Lego Fondant Fancies – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 9)

img_5356Week 8! Patisserie Week!

This week saw the bakers making 24 savoury palmiers, some fancy liqueur soaked cake called a ‘Savarin’, and a showstopper of 36 fondant fancies.

I swear as soon as my sister heard the words ‘fondant fancies’ she turned to me with the happiest smug face possible. Basically the raised eyebrow emoji. She loves them a bit too much.

img_5362The bakers had to make theirs to the following criteria:

  • must be 36
  • 2 flavours; 18 of each
  • Genoise sponge, buttercream and fondant must be made from scratch

I spent a few days thinking about flavour ideas, and looking at different fondant fancies/petit fours online. I knew I wanted to make them look really cool (as well as obviously taste good!), so I started focussing on the design.

I don’t know what made me think of it, but suddenly the idea of lego came to made and I knew I had it. LEGO CAKES! How fricking awesome is that?! *belts out ‘Everything Is AWESOME!’

img_5385I then decided making red and yellow ones would look best together, then planned my flavours around that.

The red ones obviously becoming ‘red velvet’. Maybe a bit safe and simple, but it’s generally a favourite. Bright red fondant fancies filled with bright red cake and cream cheese filling.

Then for the yellow ones I naturally thought, ‘lemon’. However, to make things interesting I opted for pink lemonade. Bright yellow fondant fancies concealing a surprisingly pink lemon cake, and filled with raspberry curd and fizzy popping candy.

Here’s how I got on…

img_5258First I started with the cakes. Like for any Genoise sponge I whisked up the eggs and sugar till pale, thick and fluffy.

I then added pink gel food colouring to one batter, and red powdered food colouring to the other and whisked in till I was happy with the colour.

img_5272For the pink lemonade cake I then added the juice and zest of 1 lemon, then sifted in the flour and salt. I folded this gently into the whipped eggs, trying to keep as much air in as possible.

img_5278For the red velvet cake I just sifted in flour, salt and cocoa powder.

img_5281img_5275I then poured in the melted butter to the cake batters and folded this in till combined. (For the red velvet cake I also added a tsp of vanilla extract to the butter.)

I poured the cake batter into a lined 8″ square tin and baked each for 20 minutes until beginning to brown on top and a skewer came out clean. (I could have baked both at the same time to save time but I only have one tin that size. Sad times.)

Once baked, I let them cool to room temperature before moving to the fridge to completely chill and firm up a bit.

img_5283Whilst the cakes were baking I got started with the fillings. For the cream cheese filling I simply beat together the chilled cream cheese and icing sugar, then set this aside in the fridge till needed. Literally took 5 minutes.

img_5287For the raspberry curd, I started by melting the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.

img_5290I then added the lemon juice…

img_5292…and the raspberries, sugar, egg yolks and salt.

img_5221I cooked this on a medium heat for about 10mins, constantly stirring, until the berries broke down and the whole mixture had thickened.

img_5298I then strained the mixture through a sieve to remove the pulp and seeds.

img_5227I covered the surface with cling film to prevent a skin from forming and set aside in the fridge till needed.

img_5228I then made the standard Swiss meringue buttercream I always make by adding egg whites and sugar to a heatproof bowl, then dissolving the sugar by placing the bowl over a pan of simmering water.

img_5231img_5293Once I was happy I couldn’t feel any grains of sugar I removed from the heat.

img_5300I then poured this into a stand mixer and whisked for 8-10mins till cooled and it formed a thick, glossy meringue.

img_5301I then switched to the paddle attachment and gradually beat in small pieces of the softened butter until I got a light buttercream.

I then split this between 2 bowls.

img_5305To one bowl I added vanilla extract and red food colouring (though I ran out of red colouring so it looked pink). This was to coat the red velvet fondant fancies.

img_5306img_5307To the other half I added 2tbsp of lemon juice and yellow gel colouring to cover the pink lemonade fondant fancies.

img_5308With the fillings and buttercream made, and the cakes baked, everything seemed to be going so swimmingly.

img_3348I was so chill I even took a break to watch an episode of Sister Sister with my sister.

img_5312After my break I got to cake cutting. First I levelled each cake to 3cm high. Yes, I have a kitchen ruler.

img_5319I then trimmed the edges so it was a perfect 20x20cm square. I also marked out a grid of 4x4cm squares and scored the top, not cutting all the way through.

img_5320I took a small piping nozzle and used this to cut out a small circle of cake from each 4x4cm square for the fillings.

img_5321For the red velvet cake I spooned the cream cheese filling into a piping bag and piped this into the holes.

img_5324For the pink lemonade cake I sprinkled in some popping candy, in the hopes that it would add a sparkling, fizzy sensation.

img_5325I then piped the raspberry curd on top to fill the rest of the holes. The popping candy did start to fizz a little, but I added enough that some did last till eating.

img_5252I then rolled out my red marzipan to ½cm thickness and cut out a 20x20cm square. I also scored out the 4x4cm grid to help with cutting later.

img_5253I spread a thin layer of the red pink buttercream on top of the cake, before laying the marzipan square on top and pressing down gently to stick. I then cut into cubes following the 4x4cm grid.

Then I repeated this for the pink lemonade cake and the yellow marzipan.

img_5332Once I had the cake cubes I coated the sides with a thin layer of the appropriate buttercream, then chilled in the fridge for a minimum of 30mins to firm up.

I actually kept mine in there for longer whilst I was faffing with the fondant, so half way through I actually took them out and with slightly wet fingers smoothed out the sides for sharper edges.

img_5334For the fondant (ugh!), I added water, icing sugar and corn syrup to a heavy bottomed saucepan and mixed off the heat till combined. You could use golden syrup if you can’t find corn syrup, but it would have a slight colour to it.

img_5338I then bubbled this on a medium heat till it reached 114°C (the ‘soft ball’ stage) and removed from the heat.

img_5343I poured it into a stand mixer and let it cool to 60°C before beating till it thickened and turned an opaque white. At this stage I added the colouring and flavourings. This is also when the fondant drama started.

At this point the fondant started to cool too much that it became too thick to pour. I know this because when I tried it didn’t really go anywhere!

I then reheated the fondant and tried pouring it, but this time it was too warm and runny then it just slid right off and started melting the buttercream.

Then I stopped and reassessed the situation, before reheating it one last time to try… but by this stage the fondant started getting grainy and looked a right mess.

This is when I just lost all chill and couldn’t be bothered any longer! (By this point I’d given up on keeping time and was just trying to do it right, so it ended up being 8pm in the evening and I was absolutely EXHAUSTED!)

So yeah, I covered like 6 fondant fancies then stopped to eat dinner.

img_5339After my dinner, I FINALLY rolled out some of the coloured marzipan and cut small discs to sit on top of each fondant fancy to look like pieces of lego.

img_5360They were messy, but they were FINISHED!!

Well 6 of them were.

Nailed it. 👍

img_5376

Overall…

How long did it take? Ok, so this is a difficult one as I teeeechnically didn’t finish and gave up keeping time. However, if I was looking at how long it took me to just get up to the fondant making/pouring stage? 4 hours. (Again, this includes taking photos and having to juggle stuff in my crammed fridge/freezer! I wasn’t really rushing though, so I feel like I could have easily cut that down to 3 hours. Especially if I baked both cakes at the same time!

What worked? I’m pretty happy with the flavours – the pink lemonade ones especially! I like to think I got sharp edges when coating with buttercream too.

What didn’t work? Everything was going so smoothly until I got to the fondant. Firstly it started setting before I got to pouring. Then it was too runny and warm that it was melting the buttercream. Then from all the reheating it was starting to get grainy. And let’s not forget the fact that I severely underestimated how much I would need in the first place and only made enough to coat just 6 of each colour! It’s safe to say I was DONE with fondant after those 6.

Things to improve if I were to take this recipe to the tent? Not surprisingly, the fondant. The recipe I used worked, it’s just knowing when and how to pour it that I need to figure out.

*****

Lego Fondant Fancies – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 9)
Author: Acorns & Custard
Serves: 50
Ingredients
  • For the Red Velvet Genoise sponge:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • red gel food colouring
  • 150g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 45g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • For the Pink Lemonade Genoise sponge:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • pink gel food colouring
  • 180g plain flour
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 45g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • For the Raspberry Lemon Curd:
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 170g fresh raspberries
  • 75g caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 180g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g icing sugar
  • For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 170g egg whites
  • 340g caster sugar
  • 450g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • red/yellow gel food colouring
  • For the Pouring Fondant (probably x6 to have enough):
  • 480g icing sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 50ml corn syrup/golden syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla/lemon extract
  • red/yellow gel food colouring
  • optional extras:
  • popping candy
  • marzipan (dyed red and yellow)
Instructions
For the Red Velvet Genoise sponge:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and red food colouring until thick and fluffy. The mixture should be doubled in volume and able to hold it’s form for a few seconds when drizzling – ‘ribbon stage’.
  3. Sift in the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Gently fold into the mixture, making sure there are no pockets of flour but keeping as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to the melted butter, before drizzling and folding into the mixture gently.
  6. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 20 minutes until the sponge is golden and springs back slightly when pressed.
  7. Leave to cool completely.
For the Pink Lemonade Genoise sponge:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and pink food colouring until thick and fluffy. The mixture should be doubled in volume and able to hold it’s form for a few seconds when drizzling – ‘ribbon stage’.
  3. Sift in the flour, salt and add the lemon zest.
  4. Gently fold into the mixture, making sure there are no pockets of flour but keeping as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Drizzle in the melted butter and lemon juice and fold in gently.
  6. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 20 minutes until the sponge is golden and springs back slightly when pressed.
  7. Leave to cool completely.
For the Raspberry Lemon Curd:
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat.
  2. Add the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest, egg yolks and salt.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, constantly stirring and crushing the raspberries, until thickened. (Mine took about 10mins.)
  4. Strain through a sieve.
  5. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool slightly before pressing a piece of cling film onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  6. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  1. Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until softly whipped.
  2. Refrigerate until needed.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Add the egg whites and sugar to a large heatproof bowl, and place on top of a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk over the heat until the sugar dissolves. (You can test this by rubbing it between two fingers to feel for sugar crystals.) Remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk on a high speed for about 8 minutes until the mixture has cooled and you get a stiff, glossy meringue.
  4. Switch to a paddle attachment (if using a stand mixer), and whilst mixing, add a small amount of the softened butter to the meringue.
  5. Continue to add small amounts of butter until finished and fully incorporated.
  6. Half the mixture into two bowls.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and red food colouring to one half and mix till evenly coloured.
  8. Add the lemon juice and yellow food colouring to the other half and mix till evenly coloured.
To construct the Red Velvet Fondant Fancies:
  1. Level the top of the red velvet cake layer, then trim to a neat square of 20x20cm. Measure and mark a grid of 4x4cm squares, but do not cut all the way down.
  2. Using a piping nozzle, scoop out a small circle of cake from the middle of each 4x4cm square.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the cream cheese filling and pipe into each hole.
  4. Roll out the red marzipan to approx. ½cm thick and cut out a 20x20cm square. Score out the 4x4cm grid.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the red buttercream onto the cake then lay the marzipan grid on top, pressing down to seal.
  6. Cut along the 4x4cm grid to make 20 filled cubes of cake.
  7. Frost the sides of the cake cubes with the red buttercream to seal in the crumbs and to smooth the edges.
  8. Set the cake cubes in a fridge to chill and harden for a minimum of 30 minutes.
To construct the Pink Lemonade Fondant Fancies:
  1. Level the top of the pink lemonade cake layer, then trim to a neat square of 20x20cm. Measure and mark a grid of 4x4cm squares, but do not cut all the way down.
  2. Using a piping nozzle, scoop out a small circle of cake from the middle of each 4x4cm square.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of popping candy into each hole.
  4. Fill a piping bag with the raspberry curd and pipe to fill each hole.
  5. Roll out the yellow marzipan to approx. ½cm thick and cut out a 20x20cm square. Score out the 4x4cm grid.
  6. Spread a thin layer of the yellow buttercream onto the cake then lay the marzipan grid on top, pressing down to seal.
  7. Cut along the 4x4cm grid to make 20 filled cubes of cake.
  8. Frost the sides of the cake cubes with the yellow buttercream to seal in the crumbs and to smooth the edges.
  9. Set the cake cubes in a fridge to chill and harden for a minimum of 30 minutes.
For the Pouring Fondant:
  1. Combine the sugar, syrup and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan until fully mixed.
  2. Cook quickly over a high heat until it reaches 114°C (‘soft ball’ stage).
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Leave to cool to 60°C.
  4. Once cooled to 60°C, beat on a medium speed until it turns white and thickens.
  5. Add the extract and enough gel colouring to achieve your desired colour and beat into the fondant.
  6. Pour/spoon over the fondant icing over the chilled cubes of cakes to coat entirely. (Excess fondant can be reheated and re-poured, but do not reheat too much as it will go grainy!)
  7. Set on a wire rack to cool and set.
  8. Roll a tube of red marzipan and slice small even sized discs to set on top of the red cake cubes, using a bit of water to stick if needed. Repeat with the yellow cubes.

 

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