Saturday, October 03, 2009

Adventures in Fondant!

I had always been told not to play with my food, but I don't think my parents would frown upon me for doing it now. I have been working with fondant a lot lately… For the non-cake people reading, fondant a is substance made from corn syrup and confectioner's sugar that is rolled out and used to cover cake, just like a little sugar blanket! This gives the cake a smooth appearance.

I stayed away from fondant for a long time because it doesn't taste very good… and of course I don't like putting things on my cakes that are not delicious.

I would prefer to cover everything in my signature buttercream frosting. But, I realize how important fondant is for me use despite the taste issue--so many customers (especially brides) want the rolled, satin finished look that just can't be achieved without fondant.

So, I have compromised with a recipe that tastes much better than the prepared kind that you can buy at the cake supply shop. Another bonus is that it is also cheaper to make at home (especially if you are buying corn syrup and powdered sugar in bulk). It's around $20 for a large box of the prefab--only enough to cover 2-3 cakes depending on their size. $20 can buy you enough supplies to make fondant 10-12 cakes. Did I mention it tastes better?

So here is the recipe I am using. Working with fondant is tricky at first, but with practice it gets easier. Also: the more you knead the fondant, the better.

2 cups corn syrup
2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon butter extract (Wilton makes this product)
1/2 teaspoon almond or
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (whatever flavor you like best)
4 pounds confectioners' sugar

Combine shortening and corn syrup. Stir in the salt and whatever flavoring you want to use (even rum or coconut extract), then gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar until it becomes dough-like--a lot like what I have become lately :( --At this point, I mix the dough with my hands. There is a balance between using too little and using too much confectioners' sugar. Too little and it is sticky, unusable... too much and the dough cracks (also unusable). The dough must be wrapped tightly if you do not plan to use right away. It will dry out and harden.

To use, roll out (I use my rolling pin, but there are "fondant rollers" you can also use) on the counter or on a silpat--dust with confectioners' sugar first. Roll out as thin as possible (1/16th to 1/8 in thick, then use your rolling device to help you drape over your cake. Smooth the sides down (I use my hands, but you can use a "fondant smoother" if you like…(to waste your money on useless tools--just kidding!).

The most fun for me is making decorations out of fondant. The consistency of fondant before it dries is like Play-Doh, so I like to make little roses, jewelry, and even bacon.

200 more pearls to go for a current edible jewelry project!

Look for more fun cakes on the blog in the next few weeks, as I have a few lined up. I can't wait to make them!

Here's the latest cake I did for a friend of mine. The recipe for the cake is made with mayonnaise. So I wanted to see if I could make the cake to look like the jar. Happy Birthday! :)


amypatrick said...

I am glad to hear a cook talk about not loving fondant. I think it makes things pretty but don't really want to eat it. When I do birthday cakes, etc. I just like a buttercream cake with little sprinkles and flowers. I'm old fashioned that way.

cakegrrl2007 said...

Thanks for still checking in with me. :) It's nice to hear you call me a cook. I am starting school again in 2 weeks so I can become a chef!