On February 6, 2010, we all made it through the “snOMG” event of our lifetime – the Blizzard of 2010. We got 28″ inches here at my house and it was a very good excuse to stay inside and do some baking! So since Valentine’s Day is next weekend, I decided to go ahead with these little treats a week early 🙂
So far I have tried only one chocolate cake recipe from scratch and it was kind of “meh” – not too chocolatey. So I Googled and came up with this recipe from Hershey’s. A batch of cake mix always makes far more mini cupcakes than I am expecting, so I ended up quitting after 4 dozen, but I probably could have gotten another dozen out of it.
Next, I was going to experiment with homemade marshmallow fondant. I have never eaten, worked with, or made fondant of any variety before and I was definitely excited to try! I found this recipe from Wilton for rolled marshmallow fondant and followed some instructions to make a smaller batch. I found it very easy to make and work with. Once I was done kneading, I divided it into 2 parts and used Wilton’s Red-Red color to tint one part pink and one part red. This is probably the first time I tinted something red and had it actually come out RED! I wrapped each part in plastic wrap and put them in a ziplock bag until the next day.
When I was ready to work with the fondant again, I popped it in the microwave for about 7 seconds to soften it up again. I kneaded it and rolled it out and cut out some hearts with a tiny heart cookie cutter. I kept the little hearts in between 2 sheets of plastic wrap overnight and they hardened a bit, but they weren’t brittle.
This morning I made up some vanilla buttercream icing following a basic recipe from Domino (if you buy the 1lb box, the recipe is on the box, but I bought the store-brand 2lb bags, so I had to look up the recipe here). This is the recipe my mom has always used. Last May when I made my first try at piping icing, I made this recipe and it did not hold up to piping and it melted. I blamed the icing, and switched to a shortening/butter recipe after that. But I have since learned that it really wasn’t the icing’s fault afterall – I had added too much milk and made it too thin and that’s why it didn’t hold up! So today, with many more months of experience under my belt, I gave the recipe another go and was able to identify the right piping consistency. And I’m so glad I did, because I think this all-butter recipe has a better taste than when shortening is used.
As an experiment, I also made up some of my usual cream cheese icing because I wanted to see how it tasted with chocolate cake. The verdict is not in on that yet. Also, I split the cream cheese icing into two batches and added some cocoa powder to make chocolate cream cheese icing. The combination sounded a little weird, but I wondered how it tasted. My husband thought is was really good, and I have to agree! I will add this to my recipe book.