Monday, February 22, 2010

Fondant Fun: My First Encounter

Perhaps the biggest mystery of my baking and cake decorating life has been solved with my recent discovery of FONDANT. Who knew one could get such beautiful results with a simple play dough-like icing? I certainly did not. Every wedding cake I have ever seen in my 20 years of living always seemed like a dream I could never achieve, and now, with my eyes open to the wonderful secrets of cake decorating, I am one step closer to that dream.

Please don't take this the wrong way, of course my ultimate dream to be a doctor supersedes any baking dream I could ever have. Baking is just my obsession hobby :-)

So about a month ago, my parents told us that my little brother would not have a party to celebrate his 8th birthday since, in the midst of their wedding anniversary plans, they forgot to plan for his special day.

I pretty much flipped.

My little brother is important too! How could we NOT do something? I figured that since he loves it when I bake for him, I should make as elaborate a cake as I could. So for almost a week, I scoured the internet learning everything I could about cake decorating, and in case you were interested, I created links to the recipes I used.

I started off with a dense cake strong enough to withstand the weight of fondant. I read that white almond sour cream is durable yet delicious.

I placed a thick layer of buttercream icing between my two cake layers.

Time for the second layer of cake!

Then I finished applying my first layer of icing. Doesn't it look like a gigantic sandwich? At this point, I made the mistake of not leveling my cakes, which gave me huge headaches later on when smoothing out my second layer of icing and then laying on the fondant.

For the fondant, I preferred not to buy the nasty tasting store bought fondant, so I tested out three different recipes. The one I used for my brother's cake tasted the best of the three, but it had the most difficult texture to work through. The hardest part was probably coloring the fondant because I didn't set aside enough time for that earlier in the week. I ended up using way too much food coloring... and time (almost 6 ridiculously long hours!) getting it perfect.

At this point, it was about 3 AM, Jan 10, and I had long given up on picture taking (mind you, I had been working on the cake since 6 PM, Jan 9). I started on the Decepticon and Autobot symbols at around 4 AM.

For my template, I just printed out a picture of each symbol and cut out the individual parts.

Decepticon symbol

Completed Autobot Symbol

And finally, after slaving for so long, I rolled into bed at 7 AM. I finished the cake!

Well, almost. I wasn't completely happy with the cake - my fondant was cracking and I didn't know how to fix it. I wanted to make flames for the sides, but it was too late and I really needed some sleep.

Yet despite this, my little bro still loved the cake, and everyone thought it was delicious.

Oh Fondant, you were a pain to work with, but I'm so glad we met.


Our Family said...

Wow, that is one amazing first fondant cake! You should see my attempt. :o) I bet your brother loved it! Which fondant recipe did you end up liking the best, if you don't mind sharing? So far, the one I've found that I like the best is Rhonda's Ultimate MMF because it's not too sweet and still is simple to make and tastes good.

Carmela said...

Thank you! My brother loved the cake despite its flaws. Of the three that I tried, the MMF was the easiest to work with. I've only used regular MMF so I'll have to try Rhonda's sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

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