Alternate title: Because I Married a Man With an Art Degree!
I should begin this post with a confession: Liam’s cake was supposed to be a pirate ship. When we first began talking about the birthday party and what, we as the parents, wanted we thought of an outfit in Liam’s closet with a cute little pirate and ship on it and thought it would be fun to theme the party around the outfit. As the months passed, we came to our senses and realized that we were going to be the only ones to enjoy this and we really should save it until we have had more experience with fondant and Liam will care. I know, we’re so smart. Anyway, since Liam is really into the dump truck and I wanted to make something to decorate the top of the cupcakes, we settled on making cute little primary colored dump trucks for the toppers. So the decision was made and ingredients purchased. And then, 10 pounds of green beans landed in my kitchen and I had to deal with them pronto. So last Friday night, my husband was making fondant. That’s right, my 6 foot, manly man of a husband was rolling out marshmallow and confectioner’s sugar so that I could have the cupcakes of my dreams. He’s a doll isn’t he?
We used the recipe from the Wilton site, but without the shortening. Matt thought it would be better to simply coat our pastry board with more sugar and roll the blob of fondant around on it until he had managed to get the consistency that he wanted. Since he was the one doing it, I did not stand in his way. Turns out, his method worked just fine and I didn’t have to clean shortening up from anything in the kitchen! Once the fondant was worked together and in a ball, Matt divided it into thirds so he could color it. There aren’t too many pictures of this whole process because I was up to my elbows in beans and didn’t really think about documentation. For coloring, we used a vegetable based food colorings that I got at the health food store. What with all the research that food coloring isn’t the best thing to put in children’s bodies, I felt it was our best choice. I don’t know what it would be like if you were using conventional food coloring, but with the veg based, it took a LOT of coloring to get to the bright colors.
We double wrapped the fondant in plastic wrap and let it set over night. Saturday night, after everything was ready for the party, we put in a movie and sat down to mold the trucks. Matt made the cab and the bed (Is it obvious I’m the mother of a little boy? 2 years ago, I hadn’t a clue what those parts were!) and I did the wheels. For the record, blue food coloring, dyes your hands far more than a combo of red and yellow. I had blue thumbs until Monday. We started out making the whole truck, but got tired as the night went on, because let me tell you, 11pm after a full day is not the time to decide to make 60 fondant dump trucks. So in the end, I made the wheels and he put together the bodies and we refrigerated them until the next afternoon. Since it is July and it is HOT in Ohio, we waited until the last possible moment before icing and decorating the cupcakes. Once they were all done, we turned up the window AC and put the cupcakes on a table in front of it. I think the kids at the party were a little disappointed that I didn’t bring them out until right before we were ready to sing Happy Birthday to Liam.
I must tell you that I’ve had traditional fondant on wedding cakes and not really liked it. However, even I who does not like marshmallows, thought this turned out well. It was a little time consuming to shape, but if you were going to use this to cover a cake, it would be easy as… well, never mind.