Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Make a Smooth Cake with Marshmallow Fondant

I've been eyeing perfectly smooth wedding cakes for awhile and decided to give fondant a try tonight. It's actually not as difficult as you may think! Marshmallow fondant is easy to make and functions as edible play-doh. My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Here's how to do it:

1) Make two round cakes.

Any recipe will do. Let them cool completely before you do anything with them.

2) Decide on a filling.

For this cake I chose to make lemon curd. Buttercream frosting will work if you don't want to make yet another thing for the cake.

3) Make buttercream frosting (recipe at the end of the post).

4) Make marshmallow fondant
(recipe at the end of the post).

5) Put the cakes on a flat surface and use a bread knife to make them as flat as possible.

This will probably involve cutting off some of the rounded top and maybe trimming the edges a bit.

6) Place one cake on a large flat plate. Put the filling on top.

If you are using buttercream frosting for the filling between the layers go ahead and put it on. I like fruit fillings the best, but sometimes the filling will squish out and mess up your frosting. This can be remedied!

If you are using a fruit filling (like the lemon curd), first make a dam around the edge of the cake using frosting. Just put a few spoonfuls of frosting into a ziploc bag and cut off a small corner to give you a tip. Then squirt out a border about 1/4 inch wide all the way around the top of the cake. Put your fruit filling inside of that frosting dam, without going over the top, and you'll be set! No spillage!

7) Put the other cake on top of the one with the filling.

I found it was best to put the second one top down/bottom up, so the top of that cake is against the filling. This gives a smoother top for frosting. The bottom of the cake will be less crumbly than the top that you have cut.

8) Frost the whole thing with a very thin layer of buttercream frosting. Once frosted, let the cake sit for about 20 minutes so that the frosting has a chance to harden.

This is to seal in the crumbs and give you a base for the fondant.

8) Roll out the fondant. Don't put it on the cake yet.

Watch this video for a guide on how to roll out and tuck fondant:

9) Place 2 Tbsp of jam (any flavor) in a small dish and microwave until warm and runny. Use a pastry brush to paint the jam all over the buttercream frosting.

This gives the fondant something sticky to hold onto. The video above recommends piping gel but jam works just as well and is cheaper too.

10) Gently lay the fondant on top of the cake and tuck it as shown in the video from step 8.

You can get it fairly smooth on your own using a flat knife or spatula, but a fondant smoother (like the one in that video) will give the best results. They cost about $4 at Michaels. Either way will work.

11) Decorate as you wish and enjoy!

If you cut out little shapes of fondant, you can get them to stick by putting a dot of buttercream frosting on the back, brushing them with a little jam, or getting them slightly wet.

Marshmallow Fondant

1 (16 oz) pkg of mini marshmallows
1/4 cup water
1 (2 lb) pkg of powdered sugar
1/4 cup Crisco shortening

Put shortening in a small bowl and set aside. Put marshmallows and water in a large bowl. Microwave them in 30 second increments. Stir after each 30 second increment. Continue until smooth (about 2 minutes).

Dump marshmallow mixture into a very large bowl and add powdered sugar. Stir until combined. Use the shortening to grease your hands (don't forget to grease between your fingers) and then knead the fondant in the bowl. Add more shortening to your hands when the fondant starts to stick to them. Continue kneading until fondant is smooth and somewhat elastic. This requires 5-10 minutes of kneading. Add food coloring if desired and knead until well-incorporated.

Cover fondant with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Knead until warm prior to rolling out.

Buttercream Frosting

3 Tbsp butter
1 lb powdered sugar
2 Tbsp evaporated milk

Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and evaporated milk. Stir well. Add more evaported milk if necessary to thin frosting. For this cake recipe it is best if left rather thick but then applied in a thin layer to the cake. If you are doing a buttercream filling for the cake, you may want to double the frosting recipe.


Anonymous said...

I have heard that fondant covered cakes should not be refrigerated. If I want to make it the day before- what kind of fillings can I use? Would the lemon curd go bad?

Rachelle said...

The problem with refrigerating fondant is that when you bring it back to room temperature it has a tendency to "sweat" which can make the colors run and ruin your decorations. So, if you made the cake and covered it with fondant but left off decorations until the next day you should be okay to refrigerate.

Also, the fondant acts as a sealant so you should be fine to use anything that isn't along the lines of a cream or custard. I suggest jam or frosting. Lemon curd would be best if refrigerated.

Crystal Burnham said...

I am looking for the ZCMI fruitcake with rum and brandy and also the chocolate mint cookies they used to make. Where might I get these recipes?

Rachelle said...

Crystal: I've done some searching but have not been able to locate the ZCMI fruitcake recipe. I'm sorry! Perhaps this one will be similar...

Rachat de credit said...

Thanks it is a fantastic help, now to make a smooth cake with marshmalfondant is simple and easy with the help of your advice. Thanks