Rolled fondant is one of the most stunning ways to decorate a cake. It can simply and elegantly cover rounds and it can make the most amazing sculpted cakes. I've tried the store bought fondants and while they are easy to use, they are unpleasant tasting. With a bit of testing in the kitchen, I've developed a pretty good rolled fondant recipe. So let's go through the process of making rolled fondant step-by-step. (You will have to bear with these pictures, I'm researching SLR cameras and will replace these pictures with new ones as soon as I get a new camera. It's an exercise in patience, it's hard for me)
1 (.25 ounce) Package Unflavored Gelatin
3 Tablespoons COLD Water
1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Glycerin
3 Tablespoons Shortening
1/2 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Butter Flavor
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
I almost always double this recipe to cover and decorate one cake recipe.
Combine gelatin and cold water, let stand until thick:
Heat the gelatin over medium-low heat until dissolved:
When the gelatin has returned to a clear liquid, add corn syrup, glycerin, and mix. Stir in the shortening:
Just before the shortening has completely melted, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla and butter flavor:
Place 4 Cups of powdered sugar (this is about half of a 32 ounce bag) in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and make a well in the center of the sugar:
Allow the gelatin/corn syrup mixture to cool to almost room temperature and the remaining shortening to melt:
Pour the gelatin/corn syrup mixture into the well of the powdered sugar:
Mix the gelatin/corn syrup mixture and powdered sugar until combined and scrape down the bowl as necessary:
At this point you have only added half of the powdered sugar. Set the remaining four cups (the other half of the bag) aside and use it later as you add your food color gel (if you choose to tint your fondant) and roll out the fondant. I found that if you add all the powdered sugar now in addition to the amount you will need for tinting and rolling, the fondant loses it elasticity and becomes much more difficult to work with. Black is a particularly difficult color to achieve due to the sheer amount of food coloring it takes to achieve a true black color, you can use extra shortening on your hands and silicone mat as you add black food coloring to the fondant.
The final step in making your own from scratch rolled fondant is letting the fondant rest. Allowing the fondant to rest allows the liquid ingredients and powdered sugar to marry. I have found time and time again that when I make fondant ahead of time and pop it into a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge it is infinitely easier to work with:
Rolled fondant will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container for about a week:
Let your fondant rest for at least two hours on the counter or over night in the fridge. Bring the fondant back to room temperature before you add food color or roll in out. For fondant rolling tips from a previous post click here.
Making your own fondant can require a little patience and practice, but I find it to be well worth the effort!