It’s been quite a while since I played around with my gourmet fondants. I’ve had tons of ideas on my mind (and a couple Autumn ones that fell by the wayside) and have finally gotten to the point of “I gotta get it out!” So while walking through my beloved Wegmans the other day I saw a box of the red and white striped holiday cheer in the shape of a shepherd’s hook and made from mint, sugary candy cane goodness.
Actually I saw many, many more than “a” box. I saw a stack that could easily have engulfed me if I had knocked into it or pulled the bottom box out of the display… something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Maybe when I’m 80 and just don’t care what people think any more. 🙂
I grabbed the box. I successfully walked away with only enough to complete the cake I had in mind which is a HUGE feat for me! Usually I make up excuses as to why I need 3 more boxes… Then I end up with a sugar high and a sugar crash and candy cane wrappers all over the place. The wrappers are still all over the place. They’re flippin’ little staticky buggers!
My idea was just a beautiful candy cane flecked homemade fondant. Tiny little red and white strips playfully dancing through the soft white rolled sugar. But I couldn’t just make this fondant and put it on a dummy cake. Nope. It called for real cake.
And while I’m totally good with baking real cake, sometime’s I’m just lazy and don’t feel like making the effort. I’ll admit, I kinda wanted to just get a box and be done with it since it was just for pretty picture purposes with my kids then devouring it. However, my kids are cake snobs. They know good cake. They know grocery store cake. They know boxed cake.
And then they know Mom’s cakes. 🙂 I’ve trained them well!
So I pulled up my big girl panties, grabbed my apron, and whipped up a chocolate cake. My Blackout Chocolate Cake, to be exact. Deep, rich, dark chocolate would go great with the peppermint from the candy canes! I wondered if it would be enough peppermint to make it through. I wanted to use my Whipped Bright White Frosting that I had stashed in the freezer from a previous batch. Again. Lazy.
Nope. Le sigh. It wasn’t there.
I pouted for a moment and then got my very cold sticks of butter out of the fridge. More reason to pout. Cold butter.
I was really being a brat about this one. I wanted to focus completely on my Gourmet Candy Cane Fondant!!!
Had to push through. So while that was whipping up I laid into my candy canes. Poor things took a beating. But it was their destiny anyways. And I felt a bit better. Win win!
After I whipped the frosting, I decided to add peppermint gently. I had debated adding vanilla instead, but just couldn’t bring myself to take the safe route. I was going all in with peppermint extract! Peppermint can be a tough one to gauge. If you use a tsp of vanilla in something, chances are you only need 1/4 tsp peppermint if you’re swapping. It’s STRONG. And not everyone can handle in-your-face style peppermint. I like it to be more subtle, understated, demure, ladylike… Not that I know what ladylike is. I’m just it’s the opposite of how I behave often, so I’m making an educated guess 😀
3/4 of a tsp is all that was needed for a medium peppermint intensity. Any more and I wouldn’t have eaten it. Any less and it may not have mingled so wonderfully with the Blackout chocolate cake. You decide how hardcore peppermint you wanna be. Just remember: I warned you.
Longer story short ’cause I can’t wait to just get to the recipe, this cake blew my socks off! I’m not a huge peppermint/chocolate junkie like my husband and usually only enjoy it around Christmas. But I think this may be my new favorite cake/frosting/gourmet fondant combination I’ve ever made!
The crunch from the candy canes was so cool, and I don’t like crunchy things in my baked goods. If you but walnuts in my brownies we’re gonna have a problem. I get salty. This, though… I LOVED! And I’m certain you will, too 🙂 You need to make this for your Christmas and winter parties. Must. You’ll be the rockstar and no one will speak of anything else other than the AMAZING cake that YOU brought to the party.
Like most of my other gourmet fondants, I started with LMF (Liz Marek Fondant). So let’s start by getting you acquainted with that (if you’re not already…).
First click here and check out this recipe for the easy homemade fondant. It’s from Liz Marek of Artisan Cake Company and it’s the base for this recipe. Her Youtube video is below, but definitely visit her website for more great stuff! All of the flavor inclusions I supply for you are in addition to the standard recipe laid out on Liz’s blog and my notes below will show you when and how to add these flavoring components.
Candy Cane Gourmet Fondant
Listed below are the alterations I make to the standard LMF recipe. You’ll need to watch the video above to get the full recipe or visit the website linked above.
- 16 standard sized candy canes, crushed with some small chunks remaining. I ended up with a bit more than 1/8 cup of the powdered candy cane, and 1/2 cup of larger pieces. Save both, but separated by sifting.
- 1 TBSP corn syrup
- Reduce water by half
Crush your candy canes first leaving a bunch of small bits. Don’t be afraid of them 🙂 Sift them to separate the big bits from the powdered part using a colander/pasta strainer – not mesh. This will leave you with small chunk and powder with large chunks left in the strainer. Save those larger chunks as they’ll be your decor later.
Add the corn syrup to the mixer with the marshmallows.
Add the powdered/smaller chunks part to your fondant at the same time you add the first part of powdered sugar while it’s in the mixer.
Make the rest of the recipe as it’s written.
If you want your fondant to be more white than pink, make it right before you need to use it. If you let it sit over night the candy cane bits will soften slightly and be a tad less crunchy.
This fondant can be draped over the cake, but you’ll want to have the part that was against the table turned outward as your finished side when yo apply it to your cake. I would suggest panelling it, though. It’ll be a bit easier.
I used corn syrup to attach the candy cane pieces to the edge and bottom and the edible snow on top is my wafer paper snow with my free Snowy the Penguin tutorial. 🙂 And the ornament on top is a hand painted blown sugar ornament. Below you can get my peppermint buttercream recipe. And don’t be afraid to use a dark chocolate ganache on the outside for an extra layer of awesomeness!