I've been baking a myriad of baked goods since I was probably 11 or 12. Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, you name it, I've done it! Well, except for one thing....
BAKING A CAKE FROM SCRATCH!!!!
Nope, I've never made a layer cake totally from scratch. I've made some recipes that were essentially cakes from scratch, but never just a plain ole white layer cake.
So today, I thought I'd change that. I went searching for my "Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum. And it's lost! I'm afraid I may have donated it to the library in a fit of "anti-stuff-itis."
Being part of the modern world, though, I went and relied on Google. I found this recipe for simple white cake. It looked easy so I did it.
I don't have a picture of how it looked right out of the oven, but I trust you've all seen a naked baked cake before.
Hmmm, now what should I frost it with? I was going to make some regular buttercream icing, which I've done countless times. But that seemed boring. AH HA!!! I've got it!
Marshmallow Fondant from Pinterest!
Bit 'o background: Fondant cakes are BEAUTIFUL! You can cover them and cut out shapes and make oh so cute stuff. It's the primary way that Duff from Charm City Cakes decorates his. I've tried using the Wilton Fondant but it doesn't taste very good. I even have a friend on facebook who is a chef. She says that professionally made fondant doesn't taste that good either. So I thought this marshmallow fondant would be a good idea. It's just marshmallows and powdered sugar! What's not to love?
For this step, I had to run to the store down the street and buy an entire bag of mini marshmallows. I put them in my big Pampered Chef batter bowl, added a little bit of water and some almond extract. I then microwaved the whole thing maybe a minute and a half or two minutes total. (and forgot to take pictures. Hey, I'm not the Pioneer Woman....)
Next, I added some Wilton blue food coloring gel.
And finally, I turned it out onto a cookie sheet covered in powdered sugar. (and a silpat)
During this entire process, my hands were covered in white sugar and sticky, blue goo. So there are no pictures. I kneaded sugar into the marshmallows, coating my hands in cooking spray the entire time.
To no avail, I might add. That stuff is STICKY! It even stuck to the Silpat! Yes, the Silpat! (A silpat is a silicone mat that nothing sticks to. Or so their website claims. Unfortunately, I think I've found a way to defeat it...) Can you see the small spatula I had to use to remove the stuff from the silpat? This is some powerful stuff!
The blog showing how to make the fondant claims that after kneading in the sugar, you can roll it out with a rolling pin and use it to decorate your cakes and cookies. Well, I don't know if it was the weather (hot and dry), my technique (ok, ok, questionable....), or whatnot, but mine never was able to be rolled. Oh, I tried, but it stuck to the rolling pin. I added more sugar, like the website says, and then it was just white. I finally coated my hands in a ton of cooking spray and moved the lump over to the cake.
Using my palms, I spread it out as best I could. Leaving me with a beautifully smooth, satiny-sheen candy coating on my freshly baked from scratch cake!
Since my beautiful cake was already, well, not ruined, but not near like I envisioned it, I decided to just experiment. Have you seen that wedding cake on Pinterest that's covered entirely with sprinkles?
Yes? Well, I made 4 small little sprinkle areas just to see. Yep, it's as hard to do as it looks. Whatever they paid for that cake was probably inadequate for how difficult it is to get sprinkles ON THE SIDES and everywhere! Not to mention how much sweeping and near-falling the lady did while walking on her floor afterwards....
Finally, I had to taste my cake. It was good! Not quite as moist as a mix cake, but definitely had a good flavor and it's definitely one I'll make again. Also, after trying ready made and now homemade fondant, I can honestly say I don't like the taste of either one. Plus, while this one tasted better than the store-bought kind, it still had the consistency of, say, a balloon. I took a bite or two with the fondant on my cake, and then just peeled it off and ate the cake. (Less points that way, too!)
Next time I'll make a really pretty icing creation and let y'all see it. I promise it'll be better than this stuff!