Colettes Birthday Cakes

Reference recipes from Colette Peters
1. Rolled Fondant:
2 pounds confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup white corn syrup
11/2 tbsp glycerine
1tsp flavoring
liquid coloring if desired

Soak the gelatin in the water for five minutes. Melt gelatin over low flame until liquid is clear, add glycerin, corn syrup and flavorings. Add to sugar. Mix with fork until all liquid is incorporated. Knead gently with hands until all sugar is incorporated. Cover well with plastic wrap and keep overnight.

Mix with dye as required. Go slowly, lighter shades can be made darker but not viceversa. Ive used Candy dyes so far, because they are oil based and work very well with fondant. To be specific, Chefmaster and wilton candy dyes. Iam not sure how well water based dyes will work with fondant.

Cooks notes: Could try flavored gelatin next time. For flavor , oils seem to work best, tangerine, orange, lemon. Gives off a nice strong enticing aroma. Although the recipe calls for resting the dough overnight, I have mixed and used fondant immediately - worked just fine. Would love to know the advantages of letting the fondant rest overnight.

To cover a cake with fondant:
Required: A crumb coated cake, fresh buttercream or royal icing, dyed fondant. For a square cake, cover opposite vertical sides first . Then cover the other two sides. It is relatively easy to get straight edges if your cake is straight. However, the overlap is still seen. Usually other people seem to get around this by using decorations to hide the seam.

For any cracks, use white crisco or vegetable oil to smooth over.

2. Royal Icing
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp water
1 pound confectioners sugar ( 3 3/4 cups)

Combine all ingredients until well mixed slowly. Beat until stiff peaks form. For Stiffer icing add more sugar, for looser icing add more water.

3. Modelling Chocolate
10 ounces Confectionary coating
3 ounces light corn syrup

Melt the coating in a bowl over simmering water. Add the corn syrup, combine and wrap in plastic wrap until cool. It will seem stiff, but will become smoother with the warmth of your hands.

See sample using chocolate chips here http://foodtravails.blogspot.com/2007/09/birthday-cake.html

4. Chocolate Ganache

12 ounces semi sweet choc chips ( 2 cups)
8 ounces hvy cream
2 tsp flavoring

Heat cream until just below boiling point. Add choc and cover five minutes. Stir. Cover Again. After five minutes, whisk until shiny