Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Bender!

This is Bender...

He is fifteen pounds of cake batter, fondant, icing, and black food coloring that is the consistency of paste and so dark it is almost blue. He is a little sexy...

My hands are decorated with camouflage splotches. Blue fades to purple and back to blue then green. I never knew all of these colors hid within my black food dye. And now they are proudly displayed for all to see.

Bender took me about a week to create. I knew he was something special when I (accidentally) doubled the batter recipe. If all had gone according to plan, he would be half his size and much more manageable to decorate and eat. But he is not. He is thick.

From the crumbing to the intricate painting of his fondant eyes, Bender has been a pain in my ass. I mean this literally... I have spent the better part of the last two days crouching in a lunge, attempting to create the various components of this cake up in my stuffy little room.

I do not have a fancy fondant press, I have scissors specifically set aside for cutting the mixture of marshmallows and powdered sugar that I make from scratch. I will never forget the first time I made fondant. I was in my dad's kitchen and decided to try my hand at the concoction. It took me three bags of marshmallows, numerous pounds of powdered sugar and one crying fit of frustration before I wrapped my perfectly round, elastic orb of fondant in cellophane to chill. Both myself and my dad's counter tops were covered in powdered sugar. I have gotten slightly better at the process but still come out of it with a nice dusting of confectioner's sugar.

The cake, I confess, was made at work. It is the only place that has ovens, pans, and coolers big enough for my guy. The downside of making the cake at work... I had to go to work to make the cake. This meant a (very) early morning for me today. All in all I think it is worth it.

I am a little sad to see him eaten. But really it is out of my hands now, with the exception of the dye. That is going to be with me for a while.

FONDANT
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 pound miniature marshmallows
2-3 tablespoons of water
Shortening or unflavored pan spray

-Spray a clean counter top with pan spray or lightly grease with shortening
-Pour half of the confectioners sugar onto the counter
-In a microwave safe bowl, melt marshmallows with water (stirring every fifteen seconds until just melted)
-Pour marshmallow mixture onto the confectioners sugar, adding the remaining sugar on top (essentially sandwiching the melted marshmallows)
-Coat hands well with shortening or pan spray
-Knead mixture. A bunch. Knead until it is smooth and elastic and there are no clumps of confectioners sugar
-Try not to cry. But it is ok if you do...

This is a tedious process that you think will never come together into something that could cover a cake seamlessly, until all of the sudden, it becomes fondant in your hands. It is pretty cool.

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