Thursday, February 19, 2009

holy crap, I finally got it right.

Fifth time's a charm, I guess.

In trying to knead my marshmallow fondant by hand, I was incorporating WAY too much shortening into it (since it kept on sticking, and I kept on re-greasing my hands). Consequently, it kept on coming out too moist, sticky, shiny, strechy, and just plain yucky-looking. I suspected that this might be the problem after reading a message board post over at Wilton that mentioned that "a little goes a LONG way" when it comes to shortening. So I decided to try again and make it basically idiot-proof; and that's where, once again, the almighty KitchenAid comes to the rescue.

Since it's next to impossible to transfer melted marshmallows from one container to another, I greased up my 3-QT stand mixer bowl (I bought it as an accessory, it didn't come with my mixer) with a thin film of Crisco and used it as a double boiler to melt the marshmallows. I also greased the spatula I was using to stir the marshmallows, and the paddle and dough hook attachments.

I stirred in the first two cups or so of sugar with the spatula, then moved the bowl to the stand mixer.

I started with the paddle attachment, but I think I could have started with the dough hook. When it got to the point that I felt it was time to switch to the dough hook, it was still pretty sticky and hard to get off of the paddle. So in the future, I think I'll just skip the paddle and use the dough hook from the beginning.

I kept on adding sugar 1/2 cup at a time (I was no longer sifting at this point because there wasn't room over the mixer...I think maybe next time I'll pre-sift instead of sifting directly into the mixture). When the dough no longer felt sticky, I moved it to my silpat, thinking that I might have to knead in another scoop or two of sugar, but to my surprise, it was PERFECT.

All it took was like a minute of kneading to get it into a nice, smooth ball.

Absolutley perfect. It wasn't sticky. It wasn't shiny. I rolled out a small piece of it, and it didn't stretch or tear.

All told, it felt remarkably similar to the Wilton stuff. Except that it tastes so good, Brandon kept on coming back to me and asking for more "white play-doh". Then again he likes the Wilton stuff, too...and marzipan (ugh)...I think he just likes the idea of a play-doh-like substance that he's allowed to eat. :D As for me, though, I think this stuff tastes WAY better. No comparison!

Anyway, it's resting in the fridge right now, I'll be using it to cover a cake tomorrow. Oh my goodness, I can't wait.


Mother Hoodwink said...

Congrats! I'm so jealous of your patience and motivation for this kind of stuff. I want a Kitchen Aid mixer but it would never get used as much as it should.

Kerry said...

That's what I thought, until I got one! You'd be amazed at how many things you'd find for it to do. Even boxed cake mixes come out SO much better. And the weeks at a time when it doesn't get used are totally made up for by the days when I use it five or six times.

And I really don't have much patience at all. I think that's why I have so much determination to get it right - I have no patience for bad results. A mediocre cake is not good enough, I want - no, NEED - to try again, immediately.