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Conditioning rolled fondant?

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Chantal
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I worked with fondant for the first time this week, it was quite fun, not as tedious as I'd thought it would be, you can see my results here.

I found that after I spread it on the cake there were little cracks, I figured maybe I rolled it too thin, my biggest concern was in cutting it, it became really hard and was very difficult to cut into, well difficult in that it would crumble like little candy pieces.

Is there something that can be applied to it after laying it on the cake to avoid this or is this how its supposed to be?

I made the fondant myself from a recipe for rolled fondant in Baking & Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft, it consisted of confectioner's sugar, gelatin, glycerin and corn syrup,I can't remember if there was vanilla, hmmm, maybe.

Any helpful suggestions are welcome, I want to have the kinks worked out before attempt number 2 Smile

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NavyEmpress
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Funny, I had the same problem of cutting when I made my last cake and used from-scratch fondant. I loved the texture and ease of handling and even the flavor wasn't too sweet like some other fondant brands I've tried but when I went to cut a piece, it had hardened into a shell and broke off in huge chunks. I didn't have the problem with cracks but I do know that you can smooth a small amount of shortening around the corners to prevent cracking and if you have buttercream or another frosting that is the same color as your fondant (white in your case) you could spread that into the cracks and smooth. That would probably end up being the "back" side of the cake but hey, there's always a front and a back to a cake. Haha. I wonder if manufacturers use something to prevent the fondant from hardening so much?

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Chantal
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NavyEmpress wrote:

I wonder if manufacturers use something to prevent the fondant from hardening so much?

I guess that's the mystery I'm trying to uncover, I actually read the ingredients on a tub of satin ice and realised that it was basically the same things as I'd used in mine, ratios would be different I suppose.

I did find after posting this the suggestion to knead in a little shortening, but does this prevent it from crusting and crumbling any at all?

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MadBakerWoman
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First of all, congratulations on your first homemade fondant cake, it looks awesome! Here is the recipe I've always used for making my fondant-http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm It's extremely simple and really easy to use. Plus they are ingredients that you normally have around the house, marshmallows and powdered sugar.
Anyways, when I'm making fondant for my cakes, I've found that when it cracks and dries so hard as you explained, it's because its far too dry in the first place. Knead a small amount of water in it before you roll it out, to make sure it's good and soft beforehand. And yeah, when your rolling it out, coat your work surface and your hands with shortening, it will prevent sticking plus the fondant will pull some of the moisture in and help keep it nice and soft the whole time.
Hope this helps!

Chantal
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MadBakerWoman wrote:

First of all, congratulations on your first homemade fondant cake, it looks awesome! Here is the recipe I've always used for making my fondant-http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm It's extremely simple and really easy to use. Plus they are ingredients that you normally have around the house, marshmallows and powdered sugar.
Anyways, when I'm making fondant for my cakes, I've found that when it cracks and dries so hard as you explained, it's because its far too dry in the first place. Knead a small amount of water in it before you roll it out, to make sure it's good and soft beforehand. And yeah, when your rolling it out, coat your work surface and your hands with shortening, it will prevent sticking plus the fondant will pull some of the moisture in and help keep it nice and soft the whole time.
Hope this helps!

Thank you. I don't have a microwave which was my reason for not going that route in terms of homemade fondant.

I really like the idea of coating the work surface and my hands with shortening I think I'll try that next time.

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Pinky
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Bakeries also steam fondant cakes to get them soft and shiny. Not sure how to manage that at home, but thats something you could play around with

Chantal
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Pinky wrote:

Bakeries also steam fondant cakes to get them soft and shiny. Not sure how to manage that at home, but thats something you could play around with

Steam...hmmmm....fascinating, think I'll do some research on that.

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steph-obsessedw...
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can you melt marshmallows over a pot of boiling water to skip the microwaving step? I'm really interested in fondant, which is the best tasting and easiest to work with? I've seen people make marshmallow fonda
nt, how's that?

MadBakerWoman
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steph-obsessedwithbaking wrote:

can you melt marshmallows over a pot of boiling water to skip the microwaving step? I'm really interested in fondant, which is the best tasting and easiest to work with? I've seen people make marshmallow fonda
nt, how's that?

You can use the stove top to melt them, of course! I haven't tried it myself but its the same principle, and all you are doing is melting marshmallow and water together so it shouldn't be much difference, if any.
Marshmallow fondant is, in my opinion, the best to use as far as homemade goes. My sister made fondant using gelatin and corn syrup and all that, and it took her hours to complete and was a complicated process. Maybe that was due to inexperience in making it, but simply melting marshmallows with water and kneading it with powdered sugar seems far more simple and easier to me. is the recipe I use for making fondant, and she has a lot of info about it and answers all questions that may come up when making it. I've made it a dozen times or so, and it gets easier and easier each time.
Good luck! Smile