Today is my co-worker’s birthday. Happy Birthday Wilson! It has been a running joke at work for a while now that Wilson looks like one of the minions from Despicable Me (haha sorry friend!), so we decided to make him a minion cake to celebrate the occasion. It was my first time working with fondant, but I think the finished product came out pretty good for a newbie!
I unfortunately had to leave work before they cut into the cake, and when I went into work yesterday morning this piece is all that was left! Sadly I don’t have a nice pretty picture of the cake freshly sliced, but at least everyone loved it enough that it didn’t last!
I usually bake my cakes from scratch, but for this one I ended up using a cake mix because I knew I wanted to spend the majority of my time working on the decorating. I chose a very basic milk chocolate cake to help balance out the super-sweet flavor of the fondant, and it did help quite a bit. I frosted and filled the cake with a white chocolate ganache (which was so delicious that I ate the leftovers with a spoon) and then I rolled out the fondant and decorated it.
To make the ganache I used 3 parts chocolate to 1 part heavy whipping cream. In this instance I got my scale out and used 900g of chocolate and 300g of heavy cream. This made more than enough for me to fill the cake and frost it, though if I hadn’t been covering it with fondant I’m guessing that it would have been just enough to get a nice thick, even layer around the whole cake.
To make the ganache, I brought the heavy cream up to a simmer until there were small bubbles around the edge, and then I poured that over my chocolate. I rotated the bowl back and forth a few times to make sure that all of the chocolate was covered, and then I let it sit on my counter for about a minute and a half to allow it to start to melt. I then mixed it with a spatula until it was nicely blended. I found that it was still slightly lumpy, so I heated it in my microwave for about 15 seconds on high, which was just long enough to smooth it out completely. I read on a few sites that you can leave it out at room temperature for several hours until it becomes peanut butter consistency, or you can even make it the day before. I didn’t have the luxury of time on my side, so after it cooled to room temperature I put it in the fridge, which helped it set to the right consistency in about an hour. I don’t really know if you are supposed to do that or not…but I did and it seemed to work just fine!
For tips on how to apply the ganache smoothly, I watched this YouTube video by Three Little Blackbirds. Their website is amazing and the cakes they make look beyond delicious. Though the video is super long, I found it to be very helpful.
I made the fondant from scratch following this recipe here from The Baking Beauties, and then followed these tips from Sugar Coated Chronicle to learn how to have a smooth application. I did add significantly more powdered sugar than they recommended when I was rolling it out, but it is so ridiculously humid here that I really didn’t have a choice or it would have just stuck to the counter. Plus, we don’t have air conditioning (seriously what’s up with that, Hawaii???) so between the heat and humidity it was quite sticky. Luckily it worked out well though. The internet really is an amazing place that I could have all of this help at my fingertips!
The cake ended up being delicious, and I am definitely looking forward to working on my cake decorating skills. I’d love to try to make a whole cake with just the chocolate ganache frosting. The fondant always looks nice, but I personally don’t really like to eat it. Granted, this recipe that I used was much better tasting than normal fondant, but I still don’t prefer it. I have three months before I need to make Evan’s first birthday cake…hopefully I learn a little more before then!
Linking up again for Delicious Dish Tuesday! I feel so special because Alesha from Full Time Mama picked my Zesty Chicken Mini-Tacos from last week’s link up as her featured recipe this week. Thanks, Alesha!
PS- None of these links nor the content of this post is sponsored in any way. I just wanted to share with you the websites that were helpful to me as I tried to figure out how to put this cake together!