Fondant is a confection product that has a consistency similar to modeling clay. It can be rolled into a thin sheet to cover cakes or cupcakes; shaped into figurines, flowers, and other designs; or used to create cut-out letters and numbers.
Making homemade fondant is much more affordable than buying the premade product. Packaged fondant costs around $6 per pound, while homemade costs less than $2. To cover a two layer, 8-inch round cake requires 1-1/2 pounds of fondant. As you can see, store-bought can get quite costly, especially if making multi-layered cakes.
There are several varieties of homemade fondant recipes. Most are made from powdered or granulated sugar. Some include corn syrup or gelatin, while others make use of melted marshmallows or marshmallow crème.
Both homemade and premade fondant can be colored using food coloring or piping gel. When adding color to fondant it’s a good idea to use plastic gloves to avoid staining of the hands.
Fondant has to be kneaded like bread dough to soften it up and integrate food colorings. One thing to be cautious about is kneading for too long can cause fondant to stiffen up and make it difficult to work with. Add a small amount of water if mixture becomes crumbly.
When using fondant to cover a cake or cupcakes, it needs to be rolled out to 1/8″ thickness using a nonstick rolling pin. Craft stores sell special fondant rolling pins that range in size from 6″ to 20″. They are manufactured from plastic which helps provide a smooth texture. However, it’s recommended to lightly dust rolling pins with corn starch prior to rolling the fondant dough.
Fondant is ideal for creating sculptured designs and figurines. Due to the fact that fondant is somewhat heavy, it’s best to create larger figurines out of rice krispie treats or cake, than cover with a thin layer of rolled fondant. Otherwise, some type of support needs to be used to keep fondant figurines upright. This might be toothpicks, wooden skewers, or dowel rods.
Prior to applying the confectionary dough it’s vital to apply a thin layer of buttercream icing or canned frosting. This acts as a glue to keep the fondant attached. It’s important to use great care when applying the dough because it’s very difficult to move around once it’s in position.
Fondant can also be used to create letters, numbers, flowers, leaves, borders, and other cake design features. It can be cut with cookie cutters, paring knife, or x-acto knife. It can be rolled, stretched, or molded into nearly any shape.
It’s not uncommon for small bubbles to appear after placing fondant on cakes. An easy remedy is to insert a toothpick into the bubble at a 45-degree angle and gently smooth the hole. If fondant tears it can be fixed by applying a small amount of shortening to the fingertips and pressing it back together until smooth.
Fondant is the perfect medium for decorating sculpted and multi-layer cakes, such as wedding cakes. It’s important to calculate the extra weight of fondant and use dowel rods or other support systems to make certain cakes do not collapse or cave-in.
People that aren’t familiar with fondant may find it helpful to enroll in a cake decorating class such as though offered by Wilton through Michael’s craft stores. There are also several videos on YouTube that provide step-by-step directions for making homemade fondant, rolling it, and using it to create figurines and cut-out designs.
CakeBoss.com – Homemade Marshmallow Fondant Tutorial
YouTube.com – Making Homemade Fondant