We just had a very busy few days with celebrating Father’s Day and my son’s birthday. We did a small family gathering on Saturday and our friends have a tradition of hosting a BBQ at a local lake. It was perfect before the kids are off on their summer adventures of camp and making the rounds with the grandparents.
My husband and I also got bikes! Turns out the kids were thrilled as they love the bike paths round here so we’ll have plenty of fun with this family activity. Though could someone please, please invent a more comfortable bike seat? Yikes. We’re lucky that there are many places to bike round town. This town used to be a hub for the railways, even building the steam locos here. When the rails were pulled up the lines became trails for bikes and walking. Miles of them!
As some of you know we are fans of Dr Who and I wanted to do a Dalek cake for my son. The thing is store bought fondant is, to put it mildly, awful tasting. Not something you can really truthfully call edible. While watching the Great British Bakeoff awhile ago we saw one of the contestants make a marshmallow fondant. Of course the recipe wasn’t disclosed, probably something about editing and not enough time! Excuses, excuses.
Thank goodness for the intertubes. There are a few versions on how to make the marshmallow fondant. I decided to go with the Wilton version as it was pretty simple. When you have loads going on, simple is best! Wilton is a cake decorating brand stateside.
The fondant needs to be started the day before.
In a large microwavable bowl add 16oz of good quality marshmallows and a couple of tablespoons of water. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until the marshmallow has melted.
As you can imagine this was an extremely sticky enterprise. Better than superglue! Add 1 1/2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar. You will need an additional half pound of the sugar set aside for the kneading.
Now if you know what you are going to do and know you just need one colour, add your colourant at this step. It will be much easier to incorporate. However, I was still figuring out how I was going to decorate this cake. Start incorporating the sugar into the melted marshmallow. If you want any flavouring this is the step you add it. I added a teaspoon or so of vanilla. Once the sugar is incorporated tip the mixture out on a greased counter. And when I say greased, I mean greased. I used vegetable shortening. Not only do you need to grease the counter you need to grease your hands as well. Sounds messy but trust me, it is much needed.
Knead like you would knead bread adding in the extra half pound of the sugar a bit at a time. You may not need all of the sugar. I had about an eighth of a cup left after the fondant came together in a smooth ball.
Store in an airtight container or bag and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning let it come to room temperature. Add the colourant and then knead until the colour is uniform throughout. Be patient as this can take awhile and be careful of your wrists as it is a bit of a workout.
I layered the cake and shaped it. Then coated it with buttercream.
Roll out the fondant until about 1/8″/.3cm thick. Drap the fondant over the cake. The mistake I made here was not to keep the fondant cool enough. So it began to rip as I was doing this. And because it came into contact with the buttercream I couldn’t roll it up again and chill it. So the Dalek looked a bit injured.
For the grey parts I used rice crispy treats and gum paste. I also found edible adhesive. That was a cool find I must say.
The cool thing about this is I managed to keep this a surprise from my son. So when I brought it out after the lunch he was very surprised. That was the best. And it is wonderful, despite him growing so fast, he still loves stuff like this.