I’m not a big fondant fan and only ever use it about once a year on a Christmas cake over a marzipan layer. But I do love marshmallows, and when Paul and Mary declared Nadiya’s marshmallow fondant to be delicious on the Great British Bake Off, well.. I was intrigued. This version is like Nadiya’s but adapted for people who don’t have a microwave oven so the marshmallows are melted over a bain marie instead. The quantities have also been reduced so that the covering layer is thinner and enough for a 20cm/8in diametre round cake. Plus there are tips about how to store and use any leftover fondant icing and how to paint on it. And what’s marshmallow fondant like? Well it’s less sweet than your average fondant and a little chewy. You know those sweeties in the shape of fried eggs, well it’s a bit like that in both taste and texture. I liked it a lot and so did my cake testers. And of course people with a bit of a sweet tooth will really love it, like my young students who were peeling it off their slice of cake to eat it separately first. 🙂
It took around 10 to 15 minutes for my marshmallows to melt and I stirred occasionally till it was all melted. I added a little yellow food colouring.
For a smaller standard loaf, here are the reduced quantities:(ignore the quantities in the illustration)
- 150g/5 and 1/4oz white American-style marshmallows
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons water
- 275g icing/powdered sugar
Covering the cake
This fondant is actually very easy to roll and handle, pliable and it doesn’t break easily. Dust the surface with a little cornflour/cornstarch and roll out to 4mm-5mm/less than 1/5 of an inch. You can also roll it out thinner.
Wrap around your rolling pin and unwrap over the cake. Press around the tops and sides with the palms of your hands to smooth down and eliminate air bubbles. Then cut with a sharp knife around the bottom, leaving a few millimetres extra that you will then tuck in to the sides (if you cut too high you’ll end up with some naked cake around the bottom). You can smooth any imperfections with a little cornflour/cornstarch. You can decorate, for example: tie a ribbon around the bottom and decorate with almond paste (marzipan) roses and rose petals (as fresh as possible but if necessary store the petals in the refrigerator laid out separately on top of damp paper towels in airtight tupperware).
Storing and using later
I wouldn’t make this fondant too much in advance. It’s okay if it’s allowed to cool and stored at room temperature for an hour or two, and probably fine if you use it the same day. Wrap tightly in plastic film and keep at room temperature (which is how you would store marshmallows and icing sugar).
But when I tried to use my remaining fondant icing a few days later it was very stiff and difficult to roll. I needed to heat it up gently over a bain marie again, turning it over and massaging it at intervals before returning to the bain marie. Eventually (it was a bit of a workout) I was able to roll it and cover this cake.
As you can see, I also painted on it. So here are some tips about that.
Painting on marshmallow fondant
The technique: dilute a little powdered food colouring in a little water and mix different shades on a plate then pretend you’re painting with watercolours!!! Yup, that’s it.
Have a few little bowls of water for cleaning your paintbrushes, one bowl for each paintbrush and colour to keep your shades pure.
I’ve read you should use vodka or alcohol (not water) because it evaporates quickly. But I didn’t have any so I used as little water as possible and painted very lightly and quickly. Once finished the paint was dry in 30 minutes. Perhaps marshmallow fondant is drier than your everyday fondant.
I really recommend the painting experience.
It only took about 15 minutes by the way. For some reason it was easier for me to paint on that cake than when I used to paint on paper (?!). I looked at some lemons and mint leaves then painted them. Then I ran out of inspiration so painted love hearts because I love cakes. Ahem. You can be inspired by what’s in your cake or go abstract. If it’s a birthday cake you could paint all the stuff the birthday boy or girl loves.
An abstract style means you don’t need to paint perfectly. Personally I think everyone can draw and paint. If you’re not sure about it practise first on any extra fondant bits.
Anyway, there you have it: lots of ways to have fun with marshmallow fondant. Or just cover a cake with it.
Curious? Give it a go! 🙂
P.S. If you do, please feel free to leave comments below about your experience and adaptations. I’d love to know about them as would other readers.