The greatest passion with my career is the art form, and creativity level of any recipe, cake, or project that I take on. It's that challenge of trying to take an edible object and reinventing it! I was recently asked to do a hibiscus and flip-flop cake for a friend of mine, and I was racking my brain for days trying to decide which edible material I would use for the flip-flops. Any number of things came to mind, (mainly cookies, chocolate, and fondant), but I noticed the bag of giant fruit-flavored marshmallows in my pantry, and I decided to "play"! (There are so many flavors and colors of marshmallows available on the market now to choose from, and the marshmallows resemble the same texture as the foam flip-flops!)
I needed two different sizes- small for the cupcakes, and some larger sizes for the 8 in. cake. I could've devised a cardboard cut-out to use for shaping- but that would've taken forever to cut by hand each one!!! So, I created my own small cutter by shaping an old large pastry tip of mine! I simply used a bit of powdered sugar so the marshmallow wouldn't get stuck to the surface, and used a smaller rolling dowel for rolling out the marshmallows. The cutter I made definitely worked wonders! For the larger flip-flops, I actually found a flip-flop cookie cutter in a set of "tropical themed" cutters at a local craft store. With some of the scrap pieces, I used some of my small flower- shaped gum paste cutters to cut out the flowers with.
The bands for the flip-flops were also a challenge. Again, several different materials could've been used, but I went with the fun colored "fruit roll-ups" you can buy in most grocery stores. I just simply cut small strips and folded into a "v" formation for the small flip-flops. For the larger ones, I cut larger strips, folded in half vertically, and twisted; placed on the flip-flop the way I wanted it, and wrapped the ends to the back, (making sure to cut off excess). When it came time to place the large ones on the side of the cake, I used a small amount of frosting to attach it, and a small dot under the band and on top, to make sure the band and flower decoration held on the cake.
Some of the flowers on the small flip-flops were flower "sprinkles", and some were the marshmallow ones I cut out. The large ones, (especially), had to be rolled out thin, so since these were being used as decoration on the side of the cake- it was perfect! If you wanted to make large ones that were "thicker" or more scaled to real thickness- you would have to either make your own marshmallows, (very large to roll out), or use a different material all together as combining marshmallows together doesn't work once they are formed into shape! (It is very lumpy!)
So, there you have it, another decorative use for marshmallows!