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What is Fondant?
Fondant is a versatile candy paste that can be used to make cream centers, dipped fondant candies, rolled fondant, or poured fondant treats. This tutorial will explain how to make basic fondant, and then show a variety of preparation methods for creating different types of fondant candies.
If you would like easily printable instructions, go to the Basic Fondant recipe.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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Boil the Sugar Syrup
Begin by making a sugar syrup: combine 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tbsp corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then cover the pan and allow the sugar syrup to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 F.
Pour the sugar syrup onto a large baking sheet that has been slightly moistened with water.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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Pour and Scrape the Sugar SyrupOnce the sugar syrup has been poured onto the baking sheet, allow it to sit at room temperature for several minutes. After 2-3 minutes, lightly touch the syrup with a fingertip. When it is warm but not hot, it is ready to be worked.
Dampen a metal spatula or dough scraper with water, and use the scraper to push the syrup into a pile in the middle of the sheet.
Using a dampened plastic spatula or wooden spoon, begin to “cream,” or work, the fondant in a figure-8 pattern. Continually scrape the fondant into the center, draw a figure-8, then scrape it together again.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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Cream the FondantAt first the fondant will be very clear and fluid, but it will gradually become more opaque and creamy. Continue to cream the fondant in a figure-8 pattern for 5-10 minutes.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Work the Fondant Until It StiffensAfter 5-10 minutes, the fondant will become very stiff, crumbly, and hard to manipulate. You may have to use two hands to push the spatula through the fondant. Continue to work it until it becomes impossible to cream the fondant further.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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Knead the FondantOnce the fondant reaches the stiff, crumbly state, moisten your hands and begin kneading it into a ball like bread dough. As you knead, the fondant will begin to come together and will get softer and smoother. Stop kneading once your fondant is a smooth ball without lumps.
At this point, your fondant can be used for melting and pouring. If you want to make flavored fondant candies, it is best to “ripen” your fondant for at least 12 hours to obtain the best flavor and texture. To ripen the fondant, place it in an airtight plastic container, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the fondant, and seal the lid on tightly. Ripen the fondant at room temperature, or if it is hot, in the refrigerator. After ripening, the fondant can be flavored, rolled, and shaped in whatever manner you wish.
If you need to use the fondant immediately, flatten it and place it on a baking sheet in a warm oven very briefly, just until the baking sheet feels warm. Knead the fondant and spread it out again and warm it briefly. Repeat until the fondant is warmed through and soft, but still holds its shape. You can now continue on to coloring and flavoring your fondant.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Add Coloring and FlavorsTo add coloring and flavoring to fondant, dust your workstation with powdered sugar, and lightly press your fondant flat. Cut several slits in the fondant, and pour the flavorings (like extracts, melted and cooled chocolate, or fruit purees) and food coloring in the slits.
Dust your hands with powdered sugar and knead the fondant as you did before, until the coloring and flavoring are evenly distributed throughout the fondant.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
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Roll the Fondant Into BallsIf you would like to make fondant balls, pinch off small walnut-sized portions of fondant, and roll them between your palms to create a smooth, even ball. Fondant balls can be served as-is, rolled in chopped nuts, or dipped in chocolate for a quick and tasty candy. Serve fondant candies at room temperature, and store in an airtight container in a cool location.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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Melt the Fondant
Fondant can also be melted and poured to create soft centers and molded fondant candies. It is best to melt fondant in a double boiler so that it does not overheat. Overheated fondant has a crumbly, unpleasant texture, so be sure to monitor the temperature carefully with a candy thermometer. If you do not use a double boiler, make sure that your saucepan is over very, very low heat, and remove it from the burner as necessary.
Cut premade fondant into small pieces and place them in the top of a double boiler set over gently boiling water. Stir while the fondant melts, and add a teaspoon or two of water to thin the fondant to the desired consistency. If the fondant has not already been colored and flavored, coloring and flavoring can be added at this stage. Heat until the fondant is melted, but do not let it exceed 140 degrees, otherwise it will be too hard.
Ready to try melting fondant for making candy? Try this recipe for Chocolate Fondant Nut Clusters!Continue to 10 of 11 below.
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Pour the FondantOnce the fondant is melted and smooth, pour it into your desired receptacle. Fondant can be poured directly into small candy cups and topped with other candies or nuts. Once the fondant hardens, it can be served as-is, as the paper cups easily peel away. If it is difficult to pour the fondant from the saucepan, you can first pour it into a measuring cup with a spout.
You can also pour fondant into premade chocolate candy cups, for an easy chocolate-and-fondant candy. The fondant can then be topped with a layer of melted chocolate to completely enclose the fluid fondant.
Ready to try pouring fondant candies? Try this recipe for Chocolate Fondant Cups, with toasted pecans!Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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Create Fondant-Dipped Candies
Melted fondant can also be used to create fondant-dipped candies. You can dip many different types of fruit (strawberries, grapes, citrus segments, or apple slices), large nuts, or even fondant balls!
To dip fondant, prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Make sure that the items you are dipping are dry (and in the case of fruit, clean). Using two forks, submerge the fruit, nuts, or fondant balls in the melted fondant and remove it, scraping the bottom against the lip of the pan to remove excess chocolate. Place the dipped candy onto the prepared baking sheet, and repeat for remaining fondant. It is important to work quickly so that the fondant does not harden too much in the pan. If the fondant does get too stiff, it can be briefly rewarmed over the double boiler to get it back to melting consistency.
Ready to try dipping fondant? Try this recipe for Fondant-Dipped Fruit!