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Fondant Basics 101

There is always a great deal of discussion about Fondant and has been for years.  Many people say; “I don’t like the taste of fondant, but I want the look”. To be honest, some fondants I don’t like the taste or texture of either. Some have a bitter aftertaste, some have no flavor, some dry too hard and become crusty while others are just hard to work with. Some are based on chocolate and since I have very hot hands, those melt and become too soft for me to work with, even though they taste great. It is easy to knead but too soft to work with. Some fondants have to be rolled out much thicker than others which means it is costing you more to cover the cake with that brand than it would another brand. However, if it tastes really good, it might be worth the extra cost.

There are many different Brands of fondant on the market. Everyone has their favorite and they will all tell you why that one is their favorite. But everyone’s tastes are different. What suits one person may not suit someone else. Some will advise you to make your own fondant; and there are many recipes out there. Most people in my area who make their own, make it using marshmallows or a marshmallow spread. I only like marshmallows when they are old and stale and chewy: don’t even like s'mores. So please, don’t give me a fondant made with marshmallow. There are other recipes out there that are very basic and don’t use marshmallow. One thing that I have heard over and over again, is that it is difficult to get it consistent when making your own. Temperature and humidity effect that process. I am believer in finding one that you like the taste, consistency and work-ability of and stick to it, whether it is a commercial brand or one you make yourself. When trying to decide which way to go, ask vendors for tastings and samples.  Play with it, taste it, try rolling it. See what happens to it when used on a cake or cupcake. Do you like the taste and texture?

There are alternatives to fondant.  Now, a lot of people are able to get their buttercream as smooth as fondant and without air bubbles. This takes time. Some are advocating the use of modeling chocolate to cover your cake and yes there are modeling chocolates on the market intended to cover cakes. I have not been successful in perfecting this medium. There is another option as well which is called Rolled Buttercream and yes there are recipes out on the internet for making it. It does require some knowledge of how to make handle, but it will taste like your buttercream and be softer than fondant.

When trying to cover a cake with fondant, there are definitely tricks to making it not wrinkle at the base or look like a tablecloth. Again, everyone has their own way of covering cakes with fondant. If you are having difficulty making your fondant look smooth, reach out to a person that covers their cakes well. I certainly have my way. I have tried other methods that work well for that person and they just don’t work for me. If you are looking at a class, make sure that person can tell you why you are having problems. Sometimes, you might be taking too long to roll it out. Might be that it wasn’t kneaded enough or maybe kneaded too much. Is your kneading technique correct for working with fondant?  Years ago, I took a class in Galveston, TX from a lady who was demonstrating for one company but teaching class using a different brand. The very first thing she told us to do was to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of shortening for every pound of fondant we were rolling. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat that much shortening.

The bottom line here is that not all fondants are bad. Yes, there are just going to be those people who will never like fondant and that’s okay. But, be willing to try different brands and just see how they work for you or are you one to make your own or just never put fondant on a cake.

To see the different Fondant products we sell visit our store or website at www.cakecraftshoppe.com – use keyword “Fondant”.

Looking for ways to use fondant on your cakes, cupcakes and cookie?  Check out our upcoming Fondant classes

  • Basic Fondant Class on September 19th
  • Fondant Topper Class on October 18th
  • Fall Themed Cookie Class on October 3rd

Hope this has helped a bit with information about Fondant as a product.

Happy Decorating,

Sheila

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