We often look at three tiered wedding cakes or elaborately decorated birthday cakes and wonder how the topmost layer of icing looks more tempting than everything else. That thick layer of icing on which there may be decorations made from flavoured icing looks as if it was manufactured by little angels and not by human beings. Only few know it is called fondant icing and that it is, indeed, made by human beings like us. Fondant icing is commonly used to decorate wedding cakes. It includes gelatin (or agar in vegetarian recipes) and food-grade glycerine, which keep the sugar pliable and creates a dough-like consistency. Fondant icing, also known as rolled fondant is rolled out like a pie crust and used to cover the cake. This gives the cakes a smooth appearance on which one can make choicest decorations; in fact, one can also transform fondant icing into dimensional objects such as flowers, cartoon characters, and ribbons to decorate the cakes made at home and give them the professional touch that children love to see and show off. Here’s how to make fondant icing at home.
Fondant Icing Recipe
- 1 tbsp Unflavoured Gelatin
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 1/2 cup light Corn Syrup
- 1 tbsp. Glycerin
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar)
- Small saucepan
- Mixing bowls
- To begin with, in a saucepan full of water, sprinkle the gelatin on the surface of water and let it sit for some five minutes. Simmer this gelatin over low heat and keep stirring till it dissolves completely. Cover it and let it be warm, but take care not to let it boil, as boiling would greatly reduce the strength of gelatin and cause a film to develop on top that will later form lumps in the fondant.
- In a separate bowl, prepare the fondant mixture by adding the confectioners’ sugar in it, making an indentation or well in the centre where you can pour liquids. Add the glycerin and light corn syrup, and do not stir the mixture. Pour the warm gelatin into the indent that you made in the sugar. Now stir the mixture until well blended.
- This mixture needs to be stirred thoroughly to be able to avoid lumps and till the mixture becomes stiff, yet pliable. Add cornstarch or oil to your hands, and knead the dough until all of the sugar mixes completely into the fondant.
- You must remember that all that gelatin and sugar mixture will make the dough sticky. Sprinkle cornstarch on a flat surface and knead the fondant on that surface. The cornstarch will prevent the fondant from sticking. Continue to knead the fondant until it becomes smooth and shiny. Add a few drops of water if the fondant is dry and starts to crack.
- Roll the fondant into a ball. Wrap the fondant icing with plastic wrap. You will have to wait for a good thirty minutes before you can roll the fondant out to place it on the cake.