Monday, March 8, 2010
Fondant 101 Colette Peters & Sweet Cuppin Cakes
From time to time I get a request for how to make fondant, I have been reluctant because it seems easy and it is but it takes a lot of time. I am going to try and explain this the best I can and hope it works for you. I do agree that the store bought fondants are gross. I do not even like the higher end fondants for commercial and bakery use.
So here goes.
Fondant Decor facon Colette & Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery Lyns
I have adapted this recipe from the Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts The French Culinary Institute (my greatest study guide ever)
3 gelatine leaves (or 1 tbsp) gelatin granules (unflavoured please)
6 ounces of light white corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon glycerin
2 pounds confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
Paste, food colouring, flavouring (optional and can be added anytime) I keep mine white and colour as needed, be sure to colour a lot as it is very hard to go back and make the same shade.)
5 ounces of melted chocolate or chocolate flavouring (I always add the chocolate as it gives your fondant a delicious depth of flavour)(I have also used rose water or orange water 2tbsp)
You are going to need patience, time, a clean large work area and a Pabst (just kidding) A small heat proof bowl I like the heavy tag bowls we use in our kitchen.
Key here is a saucepan small enough to fit the bowl, you do not want the bowl sitting on the bottom floor of the saucepan. A wooden spoon of high quality I cannot stress this enough! Strong plastic film!
Place the gelatin leaves in a small heat proof bowl with 1/4 cup cold water and let soak for 5 minutes (no less) to soften gelatin Same goes for granulated gelatin
Fill a saucepan small enough to allow your heat proof bowl to fit snugly into the pan without touching the water. So you need about 3" water in saucepan. Place this over high heat and bring to a boil (you never want steam or water to get into your fondant) Lower the heat so the water continues to simmer and do not boil away your water (key) Quickly place the bowl into the pan making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Immediately start stirring with you wooden spoon and heat until the gelatin has dissolved completely ( It will be clear and you will no longer see a murkiness to the solution) Stir in your corn syrup and glycerin and heat until well blended and very hot (not boiling please) Here is why you need space Ready:
Place the confectioners sugar on a clean, flat work surface, (move the toaster) Make a well in the center of your powdered sugar and pour hot mixture into the center. With that wooden spoon that isn't going to break because you bought a good one =o)
start stirring from the outside in until the mixture becomes a dense mass.
Okay now put the spoon down you need your hands for this! Knead the mixture as you would bread until it is smooth and malleable, your fondant should be smooth, white and easy to poke your finger in but not sticky or runny.
This is when you will now incorporate paste colour, flavour, or melted chocolate
(please do not use candy based couverture or baking wafers unless they are real chocolate**)
I use the white Ghirardelli baking bars. Continue to knead until all incorporated uniformly.
Remember: NEVER REFRIGERATE YOUR FONDANT (the sugar will dissolve from humidity)
ALWAYS USE FONDANT AS REQUIRED BY YOUR RECIPE
IF GELATIN IS NOT HOT ENOUGH IN BEGINNING YOUR FONDANT IS NOT GOING TO WORK
ALWAYS MAKE FONDANT AT LEAST A DAY AHEAD OF TIME
ALWAYS WRAP IN FILM THEN A PLASTIC ZIPLOCK
YOU CAN ADD SHORTENING SCANT TBSP AT A TIME IF WARMING YOUR FONDANT DOESNT HELP IT BE MORE MALLEABLE
FONDANT SHOULD NEVER CRACK OR HAVE DRY BITS
STICKY FONDANT CAN BE KNEADED ON A LIGHTLY FLOURED SURFACE TO FIRM (SCANT EACH KNEADING)
I will be carrying the leaf gelatin the glycerin, the fondant cutters, rollers and smoothers in the weeks to come in my shoppe. If you have a desired shape send me an email!
Collette Peters is the owner of Collette's Cakes in New York and I have trusted her recipe faithfully! She is famous for her cake designs and decorations.
** WIKIPEDIA: Couverture Chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with the processing, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor.
The total "percentage" cited on many brands of chocolate is made up of some combination of cocoa butter to cocoa solids (cacao). In order to be properly labeled as "couverture", the percentage of cocoa butter must be between 32-39%, and the total of the percentage of the combined cocoa butter plus cocoa solids must be at least 54%. Sugar makes up the inverse percentage, and up to 1% may be made up of vanilla, and sometimes soy lecithin.
Couverture is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing.
The term "couverture chocolate" should not be confused with "confectionery chocolate", "compound chocolate" or "summer coating": These products have a lower percentage of solids (cacao), and they may also contain vegetable oil, hydrogenated fats ("trans fats"), coconut and/or palm oil, and sometimes artificial chocolate flavoring.
Some brands of couverture chocolate are packaged tempered, and others are packaged untempered. Subsequent tempering may or may not be required, depending on the usage and the desired characteristics of the final product.
Do not substitute couverture when semi-sweet, bittersweet chocolate, or unsweetened chocolate is called for in a recipe. The increased cocoa butter content and the sugar content may alter the finished product.