ave you ever tasted cream puff or glazed petit four? Of course you did! Do you remember that thick, shiny, sweet paste on the top, which was probably the same color and taste like the inside of the pastries? That was probably fondant icing!
What is Fondant Icing?
Word fondant, when translated from French, means “melting”. Fondant icing or poured fondant is white, dough-like mixture that is constituted of very fine sugar crystals, connected with concentrated syrup. It is made by cooking sugar and glucose with water until the syrup reaches the temperature between 112°C (233°F) and 120°C (248°F), depending on its purpose. When you put sugar and water into a saucepan, it is important that you get rid of all the crystals of sugar from the sides of the pan. Also, you need a candy thermometer to measure the right temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, it is possible to determine “the stage” of cooked syrup by putting a small amount of the hot syrup into iced water. All about this and much more you can learn from my post about cooking sugar syrup.
How to Color and Flavor Fondant Icing
If you want to use fondant icing as a glaze, you will probably want to adjust the flavor and the color of the glaze with the flavor of the interior of your pastries. What does this mean?
Well, if you want to make a chocolate éclair, you will probably want to glaze it with chocolate fondant icing instead of natural white one. You can accomplish this by adding some melted chocolate to softened fondant icing. If you have made petits fours of – let’s say – joconde sponge cake and raspberry jam filling, you will simply put some raspberry extract or reduced raspberry puree to your fondant icing. By doing that, at the same time you will make it pink and raspberry flavored. If you have neither extract nor puree, you can just add some red or pink edible color to the fondant icing, and that would suggest that inside of the petit four is a raspberry filling.
There is one more option I can think of! If you don’t have any of those things (extract, puree, coloring), you can glaze your raspberry petits fours with pure white fondant icing, and sprinkle them with raspberry powder!
Also, you can put one dried raspberry on each one. You could put one fresh raspberry too, but those are very delicate, and they don’t last long.
As you can see, you can play with the colors and flavors of your fondant icing, and make interesting variations and combinations.
What is Rolled Fondant?
You should distinguish fondant icing or poured fondant from rolled fondant – a dough-like mixture of sugar, gelatin, and food-grade glycerin, widely used for decorating wedding cakes and birthday cakes. This type of fondant is usually rolled like a dough and used to cover cakes, but it is also suitable for making flowers, ribbons and other edible decorations.
Recipe and Procedure for Making Fondant Icing
To make fondant icing, you will need a lot of sugar, and some glucose syrup and water.
Per 500g (1.1lbs) of sugar, you will need 175g (6 Oz.) of water and 100g (3.5 Oz.) of glucose syrup. If you can’t purchase glucose syrup, you can use corn syrup instead.
- Put the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to boil. Be careful that you clean all the sugar crystals at the sides of the saucepan.
- Add the glucose and continue cooking.
- Put the thermometer in the syrup and cook until it reaches 112°C -115°C (233°F-239°F) for softer fondant, or 117°C-120°C (242°F-248°F) for firmer fondant.
- Pour the syrup into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and when it cools down to 37°C (98°F) mix it on low speed. The mixture will form fine small crystals and become dough-like in pure white color.
- While it is still warm, wrap it in cling film and leave to rest for 24 h before use.
How to Use Fondant Icing?
Fondant icing is used for glazing cakes and small pastries, or in confectionary for the filling of chocolate bonbons.
The optimal temperature for using fondant is 30°C-34°C (86°F-93°F). If heated to higher temperatures, it loses the shine because it’s structure changes. The best method is to heat the fondant icing gently over the bain-marie. My advice is never to leave it unattended. You are going to add some simple syrup to fondant icing in order to make it more liquid, in a quantity of approximately 5-10%. Glaze prepared cakes on the rack so the excess fondant can drip off the cakes.
You can store fondant icing in an airtight plastic wrap for weeks, and use it again.
There, since now you know everything about fondant icing, you are ready to make some glazed petits fours! Do that! And – don’t forget to let me know how it went! Good luck!
Fondant Icing Recipe
by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra
Prep. time : 5 minutes
Cook time : 15 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Level : Basic
- Sugar 500g (1.1lbs)
- Water 175g (6oz)
- Glucose syrup 100g (3.5oz)
- Put the water and sugar into a saucepan, put a lid on and bring to boil.
- Add the glucose and continue cooking.
- Put the probe of a digital candy thermometer into the syrup, and cook until it reaches 112°C -115°C (233°F-239°F) for softer fondant, or 117°C-120°C (242°F-248°F) for firmer fondant.
- Pour the syrup into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and when it cools down to 37°C (98°F) mix it on low speed.
- The mixture will form fine small crystals and become dough like in pure white color.
- While it is still warm, wrap it in cling film and leave to rest for 24 hours before use. The optimal temperature for using fondant is 30°C-34°C (86°F-93°F). If heated on higher temperatures, it looses the shine because its structure changes.
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