The comments I hear most often about fondant is that it tastes bad or bland. To be honest, for a long time I couldn’t fault such an opinion. Prepackaged fondant, while convenient, is expensive at almost $5 per pound of white–double the cost if you want a strong color, like red or black–and doesn’t have much of a taste to it. So why spend so much money on a product that usually winds up in the trash?
Enter homemade marshmallow fondant. Using vanilla and almond extract, with a bit of lemon juice, you’ve added a unique flavor to the covering of your cake, so it tastes better. And the cost of ingredients adds up to a fraction of what you’d pay for the premade stuff.
So–it tastes better, and it’s cheaper? Let’s get started. You’re going to make a mess, but life is better when everything is covered in a thin layer of powdered sugar 🙂
1 2lb. bag powdered sugar
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
15 oz. miniature marshmallows
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. clear vanilla
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. clear almond extract
2 tsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. glycerine
Measuring cups and spoons
2 large bowls
1 small bowl
Gallon size storage bag
1. Prepare your work station. Your countertop should be clean and dry–for now, anyways 🙂
2. In one of your large bowls, sift the powdered sugar. Don’t be lazy and skip this step–I know, I’ve tried. Not sifting causes little lumps in the fondant, and you want as smooth of finish as possible.
3. In your small bowl, add your vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, salt and glycerine.
4. With your pastry brush, grease the inside of your second large bowl and a wooden spoon with vegetable shortening. Use your scale to measure out 15 oz. of marshmallows and add them and the water to the greased bowl. Stir gently.
5. Microwave the marshmallows in four 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Your mixture should look soupy when finished.
6. Take the bowl to your countertop and pour the contents of the small bowl into the melted marshmallows and stir. Add the corn syrup.
7. Begin adding small amounts of powdered sugar to the mixture using your wooden spoon. Keep adding the sugar and stirring until it becomes too difficult.
8. Using your pastry brush, put a thin layer of vegetable shortening on your countertop, followed by a bed of sifted powdered sugar. Empty the contents of the bowl and grease up your hands–it’s time to start kneading.
9. Work the sugar into the mixture until it is no longer soft and sticky. You want the fondant to be able to stretch, not tear. If it begins to feel dry, add some vegetable shortening. If it is still too soft and sticky, add a little more sugar. The humidity will affect the outcome of your fondant–in summer, you will likely need more sugar; winter, more shortening. Periodically you will need to clean your hands. Wash them and dry with paper towels. Terrycloth towels can get bits of lint in them, which is why I use paper. When your fondant is firm but pliable, roll it into a ball and cover with shortening. Wrap well with plastic wrap and put inside storage bag, pressing out any air that could dry out the fondant. Let sit out on counter overnight before use.