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.