What would be my best option for making a true red fondant? I am making a Cat in the Hat cake, that I will deliver tomorrow night and I need a large amount of red fondant. I can color white with Wilton no taste red, paint the red on after with a brush,(worried about brush strokes) or go to Michaels and buy a bunch of the little Wilton multi color bright packs to get enough red. (This is a free cake for a baby shower. Actually all my cakes are free, I am just a hobby baker, practicing constantly for my DDs wedding next year! ) I could buy an airbrush, but I havent used one before and I am not sure if this would be the time to experiment with one. I am having a brain freeze HELP!
I make my own fondant, so I'm not sure if this will be helpful for you if you typically buy fondant. I am also just a hobby baker so making the fondant saves me a lot of money. I also prefer the taste, but I think that is a personal preference.
I have had success making a true red marshmellow fondant. I typically add a good amount of red to the marshmellows when I am melting them. Then after I add the powdered sugar to the melted marshemellows I add a bit more red because the sugar dulls the color a bit. I found that putting the color in when the marshemellows are melting prevents that drying out of the fondant you get when you add all the color after it is in fondant form.
I was going to suggest what GuinnessTigger did. If you're making your own fondant add the color to the liquid before adding the powdered sugar. Uses a lot less color, and saves you a lot of kneading time.
Typically for darker colors like this it is better to let the fondant sit a day or two to let the color darken, but you should still be ok using it today.
I would suggest instead of using the color gels, use the wilton candy colors instead, you will get a more vibrant red with much less color to add, with the gels you will need a 1 - 2 jars full to achieve a good red depending on how much fondant you are dyeing, and that will compromise the texture and consistancy of your fondant. I teach my students to do this in my WIlton classes and it works like a charm. You will still need more than one jar of the candy colors but it is oils based and not oil based like the gels. HTH
Or you can be like me and just airbursh it, and turn your whole kitchen red lol!