Sunday, November 2, 2008

Twelve Pounds of Powdered Sugar Later: The Cake

My friend Ali's baby shower was on Saturday and I made the cake! I had intended to whip up a few practice versions before the big day, but I never had a chance, so I kept my fingers crossed and this is what I made: A two-layer cake with a little sleeping baby on top.

The top layer was chocolate with an almond butter cream filling and the bottom layer was white cake with a raspberry filling. The last time I used fondant I bought it, but this time I decided to try making my own. It tasted much better and was easier to work with. You can't beat that!

Here is the recipe:

1- 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
2 tbsps water
2 lbs powdered sugar (8 cups)

In a large bowl combine the marshmallows and the water. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the marshmallows melt. If you know you want one color, you can add your food coloring to the marshmallow mixture (it is easier to add it now than to knead it in at the end. The downside is that a little harder to determine the color, since you'll still be adding the powdered sugar). Add in about half of the powdered sugar and stir. Once the mixture gets too stiff to stir, knead with your hands, mixing in more powdered sugar until the mixture is a stiff consistency. You may not end up using all 8 cups of powdered sugar, depending on how much marshmallow mixture you end up leaving stuck to the spoon--it is sticky stuff! Eventually it is easiest to turn it onto the counter/table that is covered with powdered sugar and knead it on there. Place the mixture in plastic wrap and let sit for several hours before using. It can also sit for several days if you keep it wrapped up well.

Here are a few tips I learned:

1) Take off your rings before you start.

2) Grease your hands with Crisco.

3) You will get a sugar high if you sample the fondant as you go--so pace yourself.

4) Don't try using a stand mixer--it is no match for the fondant. I also tried mounding the powdered sugar directly on the counter and pouring the melted marshmallows on it, but that didn't work as well as I hoped. I found the best option was using a large bowl to melt the marshmallows and then adding the powdered sugar directly into that bowl, kneading it in the bowl until it was almost finished, then kneading it on the counter.

I made three batches, and I felt like I was getting pretty good at it by the third! To make the cake, I put a thin layer of butter cream on the outside of the cake, rolled the fondant as thin as I could (use lots of powdered sugar on the rolling pin and counter as you are rolling it out, then smoothed the fondant on the cake. I made the sleeping baby and blanket for the top, then wrapped ribbon around the bottom (which I secured with some large pins--to make sure they were visible to anyone who served the cake, but it ended up being me, so there were no worries).

I had fun making the cake and was relieved on Saturday morning when I got up and it was still standing (I finished it around 1 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning). I was also happy I made the 30-minute drive to the shower without hitting a single pothole! I also made some baby block and onsie cookies for the shower. I'll post about those later!

The shower was lovely and Ali looked gorgeous! She received lots of great gifts for her little baby boy who will be here in December! Her mother-in-law made a delicious lunch and had the most beautiful serving pieces that added so much to the event!

Oh--and, I'm already trying to decide what kind of cake to make for Evan's birthday this year--it is only four months away! It seems like I just finished his first birthday cake.


TheWallinFamily said...

Wow, the cake turned out fabulous! I can't believe you made that!!! It looks like it came straight out of a fancy bakery. You definitely have the talent!

Ali said...

The cake and cookies not only looked gorgeous but tasted divine--out of this world!! You are just so talented Mindy, and most of all are the best friend a girl could ask for. Thank you SO much. It meant so much to me, and by the way, my Mom already asked if you send cakes in the mail!!!! :)

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

The cake and cookies look amazing!

Lisa said...

What a gorgeous cake. I could never do anything like that. You did a great job!