The Untold Truth Of Fondant

Nowadays, when people think of cakes they imagine these massive works of art — things that range from the spectacular to the somewhat strange and quirky. Any run-of-the-mill baking competition will have bakers using things like molding chocolate, rice crispy mounds, sugar glass, and fondant. According to Bob's Red Mill, fondant is the most commonly used decorating material for pastries, cakes, and much more. Because of shows like Ace of Cakes with chef Duff Goldman, Cake Boss, and the numerous Food Network baking shows, the popularity of this baking and decorating tool has skyrocketed (via Auguste Escoffier).

Fondant has been around for much longer than people think. According to the Cake Made Blog, fondant reportedly dates back to the 1500s. At that point in time, the ingredients were said to include things like sugar, rosewater, egg white, lemon juice, and gum tragacanth (a sap derived from a plant root, according to Lindy's Cakes). It is cited that fondant was used along with marzipan to make and mold desserts during the 17th and 19th centuries.

There are two types of fondant

Because of its molding and sculptural power, fondant has become a go-to for bakers over the past few centuries. Cake Made Blog explains that it wasn't until the 20th century that bakers began to really use it as a tool for icing a cake. Prior to this, bakers would use marzipan with rolled fondant to sculpt epic centerpieces and candies. As of today, there are two popular forms of fondant that are used by bakers everywhere.

Bob's Red Mill states that bakers either use poured fondant or rolled fondant. Rolled fondant has a similar texture to that of clay, but somewhat thicker, making it an apt vehicle for sculpting toys, planes, and trains. Poured fondant, on the other hand, is the complete opposite and has a highly gelatinous and thick texture (via Bob's Red Mill). Poured fondant is typically found in fillings or icings for pastries such as eclairs and Napoleons, according to The Spruce Eats.

Making fondant at home is quite easy

The Spruce Eats also says that making your own version of pulled fondant at home is a fairly simple and easy process. In roughly ten minutes, you can have yourself a homemade marshmallow-flavored fondant that would go perfectly on a cake or to create any shape that your creative little heart desires. The recipe for making fondant requires one pound of powdered sugar, eight ounces of miniature marshmallows, and two tablespoons of water (via The Spruce Eats). If you choose to make it flavored or add some special coloring to it, feel free to incorporate slowly. The recipe will leave you with about one pound and a half of rolled fondant, which The Spruce Eats says will cover one eight-inch round cake that is four inches high or a ten-inch cake that is about three inches high.

Poured fondant is not that difficult to make either, according to King Arthur Baking. All you really need is one cup of white chocolate chips (for melting), four cups of glazing sugar, a quarter cup of light corn syrup, a quarter cup of hot water, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. This 15-minute recipe would yield about three to three and a half cups of poured fondant. So if you're interested in exploring the capabilities of this popular baking medium, why not test your chops at home?