This past weekend was full of celebrations. Three, to be exact.
Don’t bother asking how old I am—a lady never reveals her age, after all!—but a huge thank you to everyone who forced me to change out of my pj’s and actually celebrate. I had the most wonderful time eating dinner, watching baseball, and hanging out with some truly sweet and special people.
I originally challenged myself to try it for a month. For those of you paying close attention, that month actually ended over a week ago! But since it really hasn’t been all that hard and I enjoyed learning how to prepare new foods, I decided to continue being vegan for a little bit longer. Which gives me even more opportunities to surprise friends with tasty vegan treats!
My first fondant fiasco.
I wanted a birthday cake. But being vegan, I couldn’t go to the store like a normal person and buy one. And seeing as a large fraction of my friends and family avoid the kitchen like the plague, I wasn’t about to depend on any of them to make me one. Coupled with the fact that I’m absolutely in love with baking, I decided to spend a good chunk of my birthday weekend making myself a cake.
But not just any cake. A four layer, fruit-filled, fondant-covered cake. The first two parts were easy. Bake two cake rounds and cut them in half, dice some fruit, mix up a bowl of frosting, and throw it all together. Then came the fondant.
Mixing and kneading the fondant really wasn’t all that hard. (It just took twice as much powdered sugar as the original recipe called for.) And I even used the perfect amount of food coloring on my first try! But the frustrating part came when I went to roll it out.
The original recipe neglected to include one very important step: Sprinkle your workspace with powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking. It wasn’t even in the fine print at the bottom! After three tries and three thousand cracks, I was ready to throw in the towel. But then I had the brilliant idea that, well, if I cover the countertop with flour when rolling out pie dough, why wouldn’t I use powdered sugar with fondant?
After a little more rolling and a LOT of powdered sugar, I finally had a gorgeous fondant circle to cover my decadent cake. And even though Miss Kerry Vincent would have shuddered at my fondant work, everyone who ate my [vegan] peaches ’n buttercream cake licked their lips and asked for more.
covers one 9” two-layer cake
Since it’s mainly sugar, fondant will keep at room temperature for a few weeks if sealed in an airtight container. Don’t refrigerate it though, or it’ll crack!
¼ c. margarine
⅓ c. light corn syrup
½ tsp salt
1 tsp clear vanilla
1-2 lb powdered sugar, sifted
red & yellow food coloring
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the margarine, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar in about ¼-cup increments until the fondant reaches a dough-like consistency.
- Sprinkle a clean, dry workspace with powdered sugar, and knead the fondant. Continue to add more powdered sugar until it becomes a stiff dough. (I added close to 2 lbs total.)
- Roll the fondant into a ball and make a well with your thumb in the center. Add one drop of red food coloring and two drops of yellow. Fold the fondant over the food coloring, and continue to knead until the entire ball is peach-colored. (You may need to knead in more powdered sugar at this point.)
- Clean the workspace, and tape down a few overlapping sheets of wax paper. Generously sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place the fondant ball in the center, and begin rolling it out into a ¼-inch thick circular shape. (It’s okay if it’s lopsided! It just needs to cover the cake.)
- Gently peel the fondant away from the wax paper, and lay it on top of the cake. Smooth it across the top and down the sides. To fix any cracks, tears, or bumps, get a little shortening on your fingers and gently smooth them out.
–Do NOT use water to fix cracks or tears! Fondant is sugar-based, and water dissolves sugar.
–A smooth, silicon rolling pin is best, but a wooden one will work too. Just be careful of any rough patches on the rolling pin that could tear the fondant.
–You WILL use twice as much powdered sugar than you thought was necessary. I promise.