Birthdays are an interesting time for parents. For kids, it is exciting, full of presents, games and fun. For parents, it is a nightmare. Well, I am speaking for myself. For me, birthday parties are a nightmare. I really hate planning them. Perhaps for me though, the part I like least is figuring out what I will do for “The Cake”.
So that’s what I learned this week: How to bake and decorate a fancy fondant cake. The JAFC. This week I was “The Cake Boss Lady”.
|My double boiler|
|Fondant covered cake|
Fondant comes in colors, but for this challenge, I purchased white and mixed the colors myself (which I was able to get from a friend). Fondant comes out of the box in a large, hard brick. To use it, you knead it, and knead it, and knead it some more. Then, either shape it to make figurines and/or roll it out to cover the cake. This is the tricky part. It is meant to be rolled thin, but not thin enough to break. I was using a small cutting board and my fondant didn't get thin enough so I had a large thick coat of fondant. In some ways it worked to my advantage, because it was easier to mold flatly onto the cake (with one of my kid's blocks rather than a cake smoother, as suggested in the book I checked out). A big disadvantage of thick fondant is that fondant is not very tasty. It the consistency of silly putty but tastes like straight sugar. Apparently, my little Play-doh connoisseur thought it tasted fine. To stick the fondant to the cake, I used buttercream. After the fondant is set on the cake, fondant figurines or decorations could be stuck onto the existing fondant cover with water, buttercream, or jelly.
|The Play-doh Connosseur/Amateur Fondant Sculptor|
As the author of one of the books I used said repeatedly, "It is so easy a child could do it" (Party Cakes for Children by Carol Deacons) . In some ways, she was right. The thing about fondant and cake decorating though, is that it takes a very long time. I started this project at about 10 am and I was not done until dinnertime...which was perfect because we could eat it for dessert, but I probably won't be making any more JAFCs anytime soon.
|The buttercream left on the flower could have been brushed off with a pastry brush.|
|The kitchen aftermath|
And the blooper...
When mixing color into buttercream, do not try and mix it directly in the bag, especially if you have not put the frosting tip in first. Otherwise, you will have to reach your hand into a bag of colored frosting. The colored frosting just might get all over your house, including furniture, clothing, and maybe even your children.