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SheSaysTV on Areavoices.com, Published January 23 2013

The Great Indoors with Tracy Briggs: Overcome your fondant fear (with video)

You know you’ve thought it. You see a recipe on Pinterest and you think, “Well that’s great, but I could never make it!”

That’s what Areavoices blogger Shannon Olson once thought. An untrained baker, she’s become a local expert on fun, creative cake decorating, and she says it’s easier than you might think.

Take, for example, fondant. The smooth, beautiful frosting looks difficult to master. But Olson shows us how to make your own fondant. In this case, she’s using it to make a cake that looks like a box of popcorn.

Watch our weekly video blog “The Great Indoors” at SheSaysTV.AreaVoices.

com to see Olson make this fun cake.

Fondant-Covered ‘Popcorn’ Cake

1 prepared cake, cooled and sliced in half (Shannon used a pan that was 8-by-9½-by-3-inch Pyrex pan).

Caramel popcorn

Fondant ingredients

16 ounces mini marshmallows

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds powdered sugar

Crisco (white, not butter flavored)

Icing ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar (adjust to consistency needed)

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

To make the fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons water in a microwavable bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Continue heating 15 to 20 seconds, stirring in between, adding additional water if needed until smooth and completely melted.

Stir in ¾ bag of powdered sugar.

Grease counter top or board with Crisco, pour out fondant.

Grease hands and begin kneading, working in more sugar if needed. Fondant should end up being smooth, not dry and not sticky. If it gets too dry, add a very small amount of water.

Take about a fourth of it and mix in red food coloring.

Store red and white fondant in plastic wrap. Set aside.

Cream butter, add powdered sugar, milk and extract to create icing. Add remaining sugar until smooth spreadable consistency.

When cake is completely cooled, cut it to the desired size for your popcorn box. Spread the icing on the cake. Don’t worry about whether crumbs mix in with the frosting. This layer of frosting is simply the glue that will hold the fondant in place. Appearance doesn’t matter. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Take fondant out of plastic wrap. Cover countertop or workspace with powdered sugar and begin to roll out the fondant to the size needed to cover your cake. Roll out red fondant as well and make the red stripes for the popcorn box. Carefully place white fondant over the top of the cake with an opening at the top. Place red stripes on top of the white fondant. Place caramel corn at the opening of the cake. Refrigerate until it’s served.