Yea, I know that “afeared” is not a word but nothing else describes how I felt, when I was asked to do a wedding cake (scared sh*tless, runs a close second!). A wedding cake with 8 days notice, with Christmas falling on the day before delivery!!! Oh and I have failed to mention that this was my FIRST wedding cake!!! Anyone that makes cakes knows a wedding cake is much more than just a cake. It is a focal point on a tense bride’s big day, many people will (hopefully) “oooh and ahhh” over it, as well as taste it…..so it must be PERFECT!!! If you know me, you may also know I have a tendency to be a little too hard on myself as far as my cakes go. I never seem to be 100% satisfied with the end result, regardless of the raves it may receive, I always think I could have taken it a little further. So again, combine the fact it was my first one, I had 8 days notice and a major holiday fell in the mix as well and…..you guessed it….I was “afeared”!!!!
I am not going to bore anyone with a recitation of recipes but for one, the fondant, as everything was pretty standard but the fondant. The cake was a vanilla Genoise (Italian sponge), with an ivory Italian buttercream (vanilla), the cake was “soaked” with a vanilla simple syrup and the layers filled with a vanilla raspberry coulis. Pretty vanilla, huh??
On to the fondant. I love to work with fondant, I love the look of a fondant covered cake, I love the possibilities fondant offers and I absolutely……HATE…. the taste of fondant, classic fondant, that is. A few years back I was searching for a fondant recipe that might be better than the norm and I ran across Marshmallow Fondant. Now as I said classic fondant just gives me the willies in the taste department, so I typically peel it off and discard it like a banana peel. MM fondant has a bit more flavor and now I only peel off 50-75% of the covering….less waste….and I hate to waste!!! For those of you who have worked with fondant but never MM fondant here is the recipe, for those who have never worked with any type of fondant and think MM might work for you, follow the above link, as it has some good pointers on working with fondant.
- 1lb. miniature marshmallows
- 2-5 Tbs. water
- 2lbs. powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (min) Crisco (shortening)
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave by putting the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, repeat this until the marshmallows are melted. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix and stir to combine lightly.
Now grease your hands and counter GENEROUSLY and turn out the marshmallow mix and begin kneading it, like you would bread dough. Continue kneading and adding more sugar as you go, if the mix sticks to counter, add more crisco to the counter. Continue till all sugar is incorporated and you get a smooth elastic dough (if the fondant tears easily when stretched it is too dry, add a few drops water and knead, continue this till you get a very elastic dough).
It is best to let the fondant rest overnight, this helps ensure that all the sugar has been absorbed. Coat the fondant with a bit of crisco and wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest. When ready to roll the fondant give it another good kneading and then proceed with rolling.
All in all the cake worked out well. It did have a few “moments”……like the top tier was a bitch and it took me (much) longer to finish than the other 2 tiers combined. Another “moment” happened when we arrived at the venue only to realize that the piping bag, tips and extra buttercream were still at home!!!! Aside from those few incidents it wasn’t as bad an experience as I had anticipated, the Bride and Groom seemed pleased, the guests “ooooh’d and ahhh’d” and the cake did not topple in any way shape or form.
I highly recommend to anyone that has a desire to make a wedding cake and has never done so….give it a go, it was definitely worth the trauma. And to all those wedding cake veterans out there, I ask, when does the fear of the cake go away???