Sunday, February 28, 2010

My good friend came up yesterday in a bit of a tizzy. Apparently she had gotten volunteered to make a birthday cake for her mother's 70th birthday party, and she was quite stressed out about it. I can understand that--if I am in charge of something like that, I too, get a little stressed out. As long as I am not the one responsible for the finished product, I am good to go, though!

Anyway, we decided to do fondant for the frosting. I have tried a couple of fondant recipes, and following is the one I like the best. It is really pretty easy to work with.

First, you sprinkle 1 T. of gelatine in 1/4 cup cold water--use a glass measuring cup, and then put this in a pan of simmering water, stirring until the gelatine dissolves.

Blend in 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 T. glycerin, then stir in 2 T. of vegetable shortening until melted.
Note: You can ask for glycerin at any pharmacy. It makes your fondant soft and pliable.

Place 3 cups of powdered sugar in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the gelatin mixture and stir with a lightly greased wooden spoon until blended. (I used my Kitchen Aid.) Mix lightly with greased hand and knead vigorously in the bowl until most of the sugar is incorporated. Turn onto a smooth, lightly greased surface such as Formica or marble and knead until smooth and satiny. If the Fondant seems dry, add several drops of water and knead well. If it seems too sticky, knead in more powdered sugar. (I had to use about a cup more powdered sugar.) The Fondant will resemble a smooth, well-shaped stone. When dropped, it should spread very slightly but retain its shape. It should be malleable like clay, soft but not sticky.

One thing to note as you are rolling it out--if your fondant is too thin, it will show every bump and lump in your cake. If it is too thick, it will crack more easily. Try to keep it about a 1/4 inch, I would say.

One tool for fondant that I would say is almost a necessity is a 2 foot length of PVC pipe, oh, about 3" round. Roll your fondant onto this as you are lifting it off your counter, and then unroll it on your cake. Sprinkle a little cornstarch on your fondant before you roll it, so it doesn't stick to itself. Good luck!

THEN, comes the fun part. (What? We are not having fun yet?!) After several calls to my amazing mother for instructions, I figured out how to do live flowers for a cake. For my flowers, I just used an inexpensive grocery store boquet that my friend picked out. It wouldn't have been my first choice, and my greenery was a little limited, but hey, we'll work with what we have!

Get a lid of some sort with a rim (she suggested a mayo lid covered in foil--I used a larger lid because this cake was huge!). Cut your floral foam to size. (I found out there are two types of floral foam--dry foam for fake flowers, and wet foam for live.) Soak your wet foam, then stick it in your lid. You may need to put some duct tape in the bottom to hold it in place.

Then you put your larger flowers and stems in your foam, then fill in with greenery and smaller flowers.

Mom said usually you just place your flowers on top of your cake right before serving. I actually cut a hole in my cake to put my lid in, since I didn't have enough flowers and greenery to cover the rim of my lid. Another note about the flowers--they can be done the night before. Just mist them, put them in a plastic baggie, and place them in your fridge. Be careful not to put them in a spot where they might freeze, though! Mom said she did that once, and had to redo an entire wedding bouquet on the way to the temple! Eeks!

Voila! Isn't it beautiful?

No comments: