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A quick note on Fondant and other sundries…

April 9, 2009

Well I’ve just completed the base fondant for my cupcakes this weekend and I’ve gotta say – the final product is awesome! It’s currently snuggled up in my fridge, wrapped in a good layer of shortening (OK, fine, that’s a fancy way of saying “Crisco”), clingwrap, and a Ziploc baggie, waiting to be lovingly mushed and smushed into a more colorful version of itself tomorrow afternoon (by way of kneading with my brand-new food safety gloves, of which I now own 500, thanks to Costco).

My hands, covered in fondant. Photo by Lauren! :) Thanks!

My hands, covered in fondant. Photo by Lauren! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

The process for the fondant (which I will have pictures of tomorrow, I swear) was taken from this website, which has excellent step-by-step instructions. I also watched this video which helped me figure out what things should look like at each step. I severely under-estimated the amount of fallout from the powdered sugar, so of course I had it spread all over the table, the chair, and the floor. And as I was baking barefoot (the way God intended), there was a cute little pattern of toes walking to and from the sink.

All in all, the fondant was easier than I expected it to be. It was much stickier at first (you have to really work it and work it and work it to get to the point where your hands don’t resemble the Marshmallow guy’s from Ghostbusters) than I anticipated – should have double-coated with the Crisco – but once the powdered sugar got incorporated came the fun part. It made me feel like a littel kid again, playing with the home-made play-dough Mom would help us with (it started in a Ziploc and involved some weird concoction of household items – maybe she can comment on this posting and give us the recipe?). My roommates were helpful and kept the mocking to a minimum, and didn’t complain once about the massive mess I was making (Colm even thought it was funny that I left a footprint on the kitchen rug).

So, fondant down: cupcakes, puff pastries (relax, I’m just buying these), and cheese plate to go! To look for some nice fresh-cut flowers for the centerpiece (yes, I have a centerpiece), I will be going to the Arlington Court House farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I hear it’s quite a nice place to do some shopping, so I’ll be grabbing my reusable bags for a little grocery action as well. I hope to find some good cheese specials at Cheesetique (mentioned in the last post), and maybe even some quince chutney as a garnish! The market opens at 9 while the cheese shop doesn’t open til 10, so if I play my cards right and don’t sleep in toooo late, I could knock both out before noon! Which leaves time for the integral nap, light lunch, shower and doing of the hair, which we all know is the most important part of the ensemble.

That’s all I have tonight – more tomorrow on the progress of the minicupcakes (a fun fact: I now own 5, that’s right, 5, mini-cupcake trays for baking), and pictures!

Tip of the Day: This one comes to us from my roommate Scott, who was sitting and watching me try to clean the powdered sugar out of the grooves in my circular wooden breakfast table (thanks to Emily Smith – it’s definitely my favorite piece of furniture including the ridiculously expensive bedroom set and my parents’ pink couches).

When you’ve got something like powdered sugar (or any other tiny substance that gets down into cracks) that has fallen into the grooves between the boards on your rustic, French-style table, and you just can’t get it out with a mere bottle of Fantastik and paper towels, may I recommend…the toothpick.

First, squirt your cleaning substance of choice: warm soap and water, antibacterial spray if you live with boys like I do, what have you, onto the area, ensuring that it gets down into the cracks. Let it sit for a few minutes (or maybe like one minute) so it penetrates down and gets good and mixed in with the item that refuses to move out. Then, taking a regular toothpick (we have the kind with a flat end, but I imagine a pointy one would work well too) and a tiny rip of paper towel (seriously – like 2 cm. by 1 cm. is enough), wrap the paper towel around the tip, stick the paper toweled end of the toothpick down in the groove, and pull directly towards you. You’ll be shocked and amazed how clean you can get them, and possibly a bit horrified at what else has been lurking in those grooves for who knows how long.

And voilร ! Clean table! Ready for your next baking adventure involving copious amounts of sugar!

And with that…I’m heading for some much-needed rest. Hope my arms aren’t sore in the morning from all that kneading! Can’t wait to show you the pictures of the cupcakes (once I make them…).

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    April 10, 2009 6:30 pm

    you can never have too many food safety gloves. costco has the inside scoop we all were never aware of.

  2. Adam permalink
    April 10, 2009 11:39 pm

    wait – there are gloves for food safety?!? what do you use those for? i eat food off the floor, the dirty counter top, the bloody cutting board, etc. gloves?!? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ GLOVES!

    btw, your cupcakes will probably be good stuff – i vish ve could make it!

    • lisam permalink
      April 11, 2009 9:32 am

      Hey there, Adam! Good question. The gloves are actually to protect my delicate handsies from the extreme colors of the fondant while I’m mixing it, so I don’t end up with bright blue hands (which would match my dress, now that I think of it, but I’m just not sure that’s worth it).

      And yes, I hope the cupcakes turn out delicious, but you never know – maybe they’ll suck and you guys won’t miss out on anything! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Adam permalink
        April 11, 2009 4:13 pm

        Sweet! Thanks for letting me know – but blue hands would be sweet!

  3. Emily permalink
    April 13, 2009 9:18 pm

    If you look close, you will find lovely knife marks on the table made by your favorite nephew. I used many of boxes off toothpicks on that table! By the way, can you make Hannah’s cake next year????

    • lisam permalink
      April 14, 2009 1:19 pm

      Haha – I’m sure my roommates have put wayyyyy more knife marks into that table than little Connor.

      And as for Hannah’s cake…uh…would LOVE TO! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. bibliotannic permalink
    April 22, 2009 10:47 am

    If you’re trying to remove dry powdered sugar or flour from nooks and crannies, canned air also does wonders. That stuff is fun.

    • lisam permalink
      April 22, 2009 10:54 am

      Awesome! What a great idea. Thanks, Jessica!

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