I love working with fondant.
You can roll it, color it and mold it. It reminds me of all of those wonderful brightly colored cans of Play Dough when I was a child. Of course, the only difference is that you can eat fondant.....I can't say the same for Play Dough, although I do remember taking a nibble on a couple of pretend French Fries once. I didn't go back for a second taste. Fondant tastes like marshmallow whereas Play Dough tastes like clay. Blah! In any case, whenever I have the opportunity to work with fondant I learn something new about it. For example, if it's too cold it will be too hard to roll out and work with, if it's too hot it will melt and slide off the surface of the cake. If you leave it uncovered for longer than 5 minutes, it will begin to get hard and have a crusty feel. If you refrigerate it, condensation may form when you remove it and the fondant will "sweat" and fall apart. By the way.........all of these scenerios? Not good.
My baking project this week was to make a birthday cake for the 55 year old friend of one of my clients. I was told his "hobbies" are running and drinking beer (hopefully not at the same time). After careful thought, I decided to attempt a three dimensional sneaker and beer bottle and place them on top of the actual cake. I created the sneaker by baking a vanilla cake in a 13" x 9" pan, letting it cool, then stacking it using buttercream frosting in between the layers. After popping it into the freezer for about an hour or so, I "carved" out the sneaker shape.
Looks a little like an "elf" shoe, doesn't it?
I'll keep that in
Then I covered the whole thing with fondant.....
...and it ended up looking something like this......
I can't say that I am 100% happy with it. In fact, I can see loads of mistakes. The fondant started to dry out while I was working with it and it cracked in several places. I'm finding that there is just no way to repair cracked fondant. I don't think Nike will ever endorse this particular style of footwear, do you? It's hideous. Well, as my father used to say when things didn't turn out quite the way he planned, "If you are riding by on a fast horse no one will ever notice". Let's just hope the entire birthday party is being held out on the Ponderosa.
The next part of the project was to make the beer bottle. Using cake would have been too messy and too soft. I needed to use an edible substance that would stand up to rolling and forming. After some research, I ended up using Rice Krispies and Marshmallow to make the bottle shape. That's right....the beer bottle is one big Rice Krispie Treat! Then I covered it with fondant and kept working it until I was satisfied with the shape. To get the feeling of a "glass" bottle, I mixed brown food coloring with vodka and painted it on the fondant letting it dry in between coats (when Vodka dries it leaves a fabulous shine.......like glass). The beer bottle label is white fondant and the name was done with Edible Food Markers.
After crumb coating the Devil's Food cake, I mixed up batches of deep orange, yellow and dark gray buttercream. I used the dark gray for the "road", the yellow for the "highway lines" and the deep orange for the Birthday script. I even added a small fondant "Speed Limit" sign that read "Age Limit 55". Get it??
Many Happy Returns!
(and by that I mean "return" for more cake of course!!)