More than half of the cakes I do for clients are covered with fondant. It is gorgeous, sleek and can be simple or ornate. Over the years I’ve tried just about every product out there and have loved some and loathed others. Some are easy to use but have no taste feel like chewing gum in your mouth. Others are melt in your mouth and have a pleasant flavor, but are nearly impossible to work with unless the conditions are just right. Not to mention the cost. For those of you who have worked with it you know it is very spendy, as we say here in MN. So make your own and get the flavor, the texture and the price you like. It is very easy, albeit a tad messy, but most of all fun!
A few years ago I fell in love with Margaret Braun’s book Cakewalk. She combined a mastery of cake decorating with a vision of art history. I too am an art major and have always loved cake decorating because it allows for such incredible creativity. Her cakes were a departure from tradition and I just loved her sense of whimsy and color. Most of her work is done in fondant and pastillage (gum paste) to create works of art. I read somewhere that her cakes command as much as $25+ per person. It is no wonder once you see how intricate they are. I figured anyone who had such skill would make a great fondant, so I tried her recipe and I love it! It isn’t quite as easy to work with as the Wilton Product, but its texture makes it worth the effort!
Sugar Paste (Rolled Fondant) recipe from Cakewalk: Adventures In Sugar With Margaret Braun:
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons Glycerin
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract(If you want a PURE white fondant than use the clear vanilla, I used pure vanilla and you can see that my fondant is very white.) You can add other flavors as well but I would stick to those with an alcohol base and not an oil extract. You don’t want to add any fat to the recipe.
Sift 1 1/2 pounds of the confectioner’s sugar into a large standing mixer bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, stir the water into the gelatin.
Dissolve over a double boiler with simmering water until clear.
Remove from the heat and stir in the corn syrup, Glycerin, and vanilla.
With the standing mixer turning on low speed, slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of confectioner’s sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Continue beating on medium speed until well combined and very sticky.
Scrape the sticky fondant onto a clean silicon Pastry Mat.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 pound of sugar on the dough a little at a time.
Knead the sugar into the dough with the palm of your hand, then fold it over and continue adding sugar. I wished I’d had a pair of Gloves for this, but of course I’d run out!
Use your plastic Bowl Scraper to help you fold the dough over while adding more sugar.
Keep repeating these steps until all of the sugar is added and you have a nice smooth and uniform ball of dough.
Wrap the ball in plastic twice and let rest for at least 12 hours. DO NOT REFRIGERATE!!!! It will get tacky and impossible to work with if it is refrigerated. WRAP IT WELL! Store it for up to 2 weeks in a dry cool spot.
When ready to work with the dough unwrap it and knead it to make it smooth and pliable. Add your color and decorate as I did for Claudia’s birthday cake. I will be using it for my blog-iversary cake next week. I’ll also be giving away a T-shirt that my husband/webmaster/designer made for me!
Thanks to all of you on Twitter who keep me inspired and sane!
Another fondant cake I made for a client with a mini!