Everyone's got the olympic fever!
My friend Jess was having an olympic party to watch the opening ceremonies last week-ish so I thought I'd spend that day playing with fondant.
My previous experience with fondant (kinda NSFW) was rather pleasing. My friend Mandy decided that combining our baking skills would yield the best dirty birthday cake ever. I think she was right on. (Soon we will start an adult novelty cake business. Hah.)
So for this next, non-dirty, attempt to fondant-arize a cake, I was going to make a more simple marble cake with caramel and toasted hazelnut centre. (Ok, maybe not simple. Just not penis shaped.)
For this cake I used a recipe out of The Joy of Cooking. I over baked it a little so it was a bit chewier than I would have liked, but still ok. (Or rather everyone at the party politely ate it anyway.)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 oz melted chocolate, cooled
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/8 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 X 9-inch round pans.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.
- In an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. (About 5 mins.)
- Stir into sugar/butter mixture the dry ingredients, in three parts, alternating with milk mixture, in two parts, until smooth.
- Separate batter into two separate bowls. Add melted chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda to one batch of batter. Stir until combined. Set both bowls aside.
- In a clean bowl, using electric mixer on high, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar together until stiff peaks form.
- Fold half of whipped eggs into each batter bowl.
- Spoon batter into prepared pans, alternating between white and chocolate.
- Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Careful not to over bake!!)
- Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
I used a simple homemade caramel. Not to fancy. I topped the filling with toasted hazelnuts though.
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Once melted, stir in the brown sugar and cream. Heat until all sugar is dissolved and caramel thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Let cool completely before using. (About 2 hours in the fridge.)
I used a super simple marshmallow fondant. Being the second time I've made this it went a loooot faster. For the Olympic rings, I separated out 5 X 3 ounce pieces of the finished fondant. I use concentrated colour from Wilton (it's meant for icing colour so yay!). Basically, put the colour in the centre of the ball of fondant and knead it until the colour is solid. If you don't have gloves you can try using plastic wrap mittens to keep the colour off your fingers. Key being TRY.
8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
2 tbsp water
1 pound icing sugar (4 cups), plus extra for kneading and rolling it out
- Place the marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
- Stir marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. (If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth and free of lumps.)
- Add the icing sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.
- Sprinkle icing sugar on a clean and dry counter. Scrape out the marshmallow goo onto prepared counter. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet. Begin to knead the fondant mixture like dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow goo with your hands.
- Continue to knead the fondant until it smoothes out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth. (Too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with.) Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used.
- To roll out the fondant, cover a clean and dry counter in icing sugar. Using a rolling pin, start rolling the ball of fondant out by making cross like strokes with your rolling pin. Flip the flattened fondant ball over and repeat. Eventually you will get the point where you don't have to flip it anymore. Roll it to about 1 or a half centimetres. Pick it up gently and centre it over your cake. Lay it down and then cut off the excess using a sharp knife.
Once the caramel filling was cooled, and the cake too, I placed the bottom cake layer on a plater, spread the caramel filling on top, sprinkled on the toasted hazelnuts, and placed the second cake layer on top. Then it was rolling out the white fondant and laying it over the cake. Lastly, I cut out the rings using a variety of cup rims as cookie cutters. Et Voila! Edible Olympic rings.
Watching the Winter Olympics is very inspiring. But, really, the best part is listening to the snow boarding commentary while eating cake. So Clutch Man. So Clutch.
The Half-Assed Hobbyist