husband who thought of making the warping pipe (the green thing off to the side). I had extra cake and didn’t want it to go to waste! It became a cute way to show that little E is turning 5!
So now that I have sufficiently de-Crisco-d my kitchen, I can officially say I am done! The cake is ready to go to its Super Mario home tomorrow and I am sure little E will love it. His mom came over today and she thinks he will too. That is the most important part and I cannot wait to find out.
Since I was covered in Crisco every step of the way, I wasn’t able to take pictures of the process. Probably a good thing since I tried to get the messy parts out of the way while my husband was gone! The last thing I need is proof of how the place looked! I will give you a quick run down of how it all went. We estimated the entire process took about 16 hours from start to finish. I used:
- 4.5 bags of powdered sugar
- 2 bags of marshmallows
- 1 container of glucose
- .5 containers glycerin
- A LOT of Crisco (makes everything not stick to everything else until you want it to!)
- The equivalent of 4 cake boxes (but I made mine from scratch)
- A lot of icing color
- 1 box of unflavored gelatin
- 12 eggs
- a few cups of oil
- I think that about covers it
I modeled the figures by their colors. I started with red and made the heads of the mushrooms and the backs of the turtles, etc. Then picked the next color that I would need on the most things that had red so I could build onto those pieces. So on, and so forth. Then I baked the cakes and let them chill before making the icing to top the cake. I put a crumb layer of buttercream icing on all the layers before putting them together and chilled them until the icing was set. I then colored and put the marshmallow fondant on top of each layer. Here is where I built the layers, putting measured and cut plastic dowel rods into the bottom layer which then supported the tiered plastic plate holding the top layer. After the layers were built I started placing the figures, really wherever they would sit! By the way, these were all dried by the time I did this. If I had ten people working for me, I would have tried to do this cake in a matter of hours, unfortunately that is not possible as a one-woman crew! After it was all done this evening, into the refrigerator it went!
I really do hope little E thinks it is the best cake ever and I hope to get many more opportunities to make such awesome cakes!
I should also say my husband is happy the cake is done because he has felt neglected this week when it comes to my baking. Apparently, the 36 scones I made him the other day have not been enough to put an end to his baked goods hunger. Sheesh!
Can I please tell you how excited I am that this thing is almost over? I cannot even believe I have made it this far. I really am not that interested in tasting my creations anymore. I think there is a reason why it isn’t too uncommon to find thin bakers. It’s because it doesn’t take long to not want to even SMELL sugar anymore, let alone eat it. If I owned a bakery, I don’t think I would ever be able to eat a cake again! Phmph.
So, now that my venting is out of the way, another day of technique it is. I was going to try to do butterflies and calla lilies. The butterflies were a bust and the calla lilies were a success. At least I am one for two! I have learned something every important this month about my trusty marshmallow fondant. It isn’t so trusty. There is a reason why cake decorators don’t use it. It doesn’t set well. It is fine for basic decorating and covering cakes. But once you get into the more extravagant things such as calla lilies and Mario Bros figures, you really need something that is going to stand on its own. I have stayed away from using gum paste because it tastes horrible and I don’t want to put something disgusting on one of my cakes! I may have to give in to this at some point if I want to continue with the decorating aspect though!
So, back to the point of all of that. I tried to make 3D butterflies but the fondant just would not set, so the butterflies were just a floppy mess! The picture here does show the proper way to dry butterflies so they will be 3D! I would have put their bodies and antennas on and decorate them a little after drying. So much for that!
The calla lilies, however, were fairly easy to do. I use d a heart cookie cutter to cut out white fondant. I wrapped the heart around a paper cone (pointy part of the heart is the top of the flower, not the base) and left it out to dry (never really did). I rolled up a couple pieces of yellow fondant to insert later for the stamens. The results are below. They are so easy to do considering how nice they look when they are on cakes!
I took a departure from baking again today to do some more decorating practice. I have a friend whose son is having a birthday soon and she asked me to make the cake. Her boy is a fan of the Mario Bros and is having a party with that theme. Since I have never made Mario Bros figures before, I thought this would be a good place to practice.
Please ignore the colors! This was a practice in MOLDING not in COLORING! I really didn’t want to waste my icing colors on pieces that will never actually get to sit on a cake. Especially since these need to be some pretty intense colors. Bright red not pink, beige not brown (skin), black not blue (Bullet Bill) and I know Mario’s hair should be darker. Those of you who color icing, you know how much it takes to make black and bright red! So for all intensive purposes…pretend!
For the most part it was just a matter of shaping the figures by rolling the fondant into balls and molding it the right way to make it look like the character. I was able to take a few shortcuts. To make the clouds I used a flower cookie cutter and cut the flower in half. To make the bullet (which is blue here, not black) I used a football cookie cutter and just cut one end off. Last but not least, of course, a square cookie cutter for the question mark block. I know Mario looks like a monkey disguised as a trucker. In my defense, I had problems with the fondant being a little too malleable when I made him. The balls that create his head and body kept sinking and making him way too short and fat. Easily remedied, but I wasn’t going to redo him tonight!
Overall, I am pretty happy with the little buggers and glad the first time making them went so well! I know I need to get some play doh to practice or something, but a lot of my issues are usually just in how to make the FONDANT do what I want it to do. It would be pointless to practice with something else that doesn’t act the exact same way.