I have always been obsessed with watching the Food Network. I love all of the little hints/tips/tricks that I have learned from watching it. I love my expanded food/recipe knowledge I have from watching it. I love to just have it on in the background as I go about my day. But my husband has not always felt the same way. Don't get me wrong, he loves to eat (not quite as much as I do :), but he has never had an overwhelming desire to sit down and watch Food Network. "Ace of Cakes" has changed that.
Joe is an artist and I think that is why this show appeals to him so much. We love to sit and watch episode after episode of these crazy kids building amazing and amazingly beautiful cakes. I sometimes thing Joe may host a secret yearning to run away and join the "Ace of Cakes" crew. And he has a very not-so-secret yearning to someday receive a Charm City cake.
Since Joe's birthday is this week, I figured it would be a lot of fun to work together on his cake so he could get his own "Ace of Cakes" experience. I also thought it would be a good way for me to redeem myself for my ugly Brown Velvet Cupcakes and to try out a Marshmallow Fondant recipe I found on Confections of a Foodie Bride (if you haven't yet checked out her blog, you really should--no really. Go there now. I can wait.).
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar WELL. Add eggs and beat well.
Make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring. Add to creamed mixture. Mix salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and buttermilk together. Add alternately the flour with the milk mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix soda and vinegar and FOLD INTO CAKE BATTER. DON'T BEAT OR STIR NOW.
Bake for 30 minutes. (I actually had to bake about 45 minutes)
Grease a microwave safe bowl, a spoon, the dough hook, and the bowl of your stand mixer with shortening (grease it well).
Place the marshmallows and water in the greased microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir with the greased spoon. If all the marshmallows have not melted, microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir in flavoring.
Place confectioner’s sugar and salt in the stand mixer bowl, reserving 1 cup, and make a well in the center. Pour in the marshmallow mix and turn the mixer on to the lowest setting. When it sounds strained, increase the mixer speed up one setting. Turn off the mixer once all sugar has been incorporated. If the fondant is sticky, add the reserved confectioner’s sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
Turn fondant out onto plastic wrap. Rub a bit of shortening on the outside of the ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in a ziploc bag, and let rest for at least 2-3 hours. Keep unused portions covered when not using. If the fondant becomes stiff, place in microwave for 20 seconds at a time until pliable.
Roll out on a greased mat/fondant circle to the desired thickness.
(To get the colored fondant, I kneaded in food coloring into small batches of the frosting. Yes, my hands are green today.)