Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 5-Marshmallows and Crisco

While fondant makes beautiful cakes, it does not boast a reputation of deliciousness. Therefore, I tried to make my own fondant because I though it might taste better if it was fresh rather than from a box. I made a marshmallow fondant which involved melting marshmallows in a double broiler and kneading it together with two pounds of powdered sugar. I followed the fondant recipe precisely, so I found myself wrist deep in Crisco. Crisco covered the counter top, my hands, the fondant. It took over. The really satisfyingly gross part was when I had to keep dipping my sugary-marshamallowy-Criscoey hands into the Crisco to keep the fondant from sticking. The grease piled on so thick that I had to scrub my hands with a sponge to get off all the grease when I was finished.

However, the grease paid off, and I wound up with a legitimate chunk of fondant. While covering the cake, I struggled with preventing little tears in the fondant. I'm not sure if it was too soft or too moist (maybe too much Crisco?) or even too dry (doubt it). After covering the cake, I practiced making fondant decorations by cutting out little flowers and drying them in little shaping cups. The shaping cups are supposed to maintain the curved shape of the petals while the fondant dries. However, since my fondant was so soft, I'm not sure what "dry" means, so I'll have to check the petals in the morning to see if they fell.

Contrary to my cherished belief that making food fresh at home almost always yields a tastier product than buying something from the store, I'm actually not sure that making the fondant myself was worth it. The taste was not significantly different than the boxed fondant, and it took a lot of time (and Crisco) to make. Also, the store bought fondant's texture proved to be sturdier.


  1. hi katharine, i work at magnolia bakery in nyc. part of my job is to check out and keep an eye on a few blogs. i recently came across yours and just wanted to say a quick hello. your cakes look amazing--simple, clean, and elegant. i had a good laugh about your whipped topping "white egg" story. we have very detailed document that we make our cake icers follow when they make that icing. it has step by step pictures on how to crack eggs so no yolk will get into the mix!

    it's also encouraging that you are donating your cakes to local charities (and that your roommate(s) let you get away with that!). i know first hand of that special joy and cheer that only baked goods can spread.

    have you considered giving cupcakes a try?!

    keep up the good work!

    happy baking!

  2. I love the colors. Reminds me of the food court at Fortnum & Mason in London.

  3. Hi Katharine! I love your cakes! I am looking forward to having a chance to sample your beautiful creations. Love, Mom. P.S., Ruby and Scout say hello and keep up the good work.

  4. kathy pants

    this is a beautiful one!! we are soo impressed and proud of you! hope the gateway is holding up for you! love you mariposa (not mantequilla although im sure you are using a lot of that)