Well...I finally took the plunge, my friends. I attempted and succeeded at making my very first multi-tiered fondant cake!
I have been admiring fondant cakes for years, but was always terrified to try my hand at one. And up until a few months ago, I couldn't even get a damn cake to rise correctly! But with multiple baking successes under my belt, I decided it was time. I even had some worthy inspiration: This weekend my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came to visit.
Yes, they visited us a week after I visited them. So what?
The reason for the visit was primarily to celebrate my mother's birthday together, a few weeks early. We all wanted to be in the room when we told her that she was going on a 7-night Caribbean cruise over Christmas break, and Leah's family, Kevin and I, as well as my grandfather and his wife were joining us! Her reaction was totally worth the two years of secret cruise-wear shopping I had to hide from her.
But back to the cake. My mom's favorite flower is a sunflower, so I thought I could make a giant one on the top of the cake.
And because her birthday is late October and we are just getting into fall, I decided that I would attempt to make some cool fondant leaves.
All in all, the process took me 3 days of fondant making, rolling, sculpting, cake baking, and decorating. I went through several bags of sugar, but the end result completely shocked my mom.
She had been refusing to see the cake in progress, so when it was finally revealed in all it's autumnal glory, she couldn't believe it. And when we cut into it to see that it was a chocolate and vanilla stacked cake, she was thrilled.
And no one was happier (or more relieved!) than I was when we all took a bite and discovered that the fondant tasted incredible!
The trick was making homemade fondant out of marshmallows. With my handy dandy kitchenaid (thanks again, dad and Ellen!), whipping up the fondant was a snap. And kneading it brought me back to years of pottery and ceramics lessons, so that was nice and therapeutic for me.
Now I won't lie and say I did a perfect job:
But you know what? I am thrilled with how it turned out. I worked late into the night, tediously veining leaves while I watched the presidential debate, throwing together cake levels while dashing about the house, cleaning it for my sister's arrival.
It even brought my family together, as cliche as that may be. My brother-in-law had plenty of helpful suggestions on food styling:
And Charlie was VERY excited about the big cake. He was pretty happy when I slipped him a fondant leaf when my sister wasn't looking...and if he was slightly more energetic that afternoon, I had nothing to do with it.
I will post a little later with the details and recipes of how I actually made the cake!