Saturday, January 16, 2016

Playing with Fondant

All last summer I played with fondant. Of course, to avoid what I feel I am suppose to be doing --writing That sounds so weird when I write it out and read it back... but I feel like I continually avoid doing what I was born to do and it seems like all I do is whine whine whine about it.  So, I am moving on and my new creative venture began the day I decided to make and decorate a cake for a baby shower. After a search to come up with the perfect design, I found directions for making a pregnant lady cake topper out of fondant. Little did I know how much of an investment in money and time it would be-- not that it had to be but I get rather obsessive when I'm drawn into a creative project.  Course spending the money wouldn't have stopped me as I am working on money fears and gaining a prosperous mindset. "How's that working," you ask? Well... that is a story for another time.

Fondant is like play dough and made from a variety of edible ingredients such as sugar, water, corn syrup and the recipe I chose called for "Walmart" marshmallows. Making it was a bit of a struggle. I don't own nor do I want to own a microwave and so I balanced a large stainless steel bowl over my soup pan to melt the marshmallows and since I didn't have any idea what fondant was suppose to look and feel like, I just compared it to what it looked like on a YouTube video. Also, I have never taken any classes on modeling clay so each bodily appendage took a lot of work and hundreds of tries to get it "almost"right.

I used the Artisan Cake Company videos and followed the step by step directions. I would watch a bit and then stop the video and try to do what I was seeing on the video.  t took me weeks and several batches of fondant, each batch coming out a little better then the previous one.  I would give up and search for fondant to buy but they tasted so bad that I would go back to the video and try again.  I made a total of 3 completed pregnant ladies and probably 5 creepy failures plus various body parts before I finally had one completed that didn't break or look too creepy.

I spent hours on Craftsy watching all those online classes about melt in your mouth buttercream frosting, sugar flowers that look so real, and a variety of other videos showing how to make fondant critters. In every online class there was a gadget that I didn't have and knew I couldn't live without. I bought cake decorating tools, kits, and a few molds. If a video said I needed something I put it on my list to buy. I roamed the hardware stores and craft stores looking for bench scrapers and a variety of interesting things that I could use to create patterns on the fondant.

Cakes were made and frozen and after 12 pounds of butter and a trillion egg
whites, I finally perfected the Italian butter cream which I intended to use on the cake before covering it all up with fondant.

Soon came another baby shower and I decided to make a Thumbelina cake topper. After that I was ready for a real challenge--my daughter's birthday was coming and so I decided I would surprise her by making a sugar shoe, a red stiletto and the cake would be the shoe box.  Course, that meant I needed more tools and molds for those perfect heels.  Then I turned to Craftsy again and slowly after weeks of practicing I created a perfect stiletto, the shoe box cake, and a fondant cake board.

All the while a short story churned around in my mind.  Maybe that is the secret to writing-- having a creative pursuit not related to writing.

Here are some links to resources you might like to check out:

Artisan Cake Company

Online Classes at Craftsy

The best YouTube videos to help you along

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