Thursday, 29 March 2012

Home made fondant from scratch

Now I have to admit, this is probably my proudest moment in my very tiny little career as an amateur cake decorator. I've made my own fondant from scratch and it tastes much better than the one you buy at the supermarket. It took me a couple of days, mainly due to the time it took the marshmallows to set but it was well worth it. When I say "I have made my own fondant from scratch", I mean I have made the marshmallows as well to be able to make the fondant. So here is the recipe I have found for the marshmallows. All the comments were very positive, saying those were the best marshmallows ever and it is true. They are light and fluffy like a cloud and when you put them on your tongue they feel like they are just floating. 
The recipe is from Alton Brown from the Food Network: You can find a video on You Tube as well but it's the whole programme.

·         3 packages unflavored gelatin (21g of gelatin)
·         1 cup ice cold water, divided
·         12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
·         1 cup light corn syrup (or liquid glucose I've tried with one and then the other and it worked well both times)
·         1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
·         1/4 cup cornstarch
·         Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Note: those are the ones I made yesterday. I used Raspberry jelly instead and at first it didn't work, I had to re start and play with the recipe a little. It shows you the quantity that the recipe makes though.

To make the fondant:
Easy Marshmallow Fondant (from Cake Central :
·         1 16oz (454g) tub of Marshmallow fluff or actual marshmallows
6-8 cups of confectioners sugar
2 tsp of flavoring of your choice
paste colors (Optional)

Empty contents of marshmallow fluff in large bowl. 
Add flavoring and stir with spoon.
 If you desire to color the fondant add your desired color at this stage. Since I wanted to make 3 colors I had to wait until the end of the process. 
Then add confectioners sugar two cups at a time and mix with spoon until no longer sticky, then place on large pastry board or mat lightly rubbed with vegetable shortening and knead until smooth and pliable. Roll out to desired size for covering cake.
I have not yet used mine. I read somewhere that when you make home made fondant you needed to leave it to rest overnight and I only need it in a week or so. I'll send an update on how it went covering the cake.
Happy decorating :)

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