Monday, June 12, 2006

Fondant Comparison... a group of Ontario cake decorators got together this weekend, and we compared fondants. Below is the results!

Wilton ($35/5lb = $77/5kg)
taste was truly offensive.. "is this really supposed to be a food product?"
workability was very nice… moves well around curves & corners, but does not stretch & sag VERDICT: great for decorations, not appropriate for items intended to be eaten

Chocopan ($55 for 5kg)
tastes like white chocolate
incredibly soft… MAJOR sagging!
VERDICT: definitely not for decorations! would be very dfficult to work with due to softness… taste was a big plus if you like white chocolate

Virgin Ice ($28/5kg)
initially okay taste, but has an odd chemical aftertaste
texture is somewhat spongy and tended to shrink back after rolling… also tended to crack & tear like a marshmallow over corners
VERDICT: could use it for some simple decorations if I had it on hand, but wouldn't go out and buy it

Pettinice ($28/5kg)
initially okay taste, but has an odd chemical aftertaste
texture is somewhat spongy and tended to shrink back after rolling… also tended to crack & tear like a marshmallow over corners
VERDICT: could use it for some simple decorations if I had it on hand, but wouldn't go out and buy it

Mill Lane ($35 for 5kg)
Taste was pleasant and comparable to McCall's
Workability of one batch was good… VERY firm to begin with, and a number of hard little nuggets which had to be picked out, but corners nicely and hold it's shape fairly well (not too much sag) while still providing enough stretch
VERDICT: a good all-around fondant… comparable to McCalls overall, personal preference whether you prefer a firmer or softer fondant
NOTE: we also had samples form another batch which was compared to chewing gum… extremely soft
Note: we also sampled the Chocolate ML… beautifully dark chocolate colour… very nice taste, workability was good, but we also had reports of inconsistent texture from one batch to another

McCall's ($32/5kg)
taste was different than, but comparable to ML… personal preference as to which is better
like ML, there is a MAJOR variation between the samples we tested… the small package sample was so soft as to be un-useable… the larger package was softer than ML, but much more workable than the first sample. Substantially better than Virgin Ice and Pettinice in terms of workability
VERDICT: while we were concerned about the drastic variations between batches, it would come down to personal preference between this one and Mill Lane… this is still a softer overall fondant than Mill Lane

MMF (approx $13/5kg)
taste was okay, but extremely sweet
holds it's shape reasonably well, but cracks & rips badly over sharp corners
VERDICT: very inexpensive to make, a little more workable than scratch, but scratch tastes much better.

Scratch (Toba Garette's recipe) (approx $12/5kg)
taste was very nice (most popular)
workablilty was not great… was not at all forgiving on corners
VERDICT: very inexpensive to make, tastes better than MMF, but not quite as workable.. Would benefit from being mixed with a commercial fondant for workability
NOTE: some of us intend to play with the recipe a bit to try to improve workability
NOTE: as per conversation… this is no more difficult than MMF to make, but much better tasting!

14 comments:

  1. You have GOT to try fondex! I love it! I eat it and it is great on corners and does not sag as bad as the white chocolate. You can mix half and half with the chocopan (big plus to this is it does not dry out) to give it more lift. Sharp corners on any fondant seem to tear. When working with the white chocolate use the fridge as your friend it will firm up more for you. I like they way it lays on corners. Use the sil pat to lift your fondant over your cake and it will not tear, sag or get elephant skin as easy. You can get fondex from cal-java.

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  2. Funny you should mention Fondx! We tried to get some, but the company I ordered it from back-ordered it and didn't tell me! By the time I called them to find out where my order was, it was too late! :-(

    I will definately give it a try when I can get my hands on some!

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  3. I'm not promoting the producer of Satin Ice, but have you tried it?

    http://www.satinfinefoods.com/

    I was about to purchase some of this. Would truly enjoy hearing about other people's comparisons/results with fondant.

    I find scratch is affordable, not very pretty. As for taste? I'm not there yet. Don't get me wrong, taste is extremely important. It is the reason I am experimenting with recipes currently. But when I find the right cake/filling combination, I want my cake to be as pretty as a picture.

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  4. This blog, as well as CakesCanada.com are wonderfully helpful. I'm considering starting my own cake business here in Texas. What I've read thus far is helping me see what challenges lie ahead should I chose to go forward.

    Thank you for such great insight and tips.

    Beth from Tx

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  5. Thanks for the comment Beth! If you've got any suggestions for the content of my book, I'd love to hear them!

    Best of luck with your venture!

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  6. Choc you have a great blog going here lots of good info keep up the good work.

    Rgds Sugarcreations

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  7. Choc-a-holic...your blog has definitely helped me in my research of the best all around fondant. Have you or your any of the other cake decorators worked on the homemade recipe or more with chocopan? I am tempted to use chocopan based on flavor and yield, but have heard that the varieties of chocopan yield different results in flavor and workability. I have heard good things about satin ice as well. Please let me know if you have any new discoveries to share. Good luck with your book! Thanks, Liz

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  8. I use Decorice from Dawn Foods. I love it. I used to make scratch fondant, but the amount that I need on a weekly basis makes it far too hard on my shoulders and using a Kitchen Aid would be far to taxing on the motor.

    When I did my training I used McCalls, I don't like the greyish colour and I certainly don't like the taste or smell of it and I feel it cracks and splits. Added to that, it's rather fickle, one bucket can be good, the other fit for the garbage (literally).

    Decorice has a cotton candy smell, is "dryer" looking than any other fondant I've used, tends to dry a little too fast and can cause "orange skin" type pitting on the corners. However, it's a pleasure to use and is very forgiving.

    DRAWBACK: It is a beautiful soft white/ivory and on the whole everyone prefers it...but, for winter weddings and "all white" weddings it looks very ivory.

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    Replies
    1. Hello
      I used to use Decorice to but, I have noticed that the fondant has become very soft with my last purchase 2013,
      Have you tried Fondx, it is great, covers good, not to soft.

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  9. Hi There,
    I am making my best friends wedding cake in May and want to do a few practice runs. I am trained in Culinary Arts and Pastries but this is my first wedding cake. I am trying to find out where I can buy the best fondant - I understand Mill Lane is excellent, but cannot find a distributor on-line or in Montreal. I also need to colour the fondants navy blue and orange, and want to buy the fondant pre-coloured, as I am afraid to colour it myself for fear or inconsistency or not the right shading. Can anyone help me as to where to find a distributor on-line or otherwise? Thank you!

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  10. Anon... sign on over at www.cakescanada.com ... there is loads of info about fondant suppliers there!

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  11. glad to have found this blog...i'm in the beginning stages of starting my own cake/cupcake business. So far, I have used Satin Ice, FondX and Fondarific fondants....for bigger surface cakes (over 8 inches), I prefer Fondarific or Satin Ice....for smaller surfaces or decorations, I use FondX.....I live in Ontario, Canada and have been ordering online at www.cakemischief.com or www.goldaskitchen.com ....have been pleased with both companies but I'm always on the lookout for more suppliers and different products. Looking forward to reading more :)

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  12. Hi, I live in Ottawa, ON and I learned quickly that there are no decent cake supply stores here. For the first few years of cake decorating I was using Virgin Ice (available at Bulk Barn) and I often wondered why my fondant covering skills were not improving. It's not cheap to ship buckets of fondant, so I had not tried any other brands, other than the McCall's chocolate fondant, which tastes great, but it can sag. I eventually found a small cake decorating shop in Pickering called Flour Confections and they periodically offer free shipping to their newsletter recipients and customers. I took advantage of this to try Satin Ice and Fondx and I was completely wowed by the results. No more tearing, cracking and yucky-tasting fondant. The one small bucket of Flour Confections brand fondant also performed well. If I have to drive to the Toronto area from now on for large cake supply shopping sprees, I will do it. I'm not going back to Virgin Ice.

    On a side note, I'm soon taking a gum paste flower course at Flour Confections, to be taught by James Roselle of The Food Network Challenge fame. I've read that his courses are great so I am very excited to learn from him. I highly recommend this store for the ease of use of their website and the unique cake tools that they offer; but beware that their prices are a bit higher than McCall's or Golda's.

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  13. christie
    I just found that store too lol i went there to find the chocolate supply store beside it and ran into my decorating hevan

    does anyone know where i can get the huge tubs of buttercream? that tastes great!

    I have a few huge cakes coming up and i will never be able to make enough on my own it is going to be hard enough to crank out the cakes then having to stop and make more icing because i cannot keep up with the amount.
    Amber

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Sweet Words!