I can't believe I did this fondant covered chocolate cake. I've wanted to do a fondant icing for some time. I don't really like the taste of fondant and I don't like the expense. But they always look really good when decorated and they keep pretty well in different weather so I wanted to try it. I found a homemade recipe on line - just look, there are several good ones. Just type in "homemade fondant recipes." The one I found used mini marshmallows and powdered sugar. You can find it at http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm
After baking a cake I realized I need to "crumb frost" the cake with a butter cream frosting. I bought a box of Wilton's Butter Cream Frosting and though it's a nice texture it's expensive for the amount it makes. So I looked on line again and found a butter cream icing recipe that pros use. I used Crisco instead of butter and added 1 teaspoon butter flavoring. I wanted the icing to be white and butter tints it slightly yellow. I also added a tablespoon of powdered meringue to the mix. I think it gives it some lift for decorating flowers.
I evened the layers out with a cake trimmer. Handy little tool that does an amazing job at squaring the cake. Then I made my ganache. I used one 12 oz bag of Nestles chocolate and mint chips and 3/4 cup cream. I put this in the top of a double boiler until melted and smooth. Then I put a rim of white butter cream around the edge of one of the cakes. This helps hold in the filling so it doesn't squish out the sides when you put the top layer on. Inside the ring I poured the ganache filling. I added the top, frosted the cake on top and sides and tried to get it as smooth and even as possible. Then I put it in the fridge to cool.
It took me four times to roll out my fondant to the right texture. It has a tendency to absorbed the powdered sugar that I sprinkled down like flour under pastry dough. I had to keep putting powdered sugar under the fondant as I rolled it out. I also had tears at first. But adding very small amounts of water and kneading the fondant again I was finally able to find the right balance and got a smooth roll out. I rolled it up carefully on the roller. I got the cooled cake from the fridge and laid the fondant over it. I smoothed it out and trimmed it off the bottom. I had to be careful smoothing the fondant because it will stretch a bit. I patiently worked it until I got a smooth covering. I was amazed that it turned out somewhat like it should.
With the rest of the butter cream frosting I made leaves and flowers and trimmed out the cake. Now this whole process took me several days as I started with the fondant, then made the cake, then did the decorating. I can't imagine making a cake like this in 8 hours like the folks on Food Network challenge do. I realize they have to bring lots of stuff already done, but still decorating the cake takes the longest. All in all it turned out pretty good. So, yes. I will try doing this again.