6 1/4 cups powdered sugar (lightly spooned into cup)
*1 pound 9 ounces*
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (Dutch
Processed) or 2 1/2 cups
Nonalkalized cocoa such a Hershey’s
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a 2-cup heatproof glass measure or bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Set in a small pan of simmering water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can also be done in a few seconds in a microwave on high power, stirring once or twice.)
Blend in the corn syrup and glycerine, then add the shortening and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
Mix the sugar and cocoa in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Add the gelatin mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix with your hands and knead vigorously in the bowl until it forms a ball.
Turn out onto a smooth, lightly greased surface such as Formica or marble, clean your hands, and knead until smooth and satiny. If the fondant seems dry or brittle, add several drops of water and knead well.
The water will make it very sticky and messy at first. When the mixture holds together, scrape the counter clean, lightly grease it, and knead the fondant until smooth.
Chocolate Rolled Fondant is easier to work with if made one day ahead to give the moisture a chance to distribute evenly.
It is important to cover the fondant to prevent drying out. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.
When ready to roll out, spray the work surface and rolling pin with nonstick vegetable spray. Don’t be alarmed if tiny cracks appear in the surface of the fondant; the warmth from the kneading or pressure from the rolling pin will make it smooth and satiny.
If the cocoa is lumpy, process it in a food processor for a few seconds until powdery. If Lumpy cocoa is used it might not incorporated evenly into the fondant. If this should happen, the chocolate fondant can also be placed in the food processor for a few seconds until completely smooth. Don’t try to process the whole batch at a time.
I use nonstick vegetable spray to grease the counter, rolling pin, cutters – even my hands.
If stored fondant seems very stiff, a few seconds in the microwave before kneading it will make it pliable.
Don’t be tempted to substitute butter for the solid white shortening. This is one rare instance where there is no perceivable difference in flavor and the shortening actually blends better (without streaking) than the butter.