Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Basics: Marshmallow Fondant

          Fondant is a versatile ingredient when making special cakes, as a smooth covering in place of frosting or for detail decorations, but the store bought kind, though very convenient, is hyper sugary. There are a few homemade alternatives, one of which is made out of marshmallows.

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients:
1 bag (16 oz.) Mini Marshmallows (white) *
2 + Tbsp. Water
2 lbs. Powdered Sugar (or icing sugar)
1/2 cup shortening
Gel Icing Colors (not needed if you want white fondant)

Directions:
1. Empty the bag of mini marshmallows into a large microwave safe bowl & add 2 Tbsp. of water. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, & then continue to microwave & stir at 30 second intervals until the marshmallows are completely melted.
2. With the shortening, generously grease your hands & a countertop work surface.  Pour a large portion of the powdered sugar onto the melted marshmallow mixture & then turn out onto the greased work surface. Be careful in case the marshmallow mixture is still hot!
3. Knead the powdered sugar into the marshmallow mixture, re-greasing your hands & counter top whenever the marshmallow mixture starts getting sticky. Add the rest of the powdered sugar & kneed it into the marshmallow mixture. Add very small amounts of water (1/2 Tbsp. or so) to the fondant if it becomes too dry & continue to kneed until it is smooth & elastic, but not sticky. Kneed until no spots of powdered sugar remain in the fondant. 

Adding Color:
1. To add color to the fondant, re-grease your hands & select your desired gel icing color, or colors if you need to combine colors (gel colors are used instead of liquid colors because liguid colors can change the texture of the fondant). Using a toothpick place a small amount of gel onto your fondant & work it into the fondant using your hands. Continue to apply the gel coloring in small amounts & work it in until you reach your desired color. 

Using on a Cake:
1. If you are using your fondant to lay over a cake, roll it thin with a greased roller (preferably plastic), 1 inch or so larger than the cake so that the edges of the fondant will drape beyond the cake bottom. The cake top & sides should be frosted with buttercream frosting (recipe here).
2. Sprinkle a very little amount of powdered sugar or cornstarch onto the surface of the fondant & loosely roll it onto the rolling pin. Gently unroll the fondant onto the surface of the cake & carefully smooth the fondant over the cake & down, against the sides.
3. Using a pizza cutter or a small knife, cut the excess fondant away from the bottom edges of the cake at about a 45 degree angle. Roll the excess fondant into a ball & save for later. 

* You could use the pink or chocolate marshmallows (separately) if you want pale pink or pale brown fondant. You can also use marshmallow creme instead of mini marshmallows & forgo the first two steps listed above.
 The shortening will help prevent the marshmallow mixture from sticking to your hands & work surface.
 If you are not using the fondant right away you can smooth it into a ball covered in shortening, wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in a plastic bag, squeeze out the air, & then store it overnight in the fridge. You can also store unused or excess fondant this way. I have read different sources that say the fondant doesn't need to be refrigerated. I made some fondant and wrapped it up & simply enclosed it in an airtight plastic container and stored it in my pantry. I used it weeks later on a cake & it was perfectly fine.
 If you would like to make several colors of fondant, simply separate the white fondant into however many colors you'll need & cover the fondant pieces you are not currently working with in shortening & plastic wrap until needed.

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