Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My latest interest and a delicious fondant recipe!


I have been lately fascinated by fondant decorated cakes.I have seen many themed cakes decorated using fondant and all looked so magnificent. Any intricate three dimensional designs are possible using fondant. While shopping for our daughter's first b'day I also realized that a fondant cake costs around 3 to 4 times a normal cake. But once you see a fondant covered cake you will know why. A lot of artistic effort goes in the making of one.

First attempt on a chocolate cake

I love doing creative stuff and enjoy learning new skills. So after seeing another beautiful fondant cake recently I decided I would try my hand at it. But there is one issue with fondant covered cakes. The fondant is mostly thick and full of sugar and has a gum like consistency that you just don't feel like eating it. So even though they look pretty most of the times you end up peeling it off and throwing it away. On my search about fondant I read that homemade fondant taste much better than store bought ones. And more over the ones available at stores are costly too.

This recipe I have used is all over web. So I am not sure who should be credited for the recipe. But the reviews were spot on. It makes absolutely delicious fondant. The one you don't feel like throwing away. The recipe is simple but it is a messy one. Now when I say messy please do not underestimate. It is so messy that at some point you might even think of abandoning the whole effort. Marshmallows are melted to make this and you have to knead it with confectioners sugar to make dough. All recipes warned to cover your hands with lot of vegetable shortening. Well I didn't have vegetable shortening and just spread normal cooking oil on my hands. Once I started kneading the entire stuff stuck to my hands. I couldn't even pull my hands out for kneading. It took me at least half an hour to control the whole thing.

Second attempt on pineapple flavored cake

Marshmallow fondant

Mini marshmallows 10 oz ( I used kraft brand jet puffed marshmallow. Good quality marshmallows must be used)
Confectioners/powdered sugar 1 lb
Water 2tbsp
Vegetable shortening as needed

Place the mini marshmallows and water in a large microwave safe bowl.
Heat it up in microwave in 30 sec interval until marshmallows melt completely stirring in between every interval.
Once melted add confectioners sugar in small amounts and stir with a spoon coated with vegetable shortening.
Keep adding confectioners sugar and stir until the mixture is thick and difficult to stir.
Spread vegetable shortening on counter top. Spread confectioners sugar on top and pour the mixture on top.
Knead this until a smooth dough is formed. Add confectioners sugar as needed to form the dough.
Cover the fondant in shortening or powdered sugar and immediately wrap it in cling wrap and keep it aside for an hour.
Before using the fondant knead it again to make it smooth.
If you would like to color the fondant, take the required amount of fondant aside and use a tooth pick to add the desired gel color. Knead well to spread the color well.

This fondant is delicious. The fondant will stay well in the refrigerator for 3 days. You just have to cover the fondant well in cling wrap and store in a zip lock bag. You will have to keep it outside for sometime before using and then knead it again to make it smooth. There are many yputube videos that details on making fondant decorations. I tried two types of flowers. I want to learn more and I am still obsessed with fondant decorating even after making two within a week's time.:)

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

A fun random questionnaire

My friend R who blogs at quintessentially yours tagged me to try this questionnaire. I found it to be a fun one. So here is my take on this.

1.  What’s your favorite genre of music?
I love melodic music that fall under any genre.
2.  What’s the name of the furthest city that you’ve travelled to?
That leaves me wondering whether the reference should be my home town or my current place of living. If it is home town, the farthest city I have traveled to would be my current place of living Reno, Nevada, USA.
3. Who is your favorite author?
Picking one would be difficult. I love books of Jeffrey Archer, Khaled  Hosseini, J. K. Rowling, Jean Sasson and many others.
4. What’s your least favorite chore?
I love cooking. But every other stuff that needs to be done on a routine bores me. I hate all kind of chores. So picking a least favorite is again difficult. But if I have to, that would be dusting.
5. Who is the sexiest person on TV right now?
I don't watch TV at all. So no clue.
6. What would be your ideal job?
Event management. I feel the opportunity to use creativity is the highest in this job.
7. What’s your favorite quote?
I came across this quote just recently but it struck a chord and has left me thinking. So this is my current favorite:
"I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door - or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present." Rabindranath Tagore
8. What is the most annoying habit you find in people?
Negative attitude. They not just pull themselves down but everyone around them too.
9. What is the one accessory without which you will not step out of your house? 
My wallet if I am going out alone. My hand bag converted diaper bag if I am going out with Ritu.;)
10. Which 3 items on your “bucket list” do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
Learn swimming, perform classical dance, do parasailing.

Now you might be wondering what is the relevance of that picture of a pen I included in this post. Well it is just a random picture for a random questionnaire. It is my colleagues pen. He is left handed. When I first saw this pen I thought someone bend it really bad and then I came to know that it is a specially designed pen for left handed people. Isn't that interesting?
I am leaving this questionnaire open to anybody who would want to give this a try. You can use comments section if you don't have a blog. Enjoy!
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