Marshmallow Fondant

I wanted to knock out this entry real quick before I get to the main event, so that I can discuss these components more in depth as recipes and leave the cake thread to discussion of the construction.

If you or your children ate any of the cake this weekend, you may want to grab the phone and put your dentist's number on speed dial. Sorry, but there just isn't any other to make these things.

Alright, marshmallow fondant is kind of fun to work with. The thing is I hate buying it (even though we've only used it once before this, and I don't think I paid for it) because it costs about $22 for 5 lbs. The store-bought fondant is also pretty hard and mostly flavorless. So we remedied all of those issues on Friday night by making our own. 

Marshmallow Fondant (to make 3 lbs)
  • 1 - 16oz pkg mini-marshmallows
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar
  • Vegetable shortening
First thing you need to do is rub a large bowl with shortening, and then figure out how you're going to melt the marshmallows. Some people do it in 10 second bursts in the microwave, but I felt more comfortable with all the marshmallows being in the same bowl so I chose to use the double boiler method. Put an inch or two of water in the bottom of a stock pot and bring it to a boil. Then cover it with your greased stainless steel mixing bowl. Let the steam provide the heat to melt your marshmallows and water. Stir regularly with a greased spatula until it you see no lumps. If you know what color you need this fondant to be, add the food coloring/coloring concentrate now. Keep in mind that you're going to add a bunch of white (in the form of powdered sugar) to this mixture, so if the color seems a little dark or "off" don't fret. It will change in a few moments. Just keep in mind that you can always knead in more color later, so its better to err on the short side when adding your color. 

At this point, you should have your tag team partner dump 6 cups of powdered sugar in the (greased) mixing bowl for your KitchenAid stand mixer. Using the (greased) dough hook attachment, pour your liquid marshmallow into the mixing bowl, add the vanilla and turn the mixer on low (2 or stir). Once the powdered sugar has stopped coughing out the sides, turn the speed to 2 or 4 and let the dough form.

When the dough has formed turn it out on a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar and knead it by hand, checking for desired elasticity. You can add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar at this point, but we found that anything beyond 6.5 - 7 cups makes the fondant very brittle and frustrating to work with.

When you're satisfied with the consistency, rub the ball of fondant with shortening and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let it rest overnight. Refrigerated, this fondant will keep for a couple of weeks. If you're going to use it the next day, I'd recommend you refrigerate it for an hour, maybe two hours tops and then let it sit out overnight. Fondant hardens significantly in the refrigerator and takes several hours to soften at room temperature. We made that mistake, and paid for it with our palms and forearms.

Repeat as necessary.

One last thing, no matter what you do, I don't think you'll get it to be as workable as Play-Doh. You could, by adding less powdered sugar, but you'd probably end up with fondant that is too delicate for covering cakes.

The second part of what we we needed for the this endeavor were Rice Krispy treats. In case you've been living under a rock for 15 years, here is a recipe for those:

Rice Krispy Treats
  • 3 tbps butter
  • 1 - 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • vegetable shortening
Heat on low until melted, then turn off heat and add 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal. Stir thoroughly (with a greased spatula) and turn out into greased baking dish of your choice. Let cool, cut and serve.

For the purposes of making the Dr. Seuss hat we pressed the hot Rice Krispy treats into a high-sided 4-6 quart sauce pan. I think we made 4 batches like this, then Lauren cut them down to and fro until we had a wobbly looking Dr. Seuss hat.

Lastly, we needed buttercream icing. Sugar, sugar and more sugar. I don't know how much this recipe makes. I think its 3 cups, but we made so much of it that it has all blurred together.

Buttercream Icing
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 stick) of vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
Put the butter and shortening in your stand mixer bowl, and beat on low speed until combined. Add vanilla, continue to beat on low speed and then slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the sugar is in you should have a very dry paste. Add the milk and beat on low speed until the milk has been worked in.

In the picture above you can see our Rice Krispy hat and 2 quarts(!!) of buttercream icing. 


Rach said...

The fondant was delicious! I thought it might taste waxy...but it was SOOOO good! It was sugar overload with the rice crispy treat or cake at the same time....but I (& a lot of others too) ate both at the same time delicious. And how about my thighs & rear end giving a shout out louder than my dentist. I kept thinking of that fast food commercial when they go up to the drive through & the girl leans over & orders flabby arms & a badonk-a-donk butt. It was so worth it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the great tips! I am planning on making my son's groom's cake and I have been searching the web for some great fondant recipes as well as a rice krispie treat recipe. I'd like to use the rice krispies to model and shape an XBox controller. My only question is the rice krispies happens to harden too soon before your finish molding it, what do you suggest to finishing your shaped item? Do you warm the rice krispie in a microwave or do you use a knife and cut away at it? I've also never used marshmallow fondant. How quickly does it dry and harden? I've used the Wilton store brand fondant but never made my own fondant.

baorao said...

I just recently updated the method for the marshmallow fondant. You can use as few as 3-4 cups of powdered sugar to keep it more pliable. In fact I'd recommend doing that and then kneading more in by hand if you find it tears too easily.

Regarding the rice krispy treats we just put them in an airtight container the same as if we were planning to eat them. That will keep them firm enough but still edible. For an Xbox controller or whatever you're going to use them for, I'd recommend finding a container roughly the size of your finished object and mold it using that. Leave it to set for a few hours or overnight (covered) and then just cut away from it to make the shape when its ready.

Molding it while its hot will probably leave it too weak around the outer edges, where you're probably going to be trying to show the most detail. That you're going to be pressing and smoothing fondant all over it, so it needs to be pretty solidly constructed.

I'd say an hour, maybe two is the all the fondant needs to chill in the fridge before you work with it. Once you start rolling it out you'll notice its pretty durable, and unless you're working in close, direct, or extreme heat it will hold its place pretty well. It doesn't need to dry or harden before you present the cake. If you're doing it well ahead of time, then you might want to consider putting some shortening on your hands and giving the exterior of your fondant pieces a little rub down and then cover them with Saran wrap.

The homemade fondant is pretty well the same as the store bought, just cheaper and quite a bit easier to work with.

Good luck.

Deniz rios said...

What if I don't have a kitchen aid mixer