Another year, another birthday cake. As Owen gets older, his creativity challenges my baking skills! This year he said he wanted a Lego cake, and anything Star Wars would be awesome. A Clone Trooper it is!
I wanted to try out a rolled fondant for the smooth finish. I have never done this and was a little nervous. I found a great website that had a marshmallow fondant recipe and lots of help on how to use this stuff. It wasn't as tough as I thought, but it was VERY messy. Sticky melted marshmallows and 2 pounds of powdered sugar kneaded by hand... with a bit of Crisco to keep things nice and slippery! The finished log remined me of a greased watermelon... It was greased, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated overnight.
Rolling it out the next day was easy, but messy. Cornstarch is sprinkled over everything to keep the fondant from sticking. But the principles are the same as rolling a pie crust. I rolled it around the rolling pin to transport it to the cake when ready.
Now the cake. Duncan Hines yellow cake in a 9x13, baked, then FROZEN. If you're going to do any fancy cutting on a cake, freeze it first. It keeps it from falling apart. I felt like Michelangelo while sculpting this! I didn't worry about smooth curves too much because the fondant would cover a lot of sins.
I missed a step in my photos: there's a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting (from a can!) over the cake under the fondant. It helps smooth the fondant and "glue" it to the cake. A few careful cuts with a knife neatly trims the edges.
Here's the covered cake. I had to help the fondant a bit in the nooks and crannies by giving it a little extra shaping with my hands. I kneaded a good amount of cocoa powder into some extra fondant to make it brown. That kind of dried it out and made it a bit too dry, but my kitchen was a mess and I was pretty tired of this expedition at this point, so I said good enough. We're going to eat this after all, not put it in a museum!