An Expression of Art

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marshmallow Fondant FAQs

Q- I live in very sunny, very hot and very humid country. I’ve often found that my fondant “weeps” and slowly dissolves from the moisture in the air when I leave it out at room temperature. Will this happen with your marshmallow fondant recipe as well?

A- Marshmallow Fondant (MMF) will hold up until about a weather of about 75 degrees F.

I can offer a couple of solutions:

1) Work and keep cake in an air conditioned room.
2) Roll the fondant layer thicker. This proves helpful.
3) I do not recommend to place a fondant covered cake in the refrigerator (due to humidity) but
I personally haven’t had any trouble when I place mine in there for only a short period of time. If you need to place the cake in the refrigerator (for a brief period of time) you can try bringing it to room temperature in the following way - Place the cake in a brown cardboard box to collect the atmospheric moisture and help the cake come to room temperature safely.

Q- I don't like the flavor of cornstarch, can I ommit it from the recipe?

A- Yes, you can use powder sugar instead.

Q- How do you color fondant?

A- I usually knead in my colors with gel coloring if separating the MMF into separate colors.
However, If you are doing one color for the whole batch, you can add the gel coloring in step 3, when you have all the mini marshmallows melted. Add the color mix and then proceed to step 4.

Q- How thick the fondant has to be so it won't reap or tear?

A- I usually roll my MMF about 1/8″ thick so it will be thick enough for handling and for it to have stregth integrity.

If your marshmallow fondant is still tearing, then it might be because it is too dry. Next time you do your MMF don’t add all of the sugar. If it is still dry, add water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and knead. When kneading, knead until the MMF has a satin shine to it.

MMF works best for covering a cake if you let it sit overnight. Rub your MMF with a thin layer of Crisco, wrap it in plastic and place inside a ziploc bag. Let it sit overnight.

Q- Is the butter flavor necessary?

A- The butter flavor is just for… flavor. Just substitute for 1tsp of clear vanilla flavor (i.e., 2 tsps of clear vanilla extract).

Q- I was wanting to see if you could tell me what I could use on fondant to make it shine. Some cakes you see sort of have that dull look, but others have a shine. Is there something to put on them that makes them shine. I have read about alcohol, but is that right?

A- Yes, that is right. Some like to spray the fondant covered cake with vodka to give it that shine and to remove any starch.

I ususally just cover my rolling mat with a very thin layer of shortening when rolling my fondant. I flip it and cover the cake.

Another form of shine can be to brush it with some pearl dust.

Q- To what size do I need to roll my fondant to cover my cake?

A- To cover a cake, always measure its’s high and multiply by two then add the diameter. After you get this number add one inch (~2.5 cm). For example, 8″ x 3″ cake it will be:
a) 8″+3″+3″=14″
b) Now add the extra inch: 14″+1″=15″. This is the diameter you will need your fondant to be for an 8" x 3" cake.

Q- How do I make chocolate fondant?

A- Chocolate MMF recipe posted HERE.

Q- Do I need to ice the cake first before covering the cake with fondant?

A- Yes, ice the cake with regular icing and then cover with the fondant.

Q- I was wondering if the fondant can be kneaded in a machine (kitchen aid) instead of by hand. Will the result be the same as hand kneading?

A- That is a good question. I’ve never done the marshmallow in the mixer, and hand kneading it is not that bad. However, I did hear some myths about metal bowls turning the fondant gray. Don’t let this put you down as stainless steel bowls are just fine.

I have heard from other readers that it’s much easier to mix the fondant in their kitchen Aid Mixers. Just grease the bowl with a thin layer of Crisco to prevent the fondant from sticking and use the dough hook. The fondant should be done in about 8 mins. A hand mixer is a big no no. You may burn it.

Q- I'm placing some decorations on the side of my fondant covered cake. How do I ensure they don't fall off the cake?

A- The answer is piping gel. It’s ’superglue’ to me for fondant.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to Make Fondant Bows

1. Roll fondant 1/16 in thick in desired color.

2. Cut 2 bow loops, 1 bow center and 2 streamers using a Fondant Cutter.

3. Cut ends of streamers in a 'V' shape.4. Set bow centers and the streamers aside, covered in plastic so they won't dry.

5. Pleat the ends of one bow loop cut out and fold over to form a loop.

6. Brush ends with some clear vanilla extract so the loop with 'glue' to itself. Press the ends lighlty to secure it. Stuff loops with tissue paper so the loop can dry in that form.

7. Make second loop.

8. Place two bow loops over surface with two bow ends joined together.

9. Pleat bow center ends and wrap around the middle of the two joined bow ends. 'Glue' the bow center with clear vanilla extract.

10. Attach bow center with loops over frosted cake, or 'glue' with clear vanilla extract to fondant covered cake.

11. Pleat straight ends of streamers and insert them lightly under bow. If the cake is covered with fondant, use clear vanilla extract to 'glue' to cake.

12. Allow to dry, then remove the tissue paper from bow loops.