Sorry so long...
So to begin with, I'm very new. Just finishing my 2nd set of decorating classes. I've made a few cakes for friends and I've started making the monthly birthday cake at my work. Just a simple 1/2 sheet cake or equivalent and I get to try out whatever I want and they pay the ingredients. That's the extent of my baking/decorating skills.
Well, one of my student's mom's, who is on the PTA called me at 6 tonight to see if I could make something for a baby shower they are throwing one of the supervisors Wed at 7:20 am. My initial panic mode says no, but I of course, say yes. I've already made 1 shower cake (in my picts) simple 2-tier petal pan, with pink baby-feet for the shower the teachers and other staff did last week.
I decided I wanted to try baby-blocks design and I want to give some sort of fondant a try. Decided to go with MMF. Umm....yeah. Maybe I shouldn't have waited so late to try this. First, I discovered that my double boiler is too small, so I melted the marshmallows in two batches. Didn't think it would be a big deal until I looked in my MIL's KA and saw that my first 1/2 batch of melted marshmallows was no longer in the "well" of ps, but had oozed everywhere. Oh well, I added the rest and started up the mixer. It was jumping and bouncing like crazy. MMF was sticky, so I added the rest of the ps, but think I added too much (going from a 7 lb. bag)...the KA was jumping and jerking so much that DH insisted on mixing by hand b/c he was afraid I'd break his mom's mixer! (even with the dough hook)
By the time he was done, the MMF was a hard, crumbly mess. I went ahead and tried to wrap it air-tight in cling-wrap, but it seemed impossible. I wrapped it in 3-4 layers, then put it in a large zip lock bag and tried to squeeze out as much air as I could.
So...is there any way I can salvage the MMF? I was thinking of slowly warming up what I've already made then trying to add some more melted marshmallows...
My other options are using BC or IMBC or buying some pre-made fondant.
BTW, cake is 3 layers of a doctored yellow box mix with a cookies and creme filling. Baked 3-8" cakes, cut into 1/4 and stacked 3 high to make the blocks.
The first time I made MMF it turned out hard too. It's because you put in too much powdered sugar. If your recipe has a range, start with the lower amount. I salvaged it by adding small amounts of water (basically I just wet the outside of the ball I had). It will be slimy at first, but just keep on working it, adding shortening to your hands as well.
For the future:
Also, try using a microwave to melt the marshmallows; just takes about 30 seconds on high.
I mix by hand. It takes about 5-7 minutes of kneading to get it to stop being sticky and turn into dough-like texture. You want it to be like soft Play Doh. At first you will think it is never going to work, and never come of your hands, but it will. Slowly add more sugar if it is still too soft.
Yes, the microwave is the better source to melt your marshmallows.
I've made baby blocks before and the Mom didn't want all fondant, so I iced in BC and than just used 1/2 strips of fondant on the edges of each side of the block as a border. I also cut out the letters/numbers and shapes from the fondant and just placed on the BC. You could try doing this since it's your first try with fondant I think it would be easier then trying to cover the entire blocks. Personally I find squares the hardest to cover with fondant because of the corners. I ALWAYS freak if they aren't perfect, which they usually aren't
You didn't mention if you kneaded any shortening/crisco into your MMF. If you didn't this could be why it's so dry, hard and crumbly. Turn it out onto a well greased counter, grease your fingers thoroughly and try kneading the MMF til it has some pliability. If it's VERY dry try adding water 1/2 tablespoon at a time.
Don't give up.......it took me probably 4 tries before I got it right, you'll know exactly what it needs the more you work with it.
Oh, I forgot to add I sift my PS to get all the lumps and hard stuff out, for a smoother finish.
If my fondant is hard, I also put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm it--depending on size of piece, might be more or less...
thanks for the advice. I wound up short on time, so I'm just icing the blocks in BC and will decorate in BC. That way I know they'll look decent. I will definitely keep messing with the MMF...may just toss what I've already made and start fresh...using a different recipe with shortening etc and microwaving the marshmallows.
The first time I tried to make MMF (fortunately on a day I could experiment), I started by putting a pound of marshmallow to melt in my microwave. As per the instructions, I set the time for 2 and a half minutes. After two minutes, my microwave was filled to the brim with inflated marshmallow. I opened the door and proceeded to get it all over myself and most of my kitchen. I could just see myself being consumed by this viscous blob. Even so, I remembered the part about "grease everything with lots of shortening" and finally got things under control and managed to scrape enough of it together to be able to knead it into the powdered sugar. It was kind of hard and dry, because I kneaded too much powdered sugar into it. The second time I tried to make it, I melted the marshmallow at 5-10 second intervals. It came out much better and was more pliable, but equally sticky at first. But I'm no fool: I put Crisco on everything beforehand, so, of course, it worked better. My third batch was done in less than 5 minutes (maybe another 5 for the kneading and packing away) and it was soft, smooth and by far the best of the three. The moral: keep on trying. It's the easiest fondant you can make, and is very manageable. Now if only I didn't hate the taste of marshmallows...