Learning how to make fondant can be a fun and delicious experiment. It actually takes a few tries to really perfect the process, however the “failed” attempts are usually worth nibbling on anyway. That’s why we love to experiment with cooking and learn new recipes – even if the results aren’t perfect, you still get a treat in the end, unless of course your attempt is a complete disaster. In that case, maybe the dog gets a treat. Fondant is no different, and hopefully you will use this how to guide to make the perfect fondant (eventually).
Okay, First, let’s talk about what fondant actually is. In its “filling” form, it’s a creamy confectionary paste that is used to fill pastries, and other dessert items. The more commonly sought after form though, is rolled fondant. This fondant icing has a more solid consistency, using gelatin to achieve this, and it’s what you see on cooking shows when they drape their cakes to make them appear smooth and give them shape. It’s also used in the making of the edible decorations that are placed on and around the cake. This article is going to be about how to make fondant for cakes, rather than the filling.
The easiest learn how to make fondant icing is to make a marshmallow fondant, which mainly consists of powdered sugar, and marshmallows (which are also sugar). That being said, fondant is considered very sweet, so be prepared for that when you go to bite into your delicious creation.
Ingredients and Whatnot
- 1 16 oz bag of marshmallows
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- and flavoring or color you’d like to add (some common flavoring additives include cocoa, vanilla, peppermint, orange, and lemon extracts, etc.)
- shortening (Crisco)
- Pyrex or similar heatproof bowl
- sugar sifter
- stirring spoon
- Grease the bowl with Crisco, and then place the marshmallows in the bowl along with the 2 tablespoons of water.
- Set the bowl in the microwave and cook it for about 30 seconds.
- While it's in there, grease your stirring spoon with plenty of Crisco.
- Pull the bowl out and stir it, and then put it back in for another 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the marshmallows are fully melted and stirred. Careful here, as the bowl and mixture will get pretty hot.
- Once the marshmallow is melted and stirred, you add in your food coloring and flavor. This is where experimenting comes into play as you try to find the perfect flavor and color. Stir in your coloring and flavoring thoroughly before moving onto the next step.
- Once you've gotten the color and flavor you desire, begin adding in the powered sugar a little at a time while stirring. Eventually, the mixture will become doughy in appearance and consistency.
- At this point you can pull the marshmallow fondant out onto a greased kitchen board. Use the Crisco to thoroughly grease your hands and begin working the dough with your hands, adding bits of the powdered sugar at a time until the fondant feels more like bread dough, and has lost its stickiness. You won't use all of the sugar, and attempting to add all of it will make the dough too dry, which will make if difficult to work with, and cause it to crack more easily. Again, this is where experimentation will help you perfect the recipe.
- After you've gotten the dough to this pliable and doughy consistency, you're done. You can roll it and shape it as needed. If you don't plan to use it right away, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag. It's often a good idea to make the dough in advance in order to shorten prep time when you make your cake.
Now that you know how to make cake fondant, the next step is learning how to make fondant flowers for decorations. Again, experiment with this recipe, and have fun. It seems simple, but it’s going to take a couple tries to find the perfect consistency and flavoring. In the mean time, you’re eating slightly less-than-perfect fondant on your cakes; oh darn.