Sweet Celebrations

This past weekend was full of celebrations. Three, to be exact.

 

My birthday.

Don’t bother asking how old I am—a lady never reveals her age, after all!—but a huge thank you to everyone who forced me to change out of my pj’s and actually celebrate. I had the most wonderful time eating dinner, watching baseball, and hanging out with some truly sweet and special people.

 

Being vegan.

I originally challenged myself to try it for a month. For those of you paying close attention, that month actually ended over a week ago! But since it really hasn’t been all that hard and I enjoyed learning how to prepare new foods, I decided to continue being vegan for a little bit longer. Which gives me even more opportunities to surprise friends with tasty vegan treats!

 

My first fondant fiasco.

I wanted a birthday cake. But being vegan, I couldn’t go to the store like a normal person and buy one. And seeing as a large fraction of my friends and family avoid the kitchen like the plague, I wasn’t about to depend on any of them to make me one. Coupled with the fact that I’m absolutely in love with baking, I decided to spend a good chunk of my birthday weekend making myself a cake.

 

But not just any cake. A four layer, fruit-filled, fondant-covered cake. The first two parts were easy. Bake two cake rounds and cut them in half, dice some fruit, mix up a bowl of frosting, and throw it all together. Then came the fondant.  

 

Mixing and kneading the fondant really wasn’t all that hard. (It just took twice as much powdered sugar as the original recipe called for.) And I even used the perfect amount of food coloring on my first try! But the frustrating part came when I went to roll it out.

 

The original recipe neglected to include one very important step: Sprinkle your workspace with powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking. It wasn’t even in the fine print at the bottom! After three tries and three thousand cracks, I was ready to throw in the towel. But then I had the brilliant idea that, well, if I cover the countertop with flour when rolling out pie dough, why wouldn’t I use powdered sugar with fondant?

 

After a little more rolling and a LOT of powdered sugar, I finally had a gorgeous fondant circle to cover my decadent cake. And even though Miss Kerry Vincent would have shuddered at my fondant work, everyone who ate my [vegan] peaches ’n buttercream cake licked their lips and asked for more.

 

 

Peach-Colored Fondant

covers one 9” two-layer cake

Since it’s mainly sugar, fondant will keep at room temperature for a few weeks if sealed in an airtight container. Don’t refrigerate it though, or it’ll crack!

¼ c. margarine

⅓ c. light corn syrup

½ tsp salt

1 tsp clear vanilla

1-2 lb powdered sugar, sifted

red & yellow food coloring

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the margarine, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar in about ¼-cup increments until the fondant reaches a dough-like consistency.
  2. Sprinkle a clean, dry workspace with powdered sugar, and knead the fondant. Continue to add more powdered sugar until it becomes a stiff dough. (I added close to 2 lbs total.)
  3. Roll the fondant into a ball and make a well with your thumb in the center. Add one drop of red food coloring and two drops of yellow. Fold the fondant over the food coloring, and continue to knead until the entire ball is peach-colored. (You may need to knead in more powdered sugar at this point.)
  4. Clean the workspace, and tape down a few overlapping sheets of wax paper. Generously sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place the fondant ball in the center, and begin rolling it out into a ¼-inch thick circular shape. (It’s okay if it’s lopsided! It just needs to cover the cake.)
  5. Gently peel the fondant away from the wax paper, and lay it on top of the cake. Smooth it across the top and down the sides. To fix any cracks, tears, or bumps, get a little shortening on your fingers and gently smooth them out.

 

 

Notes

–Do NOT use water to fix cracks or tears! Fondant is sugar-based, and water dissolves sugar.

–A smooth, silicon rolling pin is best, but a wooden one will work too. Just be careful of any rough patches on the rolling pin that could tear the fondant.

–You WILL use twice as much powdered sugar than you thought was necessary. I promise.

 


June 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Have a Heart.

8 Comments

  1. Jack replied:

    ’twas delicious! Thanks very much for the cake!

  2. Schmidty replied:

    Since everyone liked it, I’m guessin’ there isn’t a left over piece… any chance you would be willing to whip up a piece just for me!!?? =D jk But it looks really delicious and I really want some dessert now!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      I’d be more than happy to make an entire cake for you! Just tell me when and I’ll start pulling out the pans and measuring cups!

  3. Rita replied:

    This fondant is great! Thanks for the tips: maybe if I try it, it won’t be a fiasco (so I hope….) 😛
    I’m not vegan but I like to eat vegan quite often because I consider it a healthy way of life (I couldn’t live without veggies…). Well done.

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you! With enough powdered sugar, your fondant will turn out just fine. It helped when I thought of it like rolling out pie dough, except using powdered sugar instead of flour.

      I agree, I love my veggies! It’s been hard to go out to eat since so many restaurants depend on meat or cheese in their dishes, so it’s a good thing I enjoy cooking so much! And actually, I should be thanking you! Your chocolate cake recipe was what inspired me to try veganism in the first place. So thanks!!

  4. Andrea replied:

    Gorgeous!! Fondants is fun, but a lot of work! I made mine with marshmallows one time… Made the biggest, stickiest mess ever!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      It took me two days worth of attempts to finally get something to lay flat on the cake! I didn’t take many close-ups because of a few tiny cracks, but it was a fun first experience. Marshmallows always seem to turn anything sticky — like rice krispie treats! So yummy, but so messy to make!

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