Sunday, August 16, 2009

Showering desserts

This summer has been a busy one for us and our attendance at weddings. It hasn't been as crazy as my 2009 Baby Arrival List (I know 39 2009 babies. THIRTY, NINE.) In fact I don't even think it's a record wedding year... 5 for us in 2009. Though 5 weddings in the span of 5 months does end up feeling like a lot. One of those weddings is a particularly special one for me and really for my family as well. That's the upcoming October wedding of my cousin, Courtney (specifically my first cousin's daughter; who happens to be just 5 years younger than I). It's a special wedding for my {ginormous} family since we haven't had a wedding in 6 years. But it's also special because I was asked to be a bridesmaid. ♥

The bride's Auntie Lorie (who is also a first cousin of mine) threw a beautiful shower yesterday and since I wasn't able to attend the bachelorette party, I elbowed my way into being involved to redeem some bridesmaid responsibilities! I'll save the overall shower details for a future post (as I get through all my pictures); this one is merely to tell you about the desserts I made. Lorie, our faithful hostess follows my blog, so when I told her I'd like to help with the shower she asked if I'd do my "famous" red velvet cake in cupcakes. Need you even ask? A few days later she sent me this picture with an "isn't this DARLING?!" and perhaps without realizing what she'd done... a challenge was posed.

I used clean stamps to stamp "C" and "C&S" in the hearts

So... red velvet cakes, check. My super special light cream cheese frosting, check. Adorable cupcake papers, check. Fondant hearts... hmm. I'd never worked with fondant before but it had always sort of fascinated me. I'd been reading a lot about marshmallow fondant on various food blogs and it sounded fantastic and really easy to make.

Drying til firm took roughly a day

In famous "Lisa" fashion, I started this fondant late Thursday night. I mean at like 10:30pm. That was before I realized it had to sit for 2 hours after mixing it up... Bossy does not equal Brilliant. I was working in too much of a hurry to shoot pictures of melted marshmallow so please just use your imagination. While I waited for the fondant to rest, I decided to fill my time by making some macarons as well. Doesn't it seem a party-for-women wouldn't be a party-for-women without little pink French macarons?

Lightly raspberry flavored shells with a Valrhona dark chocolate ganache

A lot of recipes for fondant instruct you to mix in the abundance of powdered sugar by hand, but I found another I liked a lot better that had you do it in a stand mixer with the dough hook. Way easier if you ask me (though less of a workout on the arm muscles).

Lorie's house just lends itself to a fancy bridal shower!

A little hard to make out, but see the C and C&S stamped on the hearts?

Lets get one thing straight here - marshmallow fondant tastes SO much better than regular fondant. It seems softer too and less gritty on the tongue. It's DEFINITELY worth your while to whip some up to cover your next cake. You'll absolutely wow people and it's truly not even that difficult.

Lorie borrowed this ADORABLE stand from a friend, who'd purchased
it for $1 (or less) at a yard sale, then painted it white. What a find!!

Marshmallow Fondant
makes ~3lbs fondant

16 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 T water lots of shortening, for greasing bowls, spoon, beaters, hands
2 tsp flavoring (vanilla, lemon, raspberry etc) optional
1/8 t salt
2 lb confectioner’s sugar, divided

**Note: When mixing fondant for decorations that will be dried out, add some cornstarch in place of powdered sugar. This will make the shapes a bit more stiff and will also help in the drying out time.

1. Generously grease with shortening: a large microwave safe bowl, a spatula or spoon, the stand mixer bowl and the dough hook. Put marshmallows and water in the microwave safe bowl and zap for 1 minute. Stir with spatula and see if there are still small marshmallow lumps. If so, zap for 30 seconds more. Stir in your optional extract (I used vanilla).

2. Remove 1 cup of the powdered sugar from the 2 pounds. Add pour the remainder into the bowl of the stand mixer. Sprinkle salt over the sugar. Make a well in the center of the sugar/salt and pour the melted marshmallows in. Mix at the lowest setting until it starts to incorporate then turn it up to a bit higher if you desire. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the sugar down if it stops incorporating it. When all the sugar is mixed in, see if the fondant is still very sticky. It should be pliable, but not sticky. Add the reserved sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it's a pliable consistency. I ended up adding all of it.

3. Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap, and place inside a ziploc to keep from exposing to air. Let the fondant rest for ~2 hours.

4. Dust counter with cornstarch and roll out sections of the fondant to 1/8" thick. Keep unused portions covered and zipped when not using. If the fondant becomes stiff, microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time until soft again.

5. If cutting out shapes (as opposed to using it to cover a cake) let the fondant shapes sit out exposed to air on cookie trays for at least a day.

They sat out for a good few hours before people were allowed to partake
- and all were accounted for!

It's worth noting that after an hour or even less in the frosting, the bottoms of the hearts had softened and they started to bend/bow/fold. A toothpick propped up behind each heart helped alleviate the problem. So display these within 1/2 an hour of eating - or have some toothpicks on hand! Adorable, right?!?!


  1. so beautiful and refined! your cousin and the guests must have loved it! i know they are just as delicious as they looked :)

  2. What a wonderful shower! Lisa, you ladies did a wonderful job and creating a great event and (of course!) excellent eats! Yum yum yum! I might gain 15lbs joining this family :) So nice to see you and I'll see you at Courtney's wedding!!

  3. Thanks for all of your hard work! Desert was both beautiful and delicious! I had an awesome time this weekend. Its great to be able to spend some quality time with family and good food!

  4. i'm laughing and shaking my head here --- this mommy thought bringing birthday cupcakes baked from a mix to her toddler's school was special!

    you are truly amazing, miss lisa. feel free to "elbow" your way into any of my parties!

  5. Lisa, thank you for all the work you did to make the shower a smashing success. Your touch put the polish on the entire event, and your photos make my home look really really nice. I will host an event or celebration with you anytime!

  6. Oh my--I tried marshmallow fondant last month but for Sponge bob cupcakes...nothing so elegant. These are so lovely!

  7. lisa, your work is a work of art, you are amazing, lovely photos!It looks so delicious...