We have an annual tailgate party at work, and I knew I wanted to make a UM/MSU themed dessert. I kind of settled on sugar cookies with royal icing, until I saw Annie's post about fondant earlier this week. It had been on my list of things to try, so that was it. I went for it!
Annie's tutorial is great, so I won't even go there. A few comments about the process:
-I made the fondant (1 batch of the below recipe for 24 cupcakes) a few days ahead and stored it in a Ziploc bag, which worked out great. I suggest making it the day before because it took me about an hour to color the fondant - I used 4 different colors, and it took quite a bit of kneading to evenly distribute the color.
-I do not suggest intricate shapes - I think I spent 3 hours cutting out the M's and S's from a card stock stencil. Next time I will either do easier shapes, or search for cookie cutters beforehand!
-Transport carefully! My fondant got a little sticky in my carrier, and the cupcakes bumped into each other leaving a little of the coloring on other cupcakes - hence why you see some blue on the edges of the white.
-I actually did like this fondant, but not as much as I enjoy buttercream! You pretty much need a stand mixer to make it, no guarantees how it would turn out otherwise!
Because I knew I would spend a lot of time decorating these, I just made a box mix of spice cake cupcakes, and a batch of this vanilla buttercream to go under the fondant. (I made 4/5 of the batch, but would easily have had enough if I only made 1/2 the batch.) I made 1 batch of the fondant recipe below.
from Confections of a Foodie Bride
16 oz bag plain marshmallows (I used jumbo and they worked fine, but you need 16 oz)
2 Tbsp water
shortening, for greasing bowls
1-2 tsp flavoring (I used almond extract)
2 lb confectioner’s sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1. Grease a microwave safe bowl, a spoon, the dough hook, and the bowl of your stand mixer with shortening (grease it well).
2. Place the marshmallows and water in the greased microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir with the greased spoon. If all the marshmallows have not melted, microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir in flavoring.
3. Place confectioner’s sugar and salt in the stand mixer bowl, reserving 1 cup, and make a well in the center. Pour in the marshmallow mix and turn the mixer on to the lowest setting. When it sounds strained, increase the mixer speed up one setting. Turn off the mixer once all sugar has been incorporated. If the fondant is sticky, add the reserved confectioner’s sugar 1/4 cup at a time. (My mixer was sounding a little strained, so once the sugar was just incorporated, I kneaded it by hand for a while - I covered my hands in Crisco first.)
4. Turn fondant out onto plastic wrap. Rub a bit of shortening on the outside of the ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in a Ziploc bag, and let rest for at least 2-3 hours. Keep unused portions covered when not using. If the fondant becomes stiff, place in microwave for 20 seconds at a time until pliable. (I used this microwave trick quite a bit - it doesn't hurt it at all.)