So I've once again been brainstorming for some ideas of how to get these patterns and images onto to edible items. I've been racking my brain to come up with something - anything - easier and more professional looking than last year's event. Those were nice, but I really love these new patterns in Ed's book and wanted to do something less organic-looking and more structured and tight.
So I was watching Ace of Cakes last night while recovering from a seriously bad stomach problem (sorry, Eric!), and it hit me. Use fondant. While I've never I've never used fondant, never made fondant , and never even liked fondant, I was sure that this was the best way to go.
Fondant is basically a thick sugar paste that you roll out and drape over a cake for a smooth, satin-y finish. Wedding cakes are usually covered in fondant because it's so smooth and pretty. The problem is that it usually tastes like ca-ca-doo-doo. People hate it so much that they even sometimes peel it off the cake and leave it on the plate! What a waste.
I'm not one to waste anything in kitchen (and I certainly don't want to see anyone peeling my cookies apart and throwing the pretty part away - how awful!), so I decided to flavor the fondant with vanilla and almond for one batch, and chocolate for the other. Duh - so easy!
I used this recipe, primarily because I had these ingredients in my cabinet. Well, I didn't have the glucose, but since I didn't know what that did anyway, I just omitted it (maybe it's a flexibility ingredient or something). The recipe worked well and I turned out a batch of vanilla/almond and a batch of chocolate fondant within an hour. I probably kneaded it longer than necessary, but I like kneading, so whatever.
I forgot to photograph the kneading process, probably because I LOVE kneading things!
Anyway, I rolled out a bit of the chocolate fondant and tried the stenciling process using powdered sugar on one and red royal icing on the other.
While I like both effects and will likely use both techniques, I was really excited by the red icing. It looks great, retained the sharp lines of the stencil, and has already hardened to a durable finish.
So that's the end of experiment day 1. Tomorrow is dough day, when I'll be making the cookie doughs for these patterns to go on. I hope this all works out, because I have no time for a do-over by Thursday.
Off to work now.