Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Cakes and Great Fondant recipe with decor "how to"

As you know, we have recently began baking for the markets in Alabama.
I wanted to provide step by step "How To" videos for the simple, yet pretty cake decorations along with the complete assembly of the cakes, but I wasn't able to.


The next best thing is just to show the cakes here and provide the detail that I can, in type.

All of these cakes and more are available any time, and we will be at the markets every weekend with new and beautiful creations.

Most of these cakes have a floral, fun type design presses into the marshmello fondant. I did this by rolling the fondant over a textured mat. You can get an impression in your fondant using most any textured surface...just don't try to roll it too thin.




To make marshmello fondant, which in my opinion, tastes far better than regular fondant, here is what I do...

***The following recipe will cover 3+ 8" cakes like these.

Marshmellow Fondant

Ingredients:
1 lb bag of marshmellows
2 lb bag of confectioners sugar
1/2 + cup vegetable shortening
5+ Tablespoons water
flavor and color (optional)


Directions:
1. Prepare your work surface by heavily greasing the surface with vegetable shortening. I do it in a sheet pan, others I have seen do it on the table or counter.
2. Place a mountain of conf sugar in the center of the greased surface, and make a well in the center.
3. In a double boiler, add water and marshmellows and stir until melted. (add color and flavor at this time if you choose.
4. Pour melted marshmellows into the conf sugar well, and with a heavily greased spoon or spatchula, begin mixing.
5. Heavily grease your hands with vegetable shortening and begin working the mixture, being sure to incorporate all the sugar and marshmellow. Add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time until it is all worked in.
6. Knead the fondant until smooth like plat dough.
7. Wrap completed fondant in a double layer of plastic wrap and place in refrigerator over night.
8. Warm fondant to room temperature before using.

***This is a very messy job, but is well worth the effort when comparing flavors of this recipe versus regular fondant.
***Color can also be added at any time after the fondant is made. Just knead color in a bit at a time until you get the desired color you are after.
***I use corn starch to dust my work surface, but confectioners sugar works too.
***If the fondant dries a bit, just grease your hands with shortening and work it into the fondant.

For the decorations on the cake, I used a regular fondant recipe because the marshmellow fondant does not dry as good as regular fondant.

I prefer to use marshmellow fondant for decorations that do not need to harden, like roses and pieces that simply stick to the cakes or cookies.



Fondant Bows

Lets begin with talking about how I created the fondant bows.



  • Roll out your fondant to 1/4 to 1/8"
  • With a knife or pastry cutter, cut strips to the desired width of your bows.
  • Shorten each strip to desired length, I cut mine about 4" but was not precise in measuring because I wanted them all different.
  • For the bow loops, simply pinch the ends together leaving the looped area open like a bow, and place on its side to dry.
  • For the ribbons on the bow, cut the strips the same as above and cut a "v" in the end of each.
  • Place ribbons in the position you would like them to dry in and leave at least a few hours to dry.
***I put my decorations on egg flats to dry into curled shapes. You can use a flat surface with props if you choose or make foil stands in the shapes you prefer them to dry in.

This bow is completely dried and assembled then steamed to set the color.

  • For the center of the bows, cut a rectangle in the width desire, but long enough to go completely around the pinched ends of the bow pieces before they dry.
  • wrap the center piece around 2 sides of the bow using water or royal icing to glue it into place and turn bow sideways to dry completely.
  • When you are ready to assemble the cake, use royal icing of the same color as your bow to first glue the dried ribbon pieces and follow this step with gluing the bow onto the ribbon pieces.
I actually used just buttercream frosting to attach my decorations this time around, but royal icing dries and works best, especially for decorations you are fixing to the sides or that need to stand up.

Fondant Poinsettias

To make the fondant poinsettias, I used Wiltons small and large calyx cutters.


  • Roll out your fondant, and using the calyx cutters, cut an equal amount of both small and large cutouts.
  • Keep them all covered with plastic wrap so they do not dry out while you are working with them.
  • Using the Wiltons tools or a toothpick on a soft surface (I use Wiltons foam) press veins into each petal and place in flower former to dry.
  • Once they are dry, use a bit of royal icing to attach the small cut out into the larger staggering the petals so they are in between the first level of petals. 
  • Add a small amount of royal icing of the same color to the top, center and drop silver balls or colored sugar. 
  • You can also use yellow icing to pipe the centers in if you choose. 
  • Set aside to allow royal icing to set up and dry.
  • The leaves are cut from a leaf cutter and veined with veining tools or tooth picks and set into a former to dry to specified shapes. 
  • To assemble the poinsettias, place a small amount of royal icing on cake and first place the leaf so it is slightly under the flower.
  • Place a bit more icing to stick the flower into place at the bottom edge of the leaf. Use 1 or 2 leaves per flower.

Holly

  • Use the same leaf method above, using a holly leaf cutter instead of a regular leaf cutter. 
  • ALWAYS press the veins of the leaves from the bottom edge of the leaf to the tips.
  • You do not have to shape your leaves if you would like them to lay flat on the surface of the cake. 
  • Roll red fondant balls for the berries- 3 leaves- 3 berries.
  • When assembling the holly on the cake, use royal icing to first glue the leaves onto the cake, adding a small amount of royal icing to the center of the 3 leaves and placing 3 fondant berries on.
Again...I used butter cream to do the gluing this time, but I always use royal when I really need them to stick/harden into place.




I will begin soon to do more step by step picture and video tutorials on my baked goods and cakes, so please watch for them.

You can find me at Sadies Flea Market in Dothan Alabama on the weekends and feel free to call or text inquiries or orders to (334)805-7640 any time.

I also have a stand with baked goods in Slocomb Alabama on various and random days at this time. We are on Alabama Highway 52 in Slocomb. 

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