I made some homemade black fondant and used it to cover two of the styrofoam cake dummies I used at my last fair. Then I made homemade marshmallows, and after they set up overnight, I melted some and then stretched it into long, gooey strands, which I wrapped around the cake. Definitely one of the most fun things I've done with a cake! Then I used extra black fondant to make a big, creepy spider!
Homemade marshmallow is really fun and easy to make, and they are so delicious, with an amazing creamy texture. You can flavor them with extracts to be any flavor, with vanilla being traditional. They are delicious melted into hot cocoa or on s'mores. You only need to melt a few cubes of homemade marshmallow to make the web effect on the cake, and then you can enjoy the rest of the batch however you want.
Makes 80 jumbo size marshmallows
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
2 packets unflavored gelatin (about 2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or other flavor as desired)
Sift powdered sugar and cornstarch together into a small bowl, set aside. Line a 9 by 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spray a rubber or silicone spatula with cooking spray and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let soften while you prepare the sugar syrup.
In a medium heavy duty saucepan, add the remaining 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, swirling the pan so the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Simmer until the mixture reaches 240 F degrees, 6-8 minutes.
Turn the mixer onto speed 2 and slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture, trying not to get it on the side of the bowl or on the whisk. Once all the syrup is added, carefully increase the speed to high and whip 10-12 minutes, until the outside of the bowl feels lukewarm to the touch.
Quickly scrape the marshmallow into the greased foil lined pan with the greased spatula, spreading as evenly as possible. Sift two tablespoons of the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture over the top and let the marshmallow sit 8-12 hours to set up.
Sift another 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar mixture onto the counter and use the foil to lift the marshmallow out of the pan. Turn it upside down onto the counter and peel off the foil. Sift 2 more tablespoons of powdered sugar over the marshmallow. Spray a very large, sharp knife with cooking spray and cut into 10 by 8 (80) one inch cubes. Toss the cubes in the remaining powdered sugar mixture and shake off the excess. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.