Crumbly Michele Fosters Fondant

Baking By Dayti Updated 28 Jun 2010 , 5:40pm by mamawrobin

Dayti Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:29pm
post #1 of 30

I wonder if anyone can help me. I tried the recipe for MFF, after reading the recipe and all the comments. I was amazed that it seemed simple to make, and it was absolutely delicious (I used the updated recipe, and added white chocolate to it). It felt great when kneading it on the counter as soon as the mixer finished its work, really soft and pliable. So I wrapped it in oiled plastic wrap, put it in a plastic box til the next day. And it turned out all crumbly. I kneaded a chunk of it for about a good 20 mins or so by hand, added shortening, kneaded more, but to no avail. Tried microwaving shortly, which seemed fine at first but did nothing really. Still crumbly. I definitely did the recipe right since I read so many times that it was so important to get the first 5 ingredients absolutely correct.
So what did I do wrong? Or, how can I get it from a crumbly state to a nice pliable one again? I really want to have another go at it. Thankyou!

29 replies
minicuppie Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:56pm
post #2 of 30

Did you use all the 10x that the recipe called for? Sometimes it is just too much. I hold a couple of cups back then grease , wrap in plastic and let it rest overnite. If it is still sticky after the overnite rest then I knead a bit more in.

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:23am
post #3 of 30

Yes, I used the 3.5 lbs entirely...saved a tiny bit back for dusting the counter, used the rest though. It seemed to take it well at the mixing stage, it wasn't dry at all. Maybe I should do as you say and use less then?

Jeep_girl816 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:28am
post #4 of 30

Did you use solid shortening, like crisco on the plastic wrap or spray like pam? I've heard the spray can cause MFF to "crust.

artscallion Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:31am
post #5 of 30

Did you let your heated mixture cool to lukewarm by temp (95°) or by feel?

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:32am
post #6 of 30

Yes, I read that too about the spray, so I just used regular oil lightly brushed on the wrap. The fondant wasn't crusty at all on the surface. It just would not bind together upon kneading it. Really weird.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:02am
post #7 of 30

I use MFF exclusively and I have never had any problems with it even when I had to make it by hand before I bought my stand mixer.

First of all you said that you put oil on the plastic wrap. OIL will break down this fondant. You are suppose to use shortening. and not too much. Too much shortening will also break it down. I've done both with my "experiments" troubleshooting different theories. I had some lying around so I rubbed about a handful with vegetable oil. Within seconds it became crumbly and started breaking down. I took another handful and added some shortening...and kneaded it in...too much of that will also break down this fondant.

Here's what I think (just my humble opinion) 1. you should have LIGHTLY greased the plastic wrap with shortening...NOT oil...this is probably where it all started to go wrong. 2. you added shortening ...adding too much can bread down this fondant. I grease my mat when I first make it and knead it for the first time and I never use shortening any other time when working with this fondant. A little isn't going to cause you any trouble but too much will cause it to break down...be crumbly and seperate.

I use cornstarch when rolling out this fondant. It works with the chemistry very well.

icer101 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:34am
post #8 of 30

I , too, use oil. That is what the recipe says to do. It says to wrap in oil coated plastic wrap. This is what i do. Let it rest over night. Then knead it really really good. I love this recipe and how pliable it is. And taste so good.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:44am
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by icer101

I , too, use oil. That is what the recipe says to do. It says to wrap in oil coated plastic wrap. This is what i do. Let it rest over night. Then knead it really really good. I love this recipe and how pliable it is. And taste so good.




The recipe also says that if it's too stiff to knead in glycerin. Too much crisco/oil will cause it to break down. I'm sorry if I was wrong about the "oil" for coating the plastic wrap thumbs_up.gif I'm just saying that the op may have used too much of either oil or crisco causing it to be crumbly. I remember reading an older thread (looked but couldn't find it) from 2009 about crisco/oil being a factor in the "breaking down" of this fondant.

I too LOVE this recipe and am always surprised when someone has issues with it. For me it's so simple and easy to make with great results. And it does taste so good thumbs_up.gif

Niquie Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:51am
post #10 of 30

Hi, not sure if this will work for you, but I went back to the original recipe, and I like it much better than the revised version, but climate matters when it comes to baking and decorating, so maybe the original just works better because of my location. Anyway, I had that whole crumbly thing happen to me before, and was told to knead in some glycerin a little at time until there was enough of a change. It will get sticky, so have some PS on hand, and I suggest wearing gloves, that way you don't get any more unecessary oil or shortening in it.

Use this batch as an experiment, and try all the different suggestions people are giving you on little hand fulls, and see what ends up working for you. I love this fondant, it took me a few batches before I started getting the results I was looking for, but now I absolutely love it. Maybe you should try the original, or like I said, experiment with this batch, and see what works for you. Hope this helps, and good luck with your fondant adventures!!!

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 9:27am
post #11 of 30

Thankyou for your replies everyone! I don't think I used too much oil on the wrap or kneaded in too much shortening (literally just coating a couple of fingertips in it), because I was aware I might wreck it. However, next time I will try using a bit less PS, and knead in more the next day, or knead in glycerine if it is still too dry. I definitely cooled the mix to lukewarm, though I didn't use a thermometer, I will try that too. I may try the original recipe too. I live in Spain so it is a really dry climate in summer, don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I don't have problems with bought fondant at all.
Mamawrobin I was surprised it didn't work for me, because I always read how great it is from you when you talk about it. I was convinced it would work for me!
Thanks again.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:35am
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

Thankyou for your replies everyone! I don't think I used too much oil on the wrap or kneaded in too much shortening (literally just coating a couple of fingertips in it), because I was aware I might wreck it. However, next time I will try using a bit less PS, and knead in more the next day, or knead in glycerine if it is still too dry. I definitely cooled the mix to lukewarm, though I didn't use a thermometer, I will try that too. I may try the original recipe too. I live in Spain so it is a really dry climate in summer, don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I don't have problems with bought fondant at all.
Mamawrobin I was surprised it didn't work for me, because I always read how great it is from you when you talk about it. I was convinced it would work for me!
Thanks again.




I stayed up way too late last night trying to figure out what "went wrong" with your fondant. icon_lol.gif I just can't imagine why you had the problems that you had. You said that you may try the "original" recipe. Which one did you use? I see that you're in Spain, what kind of corn syrup did you use? what brand of unflavored gelatin? Sorry icon_lol.gif I just can't rest til I figure this out. icon_razz.gif

artscallion Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:16pm
post #13 of 30

Out of curiosity, are either of these the ingredients called for in the version you used...

1/2 cup cream
2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
1 dash salt
3 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

OR

1/2 cup milk
3 packs gelatin (6 tsp for reference in case you wanted to 1/2 the recipe)
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp butter, unsalted
3 Tbsp glycerin
2 tsp vanilla (sometimes I use more)
dash salt
3-4 lb powdered sugar, sifted (at least once)

These are the original and new version.

I ask because there is a misprinted version up that calls for 3 Tbsp of gelatin! and some other errors. I guess the author couldn't get the mods to delete it. The incorrect ingreds are...

1/2 cup cream
3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
dash salt
Approximately 3 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar

If you're using this version. It's incorrect and way too much gelatin. That could be your problem

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:15pm
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Out of curiosity, are either of these the ingredients called for in the version you used...


1/2 cup cream
3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
dash salt
Approximately 3 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar

If you're using this version. It's incorrect and way too much gelatin. That could be your problem





This is actually the recipe that I use. icon_surprised.gif and I've never had any trouble with it. All of the cakes in my photos are covered with MFF using this recipe. icon_confused.gif I certainly didn't know that I've been using a "misprinted" version because my results have always been awesome. icon_lol.gif

artscallion Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:31pm
post #15 of 30

Maybe I've got the versions mixed up. I seem to remember the problem being too much gelatin. But I could be wrong. Hey, if it works for ya, why change?! If you do a search for "Michele", all three recipes come up...all different.

The one I use is...

1/2 cup cream
2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
1 dash salt
3 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

It comes out like buttah!

neecies_sweets Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:56pm
post #16 of 30

i made this for the first time two days ago. i've always made my fondant and wanted to experiment with a new recipe. the only change i made: i used water and flavored dairy creamer. i did wrap in heavily oiled plastic. it mixed beautifully (used all the sugar). passed the taste test yesterday. after reading this forum i thought i'd roll out a piece. . .used cornstarch, worked great. i've covered a little piece of cake with it so unless it falls apart tonite, i'm happy with it. icon_smile.gif btw, i used the 3 T gelatin version.

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:14pm
post #17 of 30

Wow thanks for all your interest in this. The recipe I used was this one, the "updated" MFF version from the most saved recipes:
1/2 cup cream
3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
dash salt
Approximately 3 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar

I used milk, not cream (recipe says this is ok). I added white chocolate. The gelatin I used is a brand called Dr Oetker, as was the glycerine. It is in a granular form and I used 3T. Does your gelatin come in liquid form? Maybe in granular form 3T is too much. I remember I couldn't get corn syrup but I read elsewhere I could sub it with a water/sugar boiled mixture (now I can't remember the ratio but it was of corn syrup consistency when done). Maybe not having actual corn syrup was my problem?

neecies_sweets Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:33pm
post #18 of 30

that is the recipe i used. . . with granular gelatin. i have to think it was the corn syrup just bc it's the only thing you changed. . . but i don't know why, if it was the same consistency. icon_sad.gif or maybe the water in the boiled sugar begins to evaporate, leaving you with more sugar?

cakeandpartygirl Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:43pm
post #19 of 30

I used to use the updated one and found that it was a little too much gelatin. I went back to the original recipe that calls for 3 packs of the unflavored gelatin and measured it. It's not 3 tbsp of gelatin like the updated formula. I got better results from using the original one. I am getting ready to make some today and I will measure the 3 packs and tell you how much it is.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:50pm
post #20 of 30

Ok this is what I have found in the difference between the 2 recipes. The first one calls for 3 packs and I just finished measuring it and the brand that I use Knox unflavored gelatin, measures out for each packet 2 1/2 teaspoons. The updated MFF says 3 tablespoons. Again I know that different brands may measure differently but I have found that the original recipe works consistently for me.

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:00pm
post #21 of 30

Thanks for checking that. So, you are using 7.5 tsp of gelatin, instead of 9 tsp (or 3 tbs)? Maybe I should use a bit less PS and a bit less gelatin then...

artscallion Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:53pm
post #22 of 30

Here is a link to Michele's answers to these questions.

http://tinyurl.com/2d28ye4

She talks about the error and links to the correct recipe.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:58pm
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

Thanks for checking that. So, you are using 7.5 tsp of gelatin, instead of 9 tsp (or 3 tbs)? Maybe I should use a bit less PS and a bit less gelatin then...




I don't think so...either use the recipe that calls for 2 T. of each gelatin, butter and glycerin OR the recipe that calls for 3 T. of each of the three.

Since you didn't use actual corn syrup I would think that is your problem. You may need to use less powdered sugar but unless you're using the" 2 tablespoon" recipe you should leave the gelatin at 3 tablespoons.

I would bet my last dollar that the lack of corn syrup IS the problem. I'm not sure that the substitution of sugar/water will work for this recipe. Corn syrup isn't just hot water and sugar. Since you said in your original post that you followed the recipe just like it was written I was stumped on what went wrong. Simple syrup (hot water/sugar) IS NOT corn syrup and will not work in this recipe. Glucose thinned down may have worked but your problem is definitely the substitution that you used. No need to change anything else. Just follow the recipe EXACTLY as it's written and you shouldn't have any trouble.

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:17pm
post #24 of 30

OK, I am going to make the fondant exactly the way I did it the first time (the "updated" recipe with 3T), but will wait until I can get proper corn syrup. I will leave everything else the same, since no one else seems to have trouble with it. If I still have problems, I'll try using less PS initially. I really liked the way it tasted, SO much nicer than the brands I can get here, so if I can get the same pliability as bought fondant, I'll be over the moon!
Thanks again for all your help.

Larkin121 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:21pm
post #25 of 30

I really like this recipe, but I will say that it took at least 4 times before I finally got it to work well for me. I read and read about all the versions and found a version on a different site dated back to before the ones here (or at least some of them) and it had 3 PACKS of gelatin, which, when measured, was in between the 2tbsp and 3tbsp recipe. That did the trick for me... I went with the 2tbsp measurements of everything else and the 3 packs of gelatin.

AND, I always have had to knead in extra glycerin to get it smooth - it often has a slightly crumbly texture at first, still. Again, perhaps a climate issue.

I don't make my own fondant often anymore, but when i do, it's this recipe because it tastes soooo good.

artscallion Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:28pm
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

...I will leave everything else the same, since no one else seems to have trouble with it...




Actually, I did have problems with the 3Tbsp recipe. That's why I remembered the issue. I used to make the original recipe. Then I heard it was updated. So I looked and found the one titled "Updated" (the one with 3 Tbsp) and it came out like an unworkable clump. It was then that I discovered that the 3Tbsp recipe was an error and started using the new recipe that is not titled "updated" (the one with 2 Tbsp) perfect fondant ever since.

Can't explain why Mamawrobin has such success with the 3Tbsp recipe. But as they say, if it ain't broke, why fix it. But if you continue to have problems, I would try the one that Michele links to on the first page of the link I posted

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:34pm
post #27 of 30

Simple syrup (water and sugar) isn't a good substitute for corn syrup without the addition of cream of tartar. 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar for each 2 cups of sugar will prevent the sugar from crystallizing when it cools down.
Here's my mother's recipe for :
Corn Syrup Substitution
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
combine in sauce pan and bring to a boil...reduce heat to allow to simmer:cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes (covered) to get sugar crystals off the side of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches the soft ball stage.
Stir often. Cool syrup and store covered at room temperature. Will keep for 2 months. Do not refrigerate. Makes almost 2 cups corn syrup.

More than likely your sugar crystallized once it cooled down and if you didn't "cook to soft ball stage" it probably wasn't broken down enough.

If you can't get corn syrup you may try this next time.

Dayti Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:34pm
post #28 of 30

Yes, I will try the 2T one, if I can't get the 3T one to work with proper corn syrup. Think I will also try halving the recipe for the tests else I am going to be wasting a bunch of ingredients if they don't work!

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:35pm
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

...I will leave everything else the same, since no one else seems to have trouble with it...



Actually, I did have problems with the 3Tbsp recipe. That's why I remembered the issue. I used to make the original recipe. Then I heard it was updated. So I looked and found the one titled "Updated" (the one with 3 Tbsp) and it came out like an unworkable clump. It was then that I discovered that the 3Tbsp recipe was an error and started using the new recipe that is not titled "updated" (the one with 2 Tbsp) perfect fondant ever since.

Can't explain why Mamawrobin has such success with the 3Tbsp recipe. But as they say, if it ain't broke, why fix it. But if you continue to have problems, I would try the one that Michele links to on the first page of the link I posted




Read my last post...it wasn't the amount of gelatin it was that her sugar crystallized causing it to be "crumbly" Oh...the "science of baking/cooking".

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:40pm
post #30 of 30

[quote="Larkin121"]
AND, I always have had to knead in extra glycerin to get it smooth - it often has a slightly crumbly texture at first, still. Again, perhaps a climate issue.

I bet it is your climate because I have never had "crumbly texture" in any way with this recipe. If anything it's smooth, pliable,and stretchy from the git go. Man, I'm thankful I've always had such good results with it because it's just so darn easy to work with and it taste just too good.

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