Fondant is a sweet treat, fantastic for decorating cakes and making a stunningly smooth look!
Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes
I rarely use fondant because it always seemed like a daunting tool. I heard so many people on baking shows complain about using fondant so I hesitated to add it into my baking repertoire. But Baking my way through Bake-Off made me confront my fear of fondant. And I am so glad I did. Fondant is such an amazing tool for decorating a cake. It holds it’s shape well and is a great surface for painting. Albeit a little tough. While it can be bought from the store, making it from scratch is quite satisfying.
There were more ingredients needed to make fondant than I expected. The one that surprised me most was gelatin. I was highly disappointed to find that I cannot actually eat fondant, so I had to rely on others for the taste. The other surprising ingredient was light corn syrup. I had already assumed that fondant wasn’t the healthiest of foods but I did not expect so many “bad” ingredients.
Prepping the Gelatin
The first step in the process is preparing the gelatin. It needs time to bloom in order to fully unlock its gel like potential. I combined the gelatin and water to start this process and let it sit on the counter until it had taken on it’s springy consistency. This step can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the brand you’re using.
To make the gelatin usable again after it blooms, I then melted it in a makeshift double broiler. I don’t recommend actually putting a glass bowl over a pot but I was making do with what I have. I melted the gelatin down to a clear liquid before adding any other ingredients.
Heating the Liquids
The next ingredients to go into the double broilers are the light corn syrup and vegetable oil. Some work is required to get the ingredients to full incorporate. I like using a whisk for this step as it has given me the best results. The ingredients are all translucent which allowed me to see when everything had been properly mixed.
Before taking the mixture off the heat, I added the butter into the pot. The butter made a delightful pattern as it melted because didn’t want to mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Before the butter was completely melted, I took the bowl off the heat to finished the procedure on the counter.
Blending the Ingredients
The butter melts pretty quickly even off the heat. It also adds a yellow tint to the whole mixture. I added the vanilla into the bowl as well before the mixture cooled down. The mix does need to rest before being mixed into the copious amounts of powdered sugar.
Everything becomes a bit sticky at this point. After scraping the gelatin mixture powdered sugar, it’s time to mix. And mix. And mix. Most exciting stuff. For this step I like to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Fondant acts a lot like bread dough so I thought this would be the best way to incorporate everything.
Working the Fondant
The gelatinous mixture integrated very nicely into the powdered sugar. With only four cups of powdered sugar, a sticky dough-like mess was created into the mixer. To get that true fondant feeling, I needed to add more powdered sugar.
I added about a half a cup at a time to monitor the changes to the fondant mixture but it takes almost another four cups to get that true fondant feel. And then it’s really to use! Rolling it out into a sheet took some elbow grease but it gave a beautiful finish!
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a common ingredient use to create foods with a gel or gummy like texture. It’s translucent, colorless and flavorless so it can be used in a variety of ways. You’ll generally find gelatin in foods like candy gummies, Jell-O, or yogurt to give those springy consistencies while keeping everything together. The only downside of gelatin is that it is commonly made from collagen (taken from animals) so it’s not vegetarian friendly.
- 2 Tsp Unflavored Gelatin 1 packet
- ¼ Cup Water
- ½ Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 8 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
- Combine gelatin and water. Stir gently to ensure all gelatin is submersed completely. Let stand for 5 minutes or until thick. Should be springy to the touch.
- In a double broiler, melt gelatin mixture into a liquid.
- Add corn syrup and oil, mix well.
- Stir in butter and remove from stove just before the butter is completely melted.
- Stir in vanilla and mix well. Let mixture cool to a lukewarm texture.
- In a large bowl, place half of the confectioner's sugar and make a well in the center.
- Pour gelatin mixture into the well and mix until combine. (I used a mixer with the dough hook attachment for this step but it can be done by hand).
- Slowly add more confectioner's sugar (about 1/2 of a cup at a time). Let fully incorporate and test if the fondant is sticky to the touch. Continue adding sugar until the stickiness has disappeared.
- Knead for about 5 minutes or until the fondant has come together. (I think it feels like playdough)
- If the mixture is too wet, add more confectioners sugar. If the mixture is too dry add water one drop at a time.