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Finally…fondant!

September 11, 2011
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Why is it once you’re an adult, you find all the things you hated as a child much more fun in adulthood?

Play-Doh, for instance.  It used to be the “uncool” toy growing up.  The last thing you wanted to play with.  This was before the days when they had all sorts of Play-Doh toys, like Mega 36-Packs, Ice Cream Shoppe sets, or aspiring cook Kitchen sets.  I thought you only got like 3 or 5 colors or if you were really one of the cool kids, maybe 8 colors!

(Can you imagine how much fun a 6-year old Culinary Cheesehead would’ve had with that Kitchen playset?  Instead, my Mom, bless her heart, let me just randomly mix things together and bake in a loaf pan.  It always came out incredibly salty, dense, and disgusting.)

Or remember making your own Play-Doh?  (It always felt like cookie dough and smelled/tasted weird!)

But now… Play-Doh is more fun to play with.   It brings to mind childhood playdays, even if I didn’t care for them then because I had the uncool toys in limited colors!

Here’s your chance to relive those glorious days of goo smeared into everything… only tastier and hopefully we’ve all outgrown smearing things into the carpet!

Fondant.  It strikes distaste in the heart of so many (and fear in a lot of bakers’ hearts!)  With good reason, most of the time.  (A lot of it tastes terrible, if you haven’t tried it.)

So when someone told me that Marshmallow Fondant was like working with Play-Doh that tastes like marshmallows, I went for it.  “How hard can it be?”

Not that hard, really.  It does take a little extra work, but it’s very worth it.  It can be fun… and, yes, very much like Play-Doh.  And it really can take your cakes (or cupcakes) to a different level.

I will point out that Marshmallow Fondant is not best suited for sculpting type projects that need to hold their shape.  Exhibit A:

That is Marshmallow Fondant on the top of the cupcake, as well as the butterfly and flower.  Typically to make decorations such as this butterfly, you make the fondant, cut it out and let it dry in the shape you want it to hold for a few days.  That butterfly, all 40-some of its butterfly buddies, and those flowers sat drying in my basement for approximately 3 days.  When I went to use them, this size butterfly and flower held up okay (still fairly floppy), but anything larger just flopped.  Literally… the butterfly wings on the larger butterflies wouldn’t hold at all and I didn’t end up using more than maybe two.  No real drying had occurred (on the flip side, the fondant was still chewy!)

For covering cakes or flat details that don’t need to hold a stand-up shape, this fondant works well, is incredibly easy to make, uses ingredients you’ll likely have in the cupboard, and is tasty. 🙂

Let a little of your inner child come out and have fun with this Marshmallow Fondant!

I’ve made this a few different times and I usually can’t find the printed off copy of my recipe, so I end up going back to the two sources I saw the recipe on: Beantown Baker and Proceed with Caution.   It’s the same recipe, really, but Jen (Beantown Baker) uses her mixer to incorporate the powdered sugar.   The most recent time I made Marshmallow Fondant I was feeling particularly lazy and tried it.  Of course, I was making a batch and a half.  FYI: in a 5 QT KitchenAid, that’ll fill your mixing bowl right up to the bottom of the dough hook.  I wouldn’t recommend making that much in that size mixer at once.  But it was awesome… I didn’t have to knead all that powdered sugar in! (I did knead some in after the mixer did most of the heavy work, but to have 2/3 of the sugar already kneaded in?  Seriously awesome.)

But hey, if you don’t have a super-sturdy mixer, or really want to get in touch with your inner child, slather up in some Crisco and do it the old-fashioned way.  Both work equally well!

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Pictured in the slideshow:

  • “Chocolate Overload Cake” – chocolate cake filled with ganache, dark chocolate buttercream, and chocolate Marshmallow Fondant & colored regular marshmallow fondant.  (Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant recipe below.)
  • The flavor combination I’ve fallen in love with: Vanilla Bean Cake, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Marshmallow Fondant!  I love it so much, I made it for both the yellow-orange fondant covered cake with SMBC details as well as the human’s cake at Xena’s birthday (covered in SMBC with fondant pawprints, dog bones, and rope border).
  • Chocolate chip and chocolate layers of cake with vanilla cream filling, covered in SMBC and Marshmallow Fondant will have you saying anything but “Uff Da!”  (This cake was a hit at my family reunion, with our Norwegian heritage.)
  • The cupcake pictured earlier, covered in Marshmallow Fondant with butterfly & flowers out of Marshmallow Fondant (standard buttercream accents.)
Marshmallow Fondant
  • 16 oz white mini-marshmallows (heads up: watch the size of the bags when you buy them! A lot of manufacturers now sell bags of 10-12 oz, not 16 oz!)
  • 2-5 T. water
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1-2 t. extracts (vanilla, almond, etc.  I’ve been using a mix of pure vanilla, even though it tints the fondant ivory because it’s not clear, and almond for extracts.)
  • Shortening, in a small bowl or on a plate (approx 1/2 cup, possibly more if you use mixer)
Grease a large, microwave-safe bowl and spatula or wooden spoon.  Pour marshmallows, water, and extracts into greased bowl and microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring with greased utensil between intervals, until marshmallows are just melted.  (Typically about 2 minutes total.)
 
To use the Beantown Baker mixer-method:
    • Thoroughly grease bowl of stand mixer and dough hook with shortening.
    • Pour 2/3-3/4 powdered sugar into the greased mixer bowl and then melted marshmallow on top of the sugar.
    • Attach greased dough hook and turn mixer on low to medium speed until mixer has incorporated all (or most) of the powdered sugar.  (Most of my sugar was mixed in, but some of it was stuck to the greased bowl.  My fondant was definitely sticky, still, so I turned the fondant onto a greased countertop and kneaded in a little additional sugar.)
    • Roll fondant into a ball, coat with Crisco, and wrap tightly in saran wrap and store in a plastic bag.
To use the Proceed with Caution method and hand-knead:
    • Thoroughly grease a clean, dry surface (countertop.)
    • Pour 2/3-3/4 of powdered sugar on top  of marshmallow mixture and use greased spatula to incorporate.
    • When most (or all) of the sugar is incorporated, grease hands and turn fondant onto greased surface.
    • Knead like you would bread dough, adding more powdered sugar  as necessary, until fondant is no longer sticky but not so much that the dough won’t hold together.
    • Regrease your hands and the counter as necessary!
    • Roll fondant into a ball, coat with Crisco, and wrap tightly in saran wrap and store in a plastic bag.
Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant
  • 16 oz mini marshmallows
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T light corn syrup or glucose
  • 1-2 t extract flavorings
Same concept as standard Marshmallow Fondant – melt marshmallows, corn syrup, water, and flavorings in a greased bowl.  Add cocoa powder in (whichever method you use) with the powdered sugar.
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