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Fondant icing, also commonly referred to simply as fondant (UK: /ˈfɒndənt/, US: /ˈfɑndənt/ or /ˈfɑndɑnt/, from the French: /fɔ̃.dɑ̃/ listen (help·info)), is an edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries. It is made from sugar, water, gelatin, and glycerol. It does not have the texture of most icings; rolled fondant is akin to stiff clay, while poured fondant is a thick liquid. The word, in French, means "melting", coming from the same root as fondue and foundry.
|Main ingredients||Poured fondant: sugar, water, gelatin, glycerine
Rolled fondant: sugar, water, gelatin or agar, food-grade glycerine
Poured fondant is a creamy confection used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries, and candies or sweets. In its simplest form, it is sugar and water stabilized with gelatin and glycerine. It is cooked to the soft-ball stage, cooled slightly, and stirred or beaten to incorporate air, until it is an opaque mass with a creamy consistency. Sometimes lemon or vanilla is added to the mixture for taste. Other flavorings are used as well, as are various colorings. An example of its use is the Cadbury Creme Egg, the filling of which is inverted sugar syrup, produced by processing fondant with invertase. Fondant fancies are a type of cake typically coated in poured fondant.
Rolled fondant, fondant icing, or pettinice, which is not the same material as poured fondant, is commonly used to decorate wedding cakes. Although wedding cakes are traditionally made with marzipan and royal icing, fondant is increasingly common due to nut allergies as it does not require almond meal. Rolled fondant includes gelatin (or agar in vegetarian recipes) and food-grade glycerine, which keeps the sugar pliable and creates a dough-like consistency. It can also be made using powdered sugar and melted marshmallows. Rolled fondant is rolled out like a pie crust and used to cover the cake.
Commercial shelf-stable rolled fondant often consists principally of sugar and hydrogenated oil. However, different formulations for commercial shelf-stable fondant are available and include other ingredients, such as sugar, cellulose gum, and water.
Sculpting fondant is similar to rolled fondant but with a stiffer consistency, which makes it a good sculpting material.
Sugar paste or gum paste is similar to rolled fondant, but it will harden out completely and therefore is used for bigger cake decorations such as bride and groom figures, bigger flowers, etc. Ingredients of sugar paste are mainly egg whites and powdered sugar.
Poured fondant is formed by supersaturating water with sucrose. More than twice as much sugar will dissolve in water at the boiling point as will at room temperature. After the sucrose is dissolved, if the solution is left to cool undisturbed, the sugar will remain dissolved in a supersaturated solution until nucleation occurs. While the solution is supersaturated, if a seed crystal (undissolved sucrose) falls into the mix, or if the solution is agitated, the dissolved sucrose crystallizes to form large, crunchy crystals (which is how rock candy is made). However, if the solution is allowed to cool undisturbed, and then stirred vigorously, it forms many tiny crystals, resulting in a smooth textured fondant.
The appliqué method uses one or more layers of cutout rolled fondant pieces to provide color and depth.
- LaBau, Elizabeth. What is Invertase? About.com. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- Rainey, Sarah (18 October 2012). "So, Mary, how do you bake the perfect fondant fancy?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "My big fat British wedding cake". BBC. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
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