Rolled fondant is a dough-like frosting that you can mold, cut, shape, even emboss, pretty much however you like. Many people prefer a fondant covered cake because it is so smooth and lovely. It’s also great because of the very real looking sculptures that can be made with it. However, fondant almost always tastes gross. It usually consists of Crisco and confectioner’s sugar with a little water thrown in to soften it up a bit. I’m sure you can imagine how appealing that is. Beyond flavor, though, it can tend towards greasiness when decorating. Greasy fondant is too soft to do anything really beautiful with and it tends to take on a shine that I find unappealing.
For all of these reasons, the latest trend in cake decorating is marshmallow fondant (MMF). The idea being that the marshmallows will give it a better flavor. There are hundreds of MMF recipes on the internet. They usually include marshmallows (obviously), Crisco, and confectioner’s sugar with a little water thrown in to soften it up a bit. Wait a minute. That sounds pretty familiar. That’s right, it’s practically the same recipe, more or less, as regular fondant; there are just melted marshmallows added. Here’s a little secret: marshmallows don’t have a strong enough flavor to mask all that Crisco. That’s why I have been experimenting for a couple of years to come up with a recipe that is easy to make and work with, looks beautiful, and most importantly, tastes good. And I would like to share it with you.
Keep in mind that all fondant is going to be ultra sweet. It’s the nature of the beast. It is, after all, almost entirely composed of sugar. This recipe, however, is milder than most.Â If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I have lots of tips and tricks I can share.
I’m going to talk about fondant a couple more times over the next few posts, including a tutorial on how to make some really lovely little flowers! Be sure to come back and check it out!
Marshmallow Fondant [Printable Version]
21 ounces mini white marshmallows (2-10.5 ounce bags)
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1-3 tablespoons water
Place the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl or double boiler (in place of a double boiler, you can use a large sauce pan and large bowl, directions to follow). I prefer the double boiler.
Microwave directions: Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Remove and stir thoroughly. Repeat these two steps until the everything is completely melted and well mixed.
Double boiler directions (sauce pan): Fill the bottom pan (or sauce pan) with a few of inches of shallow water and bring to a simmer. Place the ingredients in the top of the double boiler (or in a Â large bowl placed on top of the sauce pan). Stir frequently until completely melted and well blended.
If using a standing mixer, put half of the sugar in the bowl and pour the marshmallow mixture on top. Put the other half of the sugar on top of that and turn the mixer onto it’s lowest setting. As it mixes, add 1/2 teaspoon at a time of water, as needed, to soften the mixture. Be careful not to add too much or it will get too sticky. Mix just until a dough forms.
If mixing by hand, leave the marshmallow mixture in it’s bowl and pour half of the sugar on top. Move on to the next step.
Generously dust the countertop with confectioners’ sugar. Pour the fondant mixture in the middle. Coat your hands in confectioners’ sugar and sprinkle more on top of the mixture. If you are mixing by hand, this is going to be very sticky, but begin kneading the mixture and sugar together, generously adding the other half of the sugar to the mixture, as needed.
Continue kneading the dough until it is smooth and firm, adding more sugar to the countertop and hands, as needed. If the dough becomes to dry and tears easily, add a little water to soften it, being very careful not to add too much.
Lightly dust the fondant with confectioners’ sugar and place it in a large zippered bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. Let it rest at room temperature at leastovernight before using. You can use it right away on small projects, like covering cupcakes, but it will be too soft to do anything larger or to sculpt with.
This recipe holds well in the refrigerator for weeks, so it is helpful to make it ahead when you know you have an event or project coming up. If you make it ahead, just remove it from the refrigerator, allow it to rest, sealed and at room temperature, for at least 24 hours before using it. You can color it in advance, as well, but be aware that colors can deepen over time, and keeping it in direct light will cause the colors to fade.
To use your fondant, dust the countertop with confectioners’ sugar. Place the fondant in the microwave for 10 seconds (no more) to soften it. Place on the counter and knead for a couple of minutes to soften further. Now you’re ready to add color, roll it out, or start sculpting!
Recipe by Darla