Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fondant 101

It's time for a new tutorial! Today, instead of showing you how to do a specific project, we're going to talk about fondant.

What the heck is fondant, anyway?

Well, I like to think of it as edible play dough. Pretty much anything you can do with play dough, you can do with fondant!

You can purchase pre-made, ready-to-use fondant from a variety of sources:
Satin Ice
Choco-Pan (actually an alternative to rolled fondant and made with white chocolate)

Or make your own from scratch:
Rolled Fondant Recipe
Rolled Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

The first think you need to know is fondant dries out quickly so you need to store it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. I like to wrap mine in plastic wrap and then put it in a zip-top bag for extra protection against air exposure.

what is fondant tutorial
Working with fondant is very hands-on so you MUST wash your hands before you begin! Also, be careful what you wear. Any lint or hair particle on your shirt will show up in your fondant as you work. For this reason, knit tops and dark colors are usually avoided. Or just wear an apron!

When you first open your fondant, it won't have much elasticity. If you pull the fondant in opposite directions, it will just break as shown in the pictures below.

what is fondant tutorial
what is fondant tutorial
what is fondant tutorial
So you have to knead it for a while until it become stretchy and elastic.

what is fondant tutorial
what is fondant tutorial
Now, you're ready to work with it!

You can do so many things with fondant, including but not limited to:
Cover Cakes with Fondant
Decorate Cookies
Add Fondant Accents/Cut-Outs to Buttercream or Fondant Cakes
Make Fondant Bows
Make Fondant Pleats

For many of these applications, you'll need to roll the fondant out to a thin sheet. If you're just beginning, you may want to use Wilton's rolling pins with guide rings. On the rolling pin pictured below, the purple rings allow you to roll your fondant to 1/8 of an inch thick and the pink rings let you go all the way to 1/16 of an inch thick. Using these guide rings helps you get an even thickness throughout your fondant sheet and ensures that you get the thickness you're aiming for.

what is fondant tutorial
Before I begin rolling the fondant, I always "smoosh" it with my hand. Just flatten it a little so it's easier to roll.

what is fondant tutorial
Then start rolling! Roll from the center of the fondant outward. When you reach the end, go back to the center and roll the other way. Keep rolling until the fondant is so thin that the rolling pin is just gliding over the surface of the fondant. That means your guide rings have worked and you've rolled to the right thickness!

what is fondant tutorial
And now you have a sheet of freshly rolled fondant to use for whatever your little heart desires!

what is fondant tutorial


Brooke said...

I've used fondant a few times - the last time I made marshmallow fondant and it tasted good and worked out pretty well on the cake. But I was wondering what you use for your professional cakes - does your bakery make your own fondant or do you purchase it at a baking supply store? Thanks...cake making/decorating is a hobby I do for my family now, but dreaming of it someday being more! Your cakes always look beautiful!

Melanie said...

Brooke, I'm not at liberty to say what we use in the bakery. But I can tell you that I personally like the flavor and texture of Satin Ice Fondant. And I use Wilton Fondant for all my cake dummies. It doesn't taste as nice, but no one is going to be eating it and I can get it locally (no shipping payments).

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