Fondant is a sweet, thick, opaque sugarpaste that is soft, pliable, easily colored, and extremely versatile. It is air sensitive and will quickly dry out if not kept in an airtight container or plastic bags with zipper closings.
Never refrigerate or freeze this edible decorating material. The ready-made version does have a long shelf life, usually about 6 months.
Also known as rolled or icing fondant, it is less sticky and more manageable in the presence of a little cornstarch.
Just like anything else in baking homemade cookies, coloring this sugarpaste is a fun and creative activity. Use either colored gel paste or liquid food coloring. The former is very concentrated and should only be used in tiny drops. Remember that it’s always easier to add color than to take it away.
Start with a small amount and warm it in your hands to make it more pliable. Then add two small drops of colored gel paste, and knead until the color is evenly incorporated. To blend colors,
- Add small drops of two different colors to a piece of sugarpaste, and knead until you have the desired color, or
- Knead together two pieces of different colored paste. It would work better if these pieces are of equal weight.
- Roll out a blue piece until it is a bit thicker than you want.
- Place pea-sized balls of orange fondant on it.
- Roll over these dots to incorparate them into the blue piece.
You can also create lines by placing thin ropes of one colored fondant on a main piece and roll over them.
For many other wonderful and irresistible ideas on decorating your homemade cookies using fondant, please visit your local public library and check out my reference. It is a book called The Flour Pot – Cookie Book – Creating Edible Works of Art written by a mother and daughter team, Margie and Abbey Greenberg.
You can purchase a ready-made version in several sizes, from packets of 1.5 lbs. each to buckets of 15 lbs. each. The following recipe is for those of you who prefer making your own decorating sugarpaste. It is in The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating published in the U.S. and Canada in 2004 by Whitecap Books.
|Liquid glucose||4 oz|
|Powder or icing sugar||2 lb|
- Sprinkle gelatine over three tablespoons of water in a small bowl, and allow the gelatine to become spongy. Then place the bowl in a pan of hot water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
Add glucose and glycerine and continue stirring until all is melted. Cool for 1 minute.
- Sift powder sugar in a large bowl, then remove a cupful for use when kneading. Make a well in the center of the powder sugar and pour in the gelatine mixture. With your dry hand, combine and knead until the icing has a dough-like texture, adding a little of the reserved icing if necessary.
Turn it out onto a work surface dusted with icing sugar and continue kneading until smooth and pliable, adding more powder sugar as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Use fondant immediately or wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container in a cool place (but not in the refrigerator) for up to 3 days. Roll it out on a surface dusted with powder sugar to use.