October 16, 2012

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

A few major life lessons I learned tonight (a few fon-don'ts if you will):
1) It is next to impossible to unplug a stand mixer if your hands are greased up with Crisco.
2) Do not EVER but your hand in a mixer that is on to try to scrape down powdered sugar. My index  finger got stuck between the dough hook and the spoon! Ouch.
3) You should make sure you have a bowl big enough to accommodate an entire bag of marshmallows. Note: they expand when you microwave them. Shocker, I know.
4) My dog could probably eat his body weight in marshmallows.
5) ALWAYS wear plastic gloves when using red food coloring to color fondant.

Now that you know what NOT to do... let me share with you the recipe I used from Annie's Eats to make my own fondant for a little boy's Mickey Mouse birthday cake (pictures coming soon). It is super easy, do not be intimidated!!
Marshmallow Fondant
Yield: about 3 lbs.
Shortening, for greasing dishes and utensils
15 oz. miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
½ tsp. lemon or almond extract
½ tsp. salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar
Grease the inside of a microwave-safe bowl and stand mixer bowl with a thin but thorough layer of shortening.  Also grease a silicone spatula or two, as well as the hook attachment for the mixer.
In the microwave safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and water.  Microwave the mixture in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is melted and somewhat soupy.  When the mixture is melted, remove from the microwave and stir in the lemon juice, corn syrup, extracts, and salt.
Place about 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar in the stand mixer bowl and form a well in the center.  Pour the marshmallow mixture into the well and knead on low speed with the dough hook until the sugar is mostly incorporated.  When the mixture begins to stick to the bowl, add an additional 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading.
At this point additional sugar may or may not be needed.  (Consistency will vary due to environmental humidity and how light or heavy you scoop your sugar.)  The final consistency of the fondant should be totally smooth, but quite thick, similar to modeling clay.*  If the mixture becomes too much for the stand mixer, transfer the fondant to a greased work surface and continue to knead with greased hands until the desired consistency is achieved.
*I personally think it is useful to work with store-bought fondant at least once, mainly so you know the consistency you are aiming for. (notes from Annie's Eats)
Form the fondant into a smooth ball, coat lightly with shortening, and wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap.  Place in an airtight bag, press out all excess air, and seal.  Let rest at least 3-4 hours or overnight before using.**
**I know you’ll want to know how long this lasts.  I don’t have an exact answer but I can tell you that I typically make fondant about 4-7 days before I plan to use it (for the sake of breaking up an involved cake) and it is always fine when I use it. (notes from Annie's Eats)
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