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Fondant 101

Happy Friday Friends!!

For a long time I only decorated my cakes with frosting and sprinkles and although they looked pretty, they looked like your average homemade cake-not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Soon after, a little show called “Ace of Cakes” came to be known.  This has become one of my favorite shows and after watching so many episodes, I started to become very interested in decorating cakes using fondant.  For those who don’t know, fondant is a soft, dough-like sugary icing used to decorate cakes in more detail.  I actually found a recipe and have made homemade fondant myself.

The first time that I made my own fondant by hand, it became too dry and crackly.  The second time I made it, it was way too sticky to the point i had to use an abundance of powdered sugar.  The next few times, I managed the fondant to turn out pretty consistent.  Soon after, I discovered that I could buy pre-rolled fondant at a few local stores, which turned out to be pretty perfect to use.  I would definitely like to disclose that, as much fun as it is to make your own fondant, when you’re in a time crunch it is much more convenient to buy it

Here is the recipe that I have used for a homemade fondant recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 tsp of almond extract
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of glycerin
  • 2 lbs 10X confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of white vegetable shortening

Directions:

  • Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a small bowl and let it rest for 2 minutes to soften
  • Place the bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds on High, until the gelatin dissolves
  • Add the Almond extract
  • Add the corn syrup and the glycerin and stir until the mixture is smooth and clear (if the mixture is not turning smooth and clear, microwave it for an additional 15 to 20 seconds on high and stir again)
  • Sift 1 1/2 pounds of the sugar into a large bowl
  • Make a hole in the sugar and pour the liquid mixture to it
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes sticky
  • Sift some of the remaining 1/2 pound of sugar onto a smooth work surface and add as much of the remaining sugar as the mixture will take
  • Knead the fondant, adding a little more sugar if necessary, to form a smooth, pliable mass
  • Rub the vegetable shortening on your thumbs and knead it into the fondant
  • Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and place it in a tightly sealed container to prevent it from drying out
    If the icing dries out and harden it can often be revived by popping it into a microwave oven for a few seconds and then kneading it back to life

Some tips on how to make this recipe work:

  1. Always use powdered sugar or wax paper to foll fondant on, otherwise it’ll stick to the counter.
  2. When you make fondant, both the dough and the icing, make sure to make it in room temperature – Too cold or too warm room will hurt the dough
  3. When you calculate the quantity of fondant icing required, it’s better to have too much fondant icing rather than too little, as leftover icing can be stored and used at a later date, or used for extra decorations
  4. Make sure you make fondant on a clean and smooth working surface.
  5. Keep fondant in a sealed tight bag to avoid drying out
  6. Planning out designs make execution much easier
  7. Pre-cutting decorations is convenient to do, as long as you keep them in an air tight bag or covered with a very damp paper towel-so they don’t dry out

Have fun and Happy Decorating!!

Here’s an example of a cake that I made with a lot of fondant detail. The Awful Awful Cake  🙂

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