September 18th, 2009
I must say that although I did see the Star Wars movies as a child, when Dan requested a Han Solo frozen in carbonite cake for his birthday, I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for! Here is the original from the movie for those of you who, like me, may not be able to instantly recall what it looks like. The cake is hardly an exact replica and lots of things went wrong but Dan was happy enough!
It was very much a ‘figure it out as I go’ thing and of course now I have done it once I know how I could do it far better but I am not definately not keen enough to do it again. The cake inside was also grey (resulting in many black tongues) and had a layer of buttercream icing, covered in marshmallow fondant.
After my first attempt with fondant icing here, I have had several requests wanting to know which recipe I used. Since this is only the second time I have used it , I am no expert with fondant and there may be better recipes out there but here is what I used.
450gms (approx 16 ounces) of marshmallows
1kg (just over 2 pounds) of icing sugar
1/3 cup shortening
- Put marshmallows and water in a bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30secs.
- Grease your work surface and hands (very well) with the shortening and sift about 1/2 the icing sugar onto the bench and tip the melted marshmallow on top, then sift about half of the remaining icing sugar onto the top.
- Knead well (this is the fun gooey bit) until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding more icing sugar as needed. You will need to keep regreasing your work surface and hands regularly or things will get very sticky!
- Knead in food colouring if you are using it, I use the gel colouring since it makes a nice bright colour without adding lots of liquid.
- Cover in shortening, wrap well in gladwrap and store in the fridge for a week or two if needed.
It is not hard to make but the kneading is a little time consuming and remember to use white marshmallows unless you are making pink icing.
April 7th, 2009
I forgot to put a photo up of the no bake birthday cake that Ella made in my last post & had this promptly pointed out to me so here it is! Ella’s actual birthday was the day before her party & naturally she wanted a cake & candles to blow out but as I was busy with the party cake, I let Ella make this herself & she was very proud of it.
It is chocolate chip biscuits dipped in orange juice & sandwiched together with whipped cream into a log shape, which was covered in more yellow whipped cream & topped with sprinkles. After being in the fridge for a few hours, the biscuits go soft & it is like a chocolate biscuit cake in texture & very tasty. One of my favourites when I was little & simple enough for a child to do with minimal supervision & resulting in extreme pride in doing something “all by myself” – very important when you are five!
For a slightly more grown up version – leave out the food colouring, replace the sprinkles with grated chocolate & replace the juice with sherry or peach schnapps, yum!
March 30th, 2009
It has actually happened, my little baby I am sure I brought home from the hospital just yesterday has turned five! She tells me she is a proper big girl now and suddenly I keep getting the response “I can do that myself Mummy, I am five you know!”
Ella desperately wanted her party at the fairy shop so that left me with only the loot bags & cake to occupy myself with. The loot bags were little drawstring bags with the first letter of each childs name appliqued on it & filled with a selection of glitter glue pens, fruit scented mini markers, stickers, fairy colouring sheets, pencils, erasers & fairy balloon.
The cake seemed a good idea in my head but turned out to be much more work than I anticipated. I have only done one small cake using fondant before & it was fairly simple so this three layered one was a bit of a leap. I used the Marshmallow fondant recipe which came out great & was really fun to make – there is nothing like sticking your hands into a huge pile of warm gooey melted marshmellow & icing sugar! My decorating skills certainly didn’t reach perfection but I think it turned out suitably girly & certainly got a great response at the party.
Just to make things more complicated, I decided to make the inside rainbow coloured as a surprise. The kids loved it but seemed disappointed that it didn’t taste like a rainbow – if I had thought about it before hand I could have flavoured each colour with different flavours to make it more exciting.
All and all though, we have had a wonderful couple of days celebrating with Ella & hope she will remember it as fondly as we will.