Marshmallow Fondant Tutorial
The following is how I make MMF, which I use to cover cakes, cookies, and make edible figures. Making your own fondant is a tasty and economical solution for cake decorating, but keep in mind the pros and cons. Here are the ingredients I use. This makes enough for me to cover an 8" round (typically 3-4" high) with some left over.
- 8 oz. miniature marshmallows (KRAFT)
- 2 Tbs. water
- 1 lb. (~4 c.) powdered sugar (HEB, a local grocery store brand)
- a wad of shortening to grease the bowl and dough hook
- CHEAP! A bag of marshmallows and a bag of powdered sugar are under a couple bucks each. The cheapest box of Wilton fondant is around $6 for 24 oz. Feel free to screw up batch after batch without hurting your wallet.
- TASTE! I've tasted Wilton and Satin Ice brand fondant ... they taste very chemically. MMF tastes like ... well ... marshmallows with a bunch of powdered sugar. I'm not going to just eat MMF all by itself like candy, but I certaintly don't mind eating it with a slice of cake. If it were brand-name fondant, I'd peel it off completely before chowing down.
- This recipe is really quick and easy. You can whip up a batch in a pinch in the middle of the night when the nearest hobby store is closed.
- It's homemade! Everyone is instantly impressed when you say you made something from scratch. The recipe is easy to tweak for whatever effect you want to achieve. Add flavors and colors with ease.
- It's homemade! Which means the home you made it in gets dirty! Your husband gets irritated at the fine layer of powdered sugar coating all our appliances in the kitchen.
- It's not white white. It's ivory at best. Hope you don't need stark, virgin white.
- Hope you didn't need red, green, or black either. It's difficult to get a deep, rich color without dumping tons of food coloring into it, and then wrecking the whole batch into a sticky, gooey mess. You're going to want to buy those aforementioned colors.
- It's not as easy to work with. Buy some Satin Ice and see the difference. I now prefer making Toba Garrett's fondant recipe with gelatin.
Weigh 8 oz. of mini marshmallows into a microwaveable container. I like this tall tupperware. It holds all my marshmallows perfectly. Poor the water into the container as well.
Nuke it in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until it's smooth. It usually only takes a couple of passes.
I'm using a rubble spatula to stir. Make sure you get at the bottom to help disperse the water.
If you're going to be adding coloring or flavoring, now's the time to do it. Much easier now than later ... you'll see.
Grease up all your equipment with shortening. I make my MMF in my trusty KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. Put a thin layer of shortening inside the bowl and on the hook (don't forget the top of the hook).
Dump your melted mallows into your bowl.
Now add about 3 cups of powdered sugar. Do NOT add all of it. Depending on weather, humidity, and the powers that be, fondant may or may not need exactly a whole pound of sugar.
Start your mixer on low speed. The dough hook will fold the sugar into the melted mallows while you can sip a martini. You can do this by hand too ... but I'm way too lazy for that. Plus I don't have heavy duty silicon gloves that would protect my hands from the hot mallows.
Once most of the sugar is incorporated, you can slowly add more. You're waiting until the fondant isn't too sticky if you touch it.
To check, stop the mixer and lift the head. Gently touch the fondant on the hook with your finger tips. If it sticks on to your fingers when you pull away, add more sugar.
When your happy with the consistency, grease up a flat surface. I use a large cutting board. Dump out your fondant on to this surface. I like doing this with some vinyl or latex gloves on. This prevents fondant from getting under my nails while I scrape it out of the bowl.
Knead the fondant for 5-10 minutes to incorporate any last bits of sugar. The fondant should be slightly warm to the touch still, and elasticy. I find this part slightly theuraputic. It's like kneading very heavy bread dough. Sweet, sweet dough.
Form a nice tight ball and wrap it up with cling wrap. Stick it in an air-tight container and let is rest overnight. Why? I dunno ... that's what other people said to do ... and who am I to argue with "people"? No need to refrigerate. It will stay good for several weeks. If you find your fondant rock-hard, nuke it for 10 seconds in the microwave. That will help it loosen up enough for you to knead it, then it's good as new. Be careful! It can get hot. Do very short bursts until it's loose enough for you to work with.
Now you have the materials to make a yummy blank canvas for your tasty creations. Happy caking!