I'm a newbie here and I'm sure this has been discussed several times, if it has I apologize!
Just wondering what most of you do about fondant - do you buy it or make it from scratch? It's so expensive to buy, but I just made MMF for the first time and it seems difficult to get the consistency exactly right. Plus, I wasn't thrilled with the flavor (I used the top rated MMF recipe from here and added 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp almond, 1/2 tsp creme bouquet). I've read a lot about Michele Foster's fondant recipe but it just seems like making home made fondant is so temperamental.
So just wanting opinions - is it really worth it? Even if you use the really nice high end fondant? Please, not trying to start a debate - just want honest opinions from people who know their stuff!
I buy mine. I had tried making it but I didn't like how mine came out. Plus I never seem to have the time to sit down and do all that ahead of time.
I live on a tiny island in Japan, its hard to have fondant shipped her on a regular basis so I browse the local yard sale website and I guarantee every month after the Wilton class a bunch of people sell all the fondant they stocked up on before they started the class. So I tend to stock up then for less money.
I make my own, as I think that the store-bought stuff is too pricey, and the Wilton brand, which is the cheapest in my area & easiest to find, tastes like chalk paste! Mine is a MMF recipe that I've tweaked to my own liking, & I get a fairly consistent result that gets good reviews from my customers, even those who turn their noses up at fondant. I'll share it here, & you can see if it works for you. I do try to keep at least 1 double-batch on-hand for quick orders, as it really does have to rest for a minimum of 12 hours to hold together properly.
My stand mixer is a 6-qt Kitchenaid, so it'll hold a lot! If your mixer is smaller than this, you'll want to cut the recipe in half.
2 16-oz tubs Marshmallow Fluff
2/3 cup all-vegetable shortening
1/4-1/2 cup light corn syrup (depends on humidity & temperature--if you don't put enough in now, you can add more later when kneading--messy, but fixable!)
2 tsp clear vanilla
4 lbs powdered sugar
First I cream together everything except the PS using my dough hook, & just let it run till it's all smooth & the bubbles in the fluff are pretty much gone--it gets a shiny, silky look. Then I add the PS little by little. The last pound or so really makes the mixer work hard, so I often will just knead it in by hand--I'd freak if my Kitchenaid blew up! Then I grease the countertop with shortening, turn the whole lumpy mess out onto it along with that last pound of sugar, & knead it until it's smooth & homogenous, maybe 10 minutes or so. I love that part! Very therapeutic! Anyhow, it rests in a Ziplock bag on the counter overnight, & then it's perfect.
For decorations that require gumpaste, I take 1/2 of this recipe & knead in 1 tablespoon of Wilton's Gum-Tex, put it in a Ziplock bag, & let it rest overnight. Works great!
I have occasionally used Duff Goldman's black fondant--it's got such a deep, rich color to it, & I'm pretty certain there's chocolate in the recipe--and it tastes great, in my opinion! Really expensive, like $25 for 1 lb at Michael's Crafts here in Ohio, so it's a luxury that the customer gets charged for, but it's hard for me not to snack on it while decorating! It does start out really hard, though, & I've found it helpful to zap it in the microwave for maybe 5-6 seconds at a time to get a head start on the softening of it.
Hope this info is helpful!
I make my own rolled fondant for two reasons: you can't find it in shops here, only on-line and it costs a lot! I wouldn't make a decent profit buying it. The only exception is black Regalice for details on cakes and I usually recommend to clients not to eat it. It's incredibly disgusting, even the 'Professional' quality but it's the only brand I can get here. I've never had good luck trying to make true black fondant, even starting with the chocolate one.
And homemade fondant is much better taste wise.
I make my own MMF. It's a lot cheaper than buying fondant and I can flavor it the way that I want to.
I use the dough hook on the KA. If I had to make it by hand, I would probably buy fondant instead.
I make the MF Fondant. So much affects the outcome of your fondant and it's workability. Just keep practicing. Check comments on the recipes and watch the posts here. Everyone has issues and lots of generous solutions always offered.
I use Michelle's fondant and have only had 1 mishap, which was totally me not following directions. I start it in my KA and end on the greased counter or my marble stone top. It does need to rest before using although in a pinch I have used it straight away. I like Duff's for black. I generally have a coupon for Michael's so it is expensive but well worth it.
I make my own fondant, too- I find it cheaper and yummier. I have yet to try it in my kitchenaid - instead I make it by hand- but it really doesn't take that long at all - I'll share what I do....
Sift 4 c of powdered sugar - pour about 2 cups on a vinyl mat (or table).
Use microwave safe bowl- pour 1 bag of mini marshmellows and add 2 tbsp of water.
Melt in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, melt for 30 seconds more....stir again, add the two cups of powdered sugar, stir...pour onto the pile of powdered sugar - yes it's a sticky mess at first, but while kneading it will all turn from sticky to fondant.
I knead the fondant into the sugar and by the time it's no longer warm, I have a smooth soft and pliable fondant that tastes great and works very well -if I need black I add cocoa powder to get a nice brown, then add black gel color from there- if it's not mixing great- I just roll it out with a rolling pin-that seems to make it mix perfect.
You can make a bunch ahead of time and wrap it tightly, store in and airtight container, and it lasts. If I need to use it and it seems hard, I pop in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and it's fine again.
I find this to be easy-delicious-and it works great for me. It is half the price to make it then it is to by it -and people actually like to eat it.
Panel7124, there's a Swiss brand of fondant made by Albert Ulster that is called - no less - Massa Ticino. Are you sure you can't get that where you live? It's pricey (at least where I live) but delicious, and it's by far the easiest fondant I've ever worked with. Michele Foster's fondant is the best home-made I've used, but frankly, you need such a lot of fondant for each cake that I just can't feature making it myself. I use FondX (mostly because it's what I can get here in Mexico, but it's workable and not yucky tasting). My personal opinion is life is too short to spend it kneading fondant (just ask my poor tendons what they think!), except every once in a while for a very specific reason (like somebody dared you to do it). It's nice to have a recipe on hand, just in case supplies run low, but I'd never do it on a regular basis.
thank you all so much for the tips! I guess I just need to practice more with it.
Ok, troubleshooting questions - if it's too dry and cracking, add shortening (or glycerine, like in Michele Foster's recipe, but I don't know where to buy it? I live in southeast US) And if it's too wet/sticky, add powdered sugar. Correct?
thanks again! I've learned so much from y'all, I really appreciate it!
2 16-oz tubs Marshmallow Fluff
Can I melt my own marshmallows instead of using Marshmallow fluff? (I'm assuming this is the same thing as marshmallow cream?) I'm sure using fluff would be easier, except i already have marshmallows at home and would like to try making another batch during my baby's nap!