Fondant

Fondant Friday: Homemade Fondant

IMG 1898 Edited Fondant Friday: Homemade Fondant

Some of you may recall the Fondant Friday posts that appeared during this blog’s infancy. They weren’t too good but at the time, I had big aspirations to practice, practice, practice and become really adept at working with fondant. But aside from making a few fondant flowers to top cupcakes near the Fourth of July, I didn’t touch fondant again until this past week. As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, I topped red velvet shortbread cookies with a layer of icing and homemade fondant.

I was very curious about how to make fondant at home and how the taste of homemade fondant would compare to that of store-bought fondant. My friend Niki once told me she prefers to look at cakes decorated with fondant, but prefers to eat cakes covered in icing. I thought that was a very eloquent way to say fondant just tastes bad!

Since the homemade fondant recipe I used called only for sugar in various forms – marshmallows, corn syrup, and confectioner’s sugar – and flavorings, the taste was superior to the two store-bought fondants, Duff and Wilton brands, I had tasted. While Duff’s fondant tastes pretty good, Wilton’s fondant is terrible. Wilton offers a lot of great baking-related products, but fondant is not one of them.

Making homemade fondant is a sticky process that requires a lot of kneading. I can’t stress enough how important it is to lightly coat the mixing bowls and utensils you will use with non-stick cooking spray or shortening. Since fondant is so thick, more like modeling clay than Play-Doh, you will likely need to knead by hand at some point. Adding a bit of confectioners’ sugar to fondant, just like adding flour to bread dough, while kneading helps alleviate the stickiness.

IMG 1903 Edited Fondant Friday: Homemade Fondant

My number one tip for working with fondant is to make sure your work surface is clean. Wipe off the counter, or mat if you have one, and then wipe it off again. Fondant picks up crumbs and dust like a magnet, and it’s no fun to roll out a sheet of fondant and then see flecks of non-fondant stuff all over it. Seriously, someone should start to market fondant as a perishable lint roller.

Other suggestions include rubbing a thin coat of white vegetable shortening on the work surface and your hands before rolling out the fondant, but I’ve always just used my dusting pouch filled with equal parts confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch to prevent the rolled out fondant from sticking to the work surface.

To color fondant, I dab a small ball of fondant with a toothpick dipped in gel food color until the fondant is speckled. Then I knead the color into the fondant until it is consistent throughout. As for kneading, I work an entire batch of fondant likeI would knead bread dough, pressing it out with my hands and folding it over.  When kneading in color, I pull the smaller ball of fondant like I imagine I would pull taffy.

If you have never worked with fondant before, I would suggest buying a cheap package of fondant (that’s where the Wilton brand comes in handy) simply to get a feel for the texture and its properties.  Working with fondant takes time and patience, but with practice, you can do some pretty cool things.  See the Cake Journal blog for all of my favorite fondant tutorials. Happy (Fondant) Friday!

IMG 1901 Edited Fondant Friday: Homemade Fondant

 

Homemade Fondant
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Non-stick cooking spray or shortening
  • 15 ounces marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon or almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 cups confectioner’s sugar
Instructions
  1. Grease a microwave-safe bowl, a stand mixer bowl, dough hooks, and spatulas with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray or shortening.
  2. Combine the marshmallows and water in the microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, then repeat until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is soupy.
  4. When the mixture is melted and soupy, stir in the lemon juice, corn syrup, flavoring extracts, and salt.
  5. Place 5-6 cups of confectioner’s sugar in the stand mixer bowl and form a well in the center.
  6. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the well and knead on low speed with the dough hook until the sugar is mostly incorporated.
  7. When the mixture begins to stick to the bowl, add an additional 1-2 cups confectioner’s sugar and continue to knead until the fondant is smooth, thick, and loses it’s stickiness.
  8. Form the fondant into a smooth ball, very lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray or shortening, and wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap.
  9. Allow the fondant to rest 3-4 hours or overnight before using to decorate.
  10. Store wrapped in plastic wrap and in an air-tight container.
Notes
Fondant is very thick, so if the stand mixer starts to work too hard (which is likely), remove the fondant and knead by hand on a clean work surface.You may want to coat the work surface with non-stick cooking spray, shortening, or a mixture of equal parts confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch.

 

 

Fondant Friday Finale!

June 24 006 Edited Fondant Friday Finale!

Tonight was my final class in Wilton’s Gum Paste and Fondant course.  If you could have seen my final cakes in courses one and two, you would understand how significant it is that this cake turned out looking good.  The first cake had so many wrinkles in its icing that it looked elderly, and I was so haphazard with the second cake that the iced basket weave pattern practically dripped off the sides.

Decorating this cake was super simple.  With help from my instructor, I rolled out the fondant, gently tipped it over the cake, and did the “lift and pull and gently pat” to  smooth the fondant around the edges without any (okay, without too many) wrinkles.  I made a border that remind end me of a hula skirt, gum glued on some cut out dots, and whalah!

I wasn’t particularly committed to any particular color or design; I chose the dots simply because those cutters were within reach and the neon-colored fondant was left over from previous classes.  I used Duff’s (the Charm City Cakes guy) fondant to cover the cake.  It smelled and tasted delicious: like a buttermint that mated with super-sweet icing .

June 24 012 Edited Fondant Friday Finale!

All in all, I can definitely say this final cake proves the third time’s the charm!

Fondant Friday!

June 17 010 300x225 Fondant Friday!

Tonight is class three in Wilton’s Gum Paste and Fondant course. The white ball and spaghetti stem you see here is supposed to turn into  a mum.  A daisy is also in the lesson plan.  As always, I’ll let you know how mine turn out, but for now here are pictures from the pros.

Fondant Mum 150x150 Fondant Friday!Fondant Daisy 150x150 Fondant Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

Below are pictures of my mums and daisies.  Purple probably wasn’t the wisest color choice because it tends to fade very quickly and look gray.   Gently steaming the flowers (I used my hand-held clothes steamer) gives them a sheen.  The daisy on the left was steamed, while the daisy on the right was not.

June 18 015 150x150 Fondant Friday!June 18 014 150x150 Fondant Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 18 004 150x150 Fondant Friday!June 18 008 150x150 Fondant Friday!