Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Dakota and Brooke (2.28.11)

I am a little late in posting this but I wanted to share a recipe and pics of the twins birthday cakes I made for them! I have a few cake books laying around and the girls were very intrigued with the possibility of eating a cake that looked like scooby doo. I gave the girls a few options of something I thought I could make and they chose Spongebob!
To save time I took a french vanilla cake mix and split it between a round and square cake pan (Two cakes would be too much around here). After baking and cooling I used one of those Wiltons wire cake trimmer things...sorry for not having its correct name - but its a metal handle with a thin piece of wire that is adjustable...this allows you to split cake layers and to also trim off that hump you get when the cake bakes.
I used some store bought ButterCream frosting and frosted the middle, top and sides keeping it as smooth as possible and let the frosting set.
Then I made the fondant - its really easy and I will share the recipe below. Two reasons - store bought fondant is expensive and it tastes like cardboard. So the recipe that I use is a marshmellow fondant.
The tweaks or differences I made: I did use the Kraft jetpuffed mini marshmellows but I used the walmart brand powdered sugar. I also made a half a batch at a time: adding water, food color then marshmellows to the bowl before micowaving - the fondant was very easy to color this way :)
Recipe from here:

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows(use a good quality brand)

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)

1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)


NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.

MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.

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