Fondant is a sugar paste that can be sculpted into shapes and figures for decorating cakes. It's made by boiling sugar, water, and cream of tartar (or another type of acid), then kneading the mixture until it becomes stiff. Once it's cooled, this paste can be rolled out onto a surface to be used as any other clay-like material would be used. This is fundamental to succesfully know how to make fondant.
If you'd like to make it yourself at home, here are some tips on how to do so:
- Put your granulated sugar in a pot along with your cream of tartar or citric acid*. Turn the burner on medium-high heat and stir constantly while waiting for the mixture to come to a boil. *Citric acid is available in many ethnic grocery stores. It's usually found with the rest of the spices. If you can't find it there, try looking in a health food store for it.
- When your sugar mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring and wait until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148 degrees Celsius). Be sure to use an accurate thermometer because if you don't wait for the mixture to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit before adding it to your egg whites they won't whip up properly.
- While kneading it continue cooling it by occasionally sticking the mixing bowl into ice water or covering it with ice cubes. This is a crucial part when it comes to how to make fondant. Once you've finished kneading it, let it cool completely before rolling out onto any surface.
- Feel free to add drops of various food colors into different parts of it until you've achieved the color that's just right for your cake. You can also knead in a little bit of shortening--just around one ounce per five pounds of fondant--to give it a smoother texture.
Remember, how much work you put into how to make fondant, it will determine what kind of results you'll have at the end. Make sure not to skimp on kneading time! This is essential if you want your finished product to be smooth and edible. Also, make sure to use ice water or an ice bath while kneading.
You now have all the knowledge needed to make some delicious-looking, sweet masterpiece. Now go to a grocery store, buy a few simple ingredients, and get started!