Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fondant Follies

Fondant (or sugarpaste as it is known in the UK)... decorators love it for the smooth porcelain finish and wonderful modelling capabilities. But when it comes to eating it... well that's another story!

There is at least one major manufacturer of cake decorating supplies which makes a truly in-edible version of sugarpaste. Unfortunately, a large number of decorators use it, not realizing that there are alternatives.

There are several manufacturers whick make some very tasty versions... my personal favourite is Mill Lane brand available at www.creativecutters.com in both the USA & Canada. I have also heard good things about Chocopan, which is based on white chocolate (but is a little pricey.)

If you want to make your own, there are several good recipes out there, there's one in Toba Garrette's book which I've used with good results. I don't find that the homemade versions are quite as workable as the commercial ones, but I may not have found the right one yet!

I would be remiss if I did not mention Marshmallow Fondant (MMF for short.) Similar to homemade in flavour and cost (which is substantially less than the commercial varieties) it is MUCH sweeter, due to having about 1/3 again as much sugar as scratch recipes. Many people believe it to be easier to make, but in reality, you only save one small step (mix gelatin into water...)

Most recipes I've seen list the glycerine as optional... I would not leave it out... that's what gives you the stretch to make it really workable... in fact I often double the required glycerine!

Whenever I work with rolled fondant, I always roll it approximately 1/4" thick... any thinner and it become much less forgiving! I also provide a substantial layer of buttercream underneath for those who don't wish to eat the sugarpaste

3 comments:

  1. Hey Choc! Just stumbled across your blog...can't wait for you to finish your book project, it sounds terrific! Wish someone had put something out similar when I started.

    Love the commentary on the fondant, so true. Just wanted to add that since I started making my own, my brides have been ordering it so much more often. About 7 out of 10 instead of the original 1 out of 10!! I love it because it allows me to do the work I like to do best.

    Hey, love your site too, have admired it for a bit, glad I found you here!

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  2. Thanks... love your site too! Good luck with your blog... it's quite an experience isn't it?

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  3. Hi there! I have just found your blog....well done. Great information.

    In two years I haven't yet been asked for a buttercream wedding cake, everyone so far has opted for fondant. Homemade, ready made, MMF or rolled buttercream my experience is the same, 8 out of 10 people will peel it off and leave it on the plate. Much like pizza crust, you love it or you hate it but you can't make a pizza without it.

    The mix/scratch debate rages, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in some of the important bakeries in the area.

    The other debate is about freezing cakes. As we all know, freezing a cake even slightly makes it easier to level. This is standard practice in the trade and accepted as not detrimental to the finished cake. Some clients insist "I don't want frozen cake!"....I'm always up front with my clients about what they are getting, but it shoots me in the foot at times and I have had clients not order because of it.

    What's your experience on freezing cakes?

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Sweet Words!