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the cakes that we hate - a tale of MMF and mispelled names

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ever make one of those cakes that just seems to go wrong from the beginning and ends up a hot mess? Yeah..me too, last night. It was a birthday cake for a friend, for his two girls. I wanted to make it something really special, because I know he has been going through some hard times, and I wanted him to have something really nice to suprise his daughters with.

I set to work with a vision in mind of how great this cake will be. I had to make MMF as I could not afford to get a tub of Satin Ice, and for the life of me I could not get it the right texture. I have a love/relationship with MMF, for every good batch, I've probably thrown out an equal number of disaster batches. I wanted to do a fondant ruffle around the bottom of the cake, but mine kept breaking when I tried to make the pleats, regardless of how much crisco I used to make it more supple. The junk was just too dry, so I ended up doing a solid band of it instead icon_mad.gif

Then I realized I was out of Viva towels to smooth the buttercream on the rest of the cake, so I tried parchment paper, having read that it works too. Nope, icing kept sticking. The icing wouldn't crust(same recipe I have used for 5 yrs without fail) I tried waiting, putting it in the freezer, cursing at it, nothing would make it crust. So I opted for using the paper towels I did have, which left an imprint on the cake, and didn't really smooth it any. I managed to get some flowers cut out of the craptastic fondant, and tried to make it look as non-terrible as I could, but went to bed pretty much disgusted with the cake and myself, having failed to make it "special" as I had wanted. He came to pick it up from my boyfriend while I was at work...and I had mispelled a name on it, even after double checking the spelling right before I did it. Great.

So tell me about that one cake that you hated. And how do you make some MMF that won't go in the trash and require you to get some anger management therapy in the process? I use the basic marshmellows, water, and powder sugar recipe.
The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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post #2 of 34
If it's the zebra one in your photos, that's not a disaster at all. It's very cute. Those little girls are going to love it.

When I make MMF, I use the mixer with the dough hook. I use 2lb powdered sugar, 1 lb marshmallows, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup butter (not margarine). Sometimes I will use 3tbsp water and 1 tbsp clear vanilla extract. I don't grease the bowl or the dough hook. It comes out the same every time. I can make ten batches and the consistency is the same in all of them.

If you add too much Crisco, sometimes that will make MMF impossible to work with.
post #3 of 34
this past summer, I made the (free) cake for a friend who was renewing her wedding vows. that 6" top tier wouldn't ice well. No problems with the bottom two tiers, but I scraped the top tier off about 3-4 times. Icing wouldn't stick, wouldn't smooth, woudn't crust (and the other 2 tiers worked FINE! same icing!).

I was ready to throw it across the room. shared the stories with my friend (and we were laughing the whole time) and i told her "Good thing I luv ya, 'cuz I won't go thru this for anyone else!" icon_lol.gif
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
It's not the zebra one, although me and the fondant went rounds on that one as well. I didn't bother posting a pic of it, but he put it on his facebook page and tagged me in it so all his friends will now know who messed up the name lol

Deb, I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants to shotput a cake every once in a while!
The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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post #5 of 34
This past Fourth of July I attempted to make the "Flag inside" cake but the cakes just kept falling apart, no matter what I tried. Then my frosting wouldn't crust or go on smooth. Then my fondant and candy clay insisted on being sticky and difficult so I couldn't make a pretty banner. From beginning to end it was a "hot mess" and I was finally forced to throw up my hands with a Good Enough. To this day it is an embarrassment to me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I did load the mostrosity into my photos.

The only positive - it tasted great. It was the last time I made indy's frosting - just can't get it to work. Se-la-vie.
I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Kitty, I think it looks good, but I know if you hate it, you will always hate it. Is there a "my worst cake" thread? I'd contribute.

Texas sugar - does the little bit of butter improve the "flexibility" of it?
The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose


When I make MMF, I use the mixer with the dough hook. I use 2lb powdered sugar, 1 lb marshmallows, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup butter (not margarine). Sometimes I will use 3tbsp water and 1 tbsp clear vanilla extract. I don't grease the bowl or the dough hook. It comes out the same every time. I can make ten batches and the consistency is the same in all of them.

If you add too much Crisco, sometimes that will make MMF impossible to work with.



Ok Texas Rose, I have tried MMF twice and it was a disaster, your recipe is the first that I've seen that uses butter and a fixed amount of water....so would you mind walking me through the process you use making your MMF. I really need to try to make it again. The premade stuff is expensive and I'm not that happy with it most of the time.

As for cakes who fight back, the ivory and pink roses cake was a royal pain for me. I know you probably can't see it in the pics but it was my first time using Choco-pan it was too soft, and then it ripped along the top...I was able to hide a lot of flaws with all those roses but that cake was a battle. Even the filling didn't work right.

I've had one true disaster and that was my mad hatter cake that fell actually split apart AFTER I had finished iticon_sad.gif Thank god it was a cake for my own wedding shower...but I still cried. It was going to be so cuteicon_sad.gif I vowed to remake it but still haven't done it.
Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

If it's the zebra one in your photos, that's not a disaster at all. It's very cute. Those little girls are going to love it.

When I make MMF, I use the mixer with the dough hook. I use 2lb powdered sugar, 1 lb marshmallows, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup butter (not margarine). Sometimes I will use 3tbsp water and 1 tbsp clear vanilla extract. I don't grease the bowl or the dough hook. It comes out the same every time. I can make ten batches and the consistency is the same in all of them.

If you add too much Crisco, sometimes that will make MMF impossible to work with.



Sorry to highjack - have a couple questions for Texas_Rose. After giving up on MMF over a year ago, I'm trying it again tonight because my niece wants to decorate cupcakes again with her friends and hubby won't let me use premade fondant for that! Niece is insisting on fondant since we did buttercream on her last birthday and she got to try fondant at Christmas.

I was researching more recipes hoping to find one that would work better (hopefully!!) and have a few questions. Do you melt the butter with the marshmallows and water? Dump that in mixer before or after adding the powdered sugar? Also, what did you mean by "sometimes will use 3TBL water & 1 TBL..." - in place of the butter or in addition, too? Thank you!
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
*Texas Rose - sorry, as you can tell, I'm bad with names!
The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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The power of cake - bringing co-irkers together to feign interest in each other's birthdays once a month.
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post #10 of 34
I only use MMF. I use the recipe from here as written and it never fails. For a change I'll use Tesso's jello MMF.

I always kneed by hand and stop when it starts to get difficult to incorporate any more PS. Usually after about 1.5lbs. Then coat in crisco, tightly wrap and let sit in the cabinet for 24hrs. Then I add more PS the next day if it's sticky until it feels right.

If the whole batch needs to be one color I add color to the melted mallows while stirring, before adding ps.

HTH.
I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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post #11 of 34
Last month I made a cake for a friend-of-a-friend's daughter. in our correspondence, mom really stressed how everyone mis-spells daughters name and that it was really important to spell the name right.....and yeah... icon_redface.gif I totally mispelled it.
Mom was in a rush when it was picked up and didn't notice until the party that the name was mis-spelled, she called later to tell me and I was so horrified, I mean we had a whole conversation about it and everything! (I have a weird name and have grown up with everyone mis-spelling my own name!). Luckily she was so forgiving and way nice about it-didn't want money back or is going to sue me or anything icon_biggrin.gif
"I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I got a cake." Mitch Hedberg
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"I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I got a cake." Mitch Hedberg
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post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs_confections

I was researching more recipes hoping to find one that would work better (hopefully!!) and have a few questions. Do you melt the butter with the marshmallows and water? Dump that in mixer before or after adding the powdered sugar? Also, what did you mean by "sometimes will use 3TBL water & 1 TBL..." - in place of the butter or in addition, too? Thank you!



cs_confections; 4TBS = 1/4 cup. so she uses either 1/4 (4TBS) water or adds flavor to it - 3TBS water 1 clear vanilla.

oh, I'd put the powdered sugar in the mixer and the melted mm's in next and mix with dough hook - Texas Rose, please correct me if I am wrong

Good luck with you next try!

HTH
post #13 of 34
I melt the marshmallows with the water. Add extract after the marshmallows are melted, if you're going to. Add color at that point, if you're going to color the whole batch one color.

Put the melted marshmallows in the mixer, add the powdered sugar on top, then add the butter, cut into small pieces. Mix on stir or 2, never any higher, until the consistency looks right and all the butter is blended in.

If you're using it on a cake, at that point wrap it up and let it rest 24 hours. If you're using it on cookies, you can use it right away.

I think the reason most recipes have a range of water amounts is because you're mixing it by hand and may not be able to get all the sugar into it. I've experimented with different amounts of water to figure out what works best for me. Also, I used to grease the dough hook and the bowl with a lot of crisco. I had read that you should do that to keep from burning out the motor in the mixer. Then I started making bread in the mixer and realized that when you're using the dough hook, you want whatever you're mixing to stick to the hook and to the very bottom of the bowl, so all I was really doing by greasing up the bowl was to mix in Crisco. I'd rather eat butter than Crisco any day (and I've noticed that using butter in my bread recipes makes it mix more easily) so I tried using butter in the MMF and it works well for me. I haven't tried it in the summer yet...I have trouble with butter in buttercream during the summer months, so it may be an issue in the MMF, but I don't know yet.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

cs_confections; 4TBS = 1/4 cup. so she uses either 1/4 (4TBS) water or adds flavor to it - 3TBS water 1 clear vanilla.




This is exactly right icon_biggrin.gif That way you can add flavor without adding more liquid.

If I add an emulsion or oil instead, I don't add as much, so I don't decrease the water amount.
post #15 of 34
Another "facepalm". My state fair entry - misspelled Needlecraft. Doh! That one really torked me. icon_mad.gif
I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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I have Flying Monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them. - Elphaba.
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