Feel at Home with Homemade Fondant
Homemade fondant is quick and easy to make, cheap and totally delicious. So why are we still buying so much of the branded product? In this short tutorial, I will show you to make my homemade recipe of choice, Liz Marek’s marshmallow fondant, or LMF. Then you can put it to use exploring Basic Fondant Techniques with Elisa Strauss in her new free online mini-class!
LMF is an improvement on the traditional marshmallow fondant (MMF) recipes you may have tried before. The addition of some Wilton or other store bought fondant gives it the elasticity and workability that you may have felt was missing from other recipes.
The recipe below yields four and a quarter pounds of fondant and costs about $5, depending on where you shop.
- 2 lbs sifted powdered sugar
- 1 lb store-brand mini marshmallows (Jet puffed, Kraft and marshmallow fluff do not work). You can use large marshmallows if you have to, but cut them into quarters before melting.
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1.25 lbs of Wilton fondant or any other brand pre-made fondant
- Extra powdered sugar for kneading
- Stand Mixer*
- Large plastic bowl
- Dough hook
Step 1: Weigh 2lb powdered sugar into a bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Lightly grease a large microwavable bowl with a little shortening. Weigh 1lb mini marshmallows into the bowl.
Step 3: Microwave the marshmallows on high for one minute.
Step 4: Continue to microwave the marshmallow on high until they are melted and puffed up. Do not stir at this point. The photo below shows marshmallows that still retain their shape, although they are completely melted.
Step 5: Spoon 3tbs water between the marshmallows and the bowl, all the way around. You want the water to seep underneath so that the sticky mixture can easily be poured into your mixing bowl.
Step 6: Transfer the marshmallows to your mixing bowl. With any luck, they should just pour right in.
Step 7: Attach your dough hook to your stand mixer and add 1/4 cup shortening or other white vegetable fat.
Step 8: With the mixture on low, add about half the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth, and no lumps of sugar are visible. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl regularly.
Step 9: When about half of the powdered sugar has been added, the mixture should start to form a lump around the dough hook. Continue adding another couple of cups of powdered sugar until the fondant starts to release from the sides. Use your spatula to help the process along.
Step 10: At this point, microwave your one and a quarter pounds of Wilton fondant on high for around 40 seconds, until it is soft and pliable. Be careful not to overheat as hot fondant can burn you.
Step 11: Grease your hands with shortening and pull the the fondant off the hook. Put the whole lump into the bowl with the leftover powdered sugar. Add the softened Wilton and start kneading everything together.
Step 12: Continue kneading until the powdered sugar and the Wilton fondant is completely combined. Knead in a little more powdered sugar if the mixture still feels too sticky.
Step 13: You can use the fondant immediately, or wrap it in plastic wrap or a large Ziplock bag until needed. If you store it for later use, you may need to heat the fondant for 30 seconds or so in the microwave before starting to roll it out.
You can color your fondant as usual with gel colors, but to achieve dark colors like black, red and purple, add the color at the melted marshmallow stage. Omit two tablespoons of water and replace them with two tablespoons of your chosen color. For a lighter shade, replace less water with color. To tint the fondant to a truer white, you can add white food coloring.
LMF will give you great quality results at a fraction of the cost you would pay for store-bought fondant. Use it with carved cakes like Elisa Strauss’ Sculpted Dog Cake, or for covering in the traditional way like Colette Peters in her Vintage Cakes, Modern Methods class.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Elizabeth Marek from Artisan Cake Company.
*If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, it is possible to make this fondant by hand. Just empty the entire two pounds of powdered sugar into the bowl of melted marshmallows and knead, but make sure you rub shortening on your hands and forearms and be prepared to get messy! Follow the directions as above once the sugar is all combined.