Friday, 12 July 2013

Homemade Fondant Icing

There are loads of advantages to making your own fondant, its cheaper, tastier and you can create whatever colour you want. It is a bit of a messy job though so its worth making a large quantity as it keeps for a few months in the fridge if you wrap it in a double layer of clingfilm. 

You will need:
2kg of icing sugar
500g marshmallows
200g lard (trek/stork white/crisco)
3 tablespoons water

Place all the marshmallows in a microwave proof bowl and sprinkle the water over the top. Melt in the microwave for one and a half minutes. The marshmallows might not look that melted when they first come out the microwave but give them a good stir (using a rubber spatula) and you will see that they are: 

Place the lard and one kilogram of the icing sugar in your mixing bowl and add the melted marshmallow on top. Using the dough hook attachment mix all the ingredients until they are well incorporated. The mixture should begin to look like a dough. If it is still runny then add more icing sugar, I added nearly another 500g before I took the mixture out the bowl (I think it depends on the brand of icing sugar and lard to how much icing sugar you need). Once the mixture begins to look like dough then dust your work surface well with icing sugar and begin to knead the icing:

Keep kneading the icing until its soft but not sticky. I added nearly 500g more icing sugar to achieve this but it varies depending on humidity, product brands, hand warmth.... so judge it by thinking whether you would be able to model shapes/roll the icing out easily. Once you have finished kneading double wrap your icing in clingfilm. It will keep for a week or two outside the fridge and for four to six months in the fridge. 

A few fondant icing rules:
  • To colour fondant use gel food colouring. Place the colouring gel in the center of the piece of fondant and knead until the fondant is uniform in colour. 
  • When using fondant keep all icing that you are not working on wrapped in clingfilm as the icing gets a bit crusty quickly. 
  • Fondant takes quite a while to harden up (I normally leave it over night) so plan enough time for your project.
  • If you want your fondant to harden up quicker then knead a bit of tylose powder into it (I think this turns it into sugarpaste technically!)
  • If you store your fondant in the fridge then it will get very hard. Pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds or so to soften it up before kneading. 
For ideas of what to do with your lovely homemade fondant then check out these fondant carrots, perfect for decorating carrot cake, or these fondant mortar boards

If you make your own fondant icing then I would love to know how you get along and any tips you might have. 
Happy baking xxx

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