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Glycerin in Fondant

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi, I read somewhere that you can use pharmacy bought glycerin for the fondant recipes, is it safe to eat? Is it the same as Wilton's glycerin?
Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 18
If it says USP on the bottle, then it can be eaten. The glycerin that Walmart carries has something added to it...you want to be sure that your glycerin only has glycerin. You can buy big bottles of it at the natural food store, it can be used as a sweetener or in making your own lotions. I buy a 16 oz bottle for $8 at Sun Harvest, a local natural food store.
post #3 of 18
If it helps, other than suppositories, the glycerine that you can get at a pharmacy can be used in food products. The label will say vegetable glycerin.

There is a petroleum based glycerin also. However, you MUST have a special license to purchase and use it. It is normally a heat transfer fluid.

There is absolutely no way to get the two confused. Petroleum glycerin smells absolutely awful. Vegatable glycerin either smells slightly sweet or no smell at all. If it smells like soap then it really shouldn't be used in edible products.

HTH

Michele
Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
Galations 6:9, NLT

Author of "The Sugar Fix" cookbook and "Bloomin' Garden" DVD.
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Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
Galations 6:9, NLT

Author of "The Sugar Fix" cookbook and "Bloomin' Garden" DVD.
Reply
post #4 of 18
Not to sound dumb but why would you use glycerine in the fondant?
post #5 of 18
Silly you ! you asked icon_biggrin.gif haha - now I get a chance to BLAB ON - I have been waiting to use this information sourced from Joe Pastry icon_redface.gif
Quote:
So what's all that stuff for?
Filed under: Blog by joe @ 07:10:44 am
The gelatin, the glucose, the glycerine, and the fat you mean? What purpose does it serve in a batch of rolled fondant? Obviously it keeps it flexible, but then water will keep a mass of powdered sugar flexible too...at least for a while. Why all the fancy stuff?

The first part of the answer you can probably guess for yourself. Powdered sugar is made up of sugar crystals. Crowd them together in a paste and they'll want to form even bigger sugar crystals, the urge is just too strong. You don't want your fondant icing forming an impenetrable force field around your cake of course, so steps must be taken to keep those little sugar LEGO's from connecting with one another. Gelatin is a good start. Those long, ropey molecules will wrap themselves around some of the crystals, preventing them from getting a tight grip on one another (they'll also give the fondant a little "body"). All those little ball-bearing-like glucose molecules will also help in that regard, flowing around and in between, keeping the crystals separated.

But then what's that glycerine all about? That's kind of a weird thing, isn't it? Mmm, yes and no. Glycerine, technically glycerol, is what's known as a sugar alcohol. That means it's sweet-tasting, but it also means that like common grain alcohol it's a solvent. Thus it not only helps keep sugar crystals from forming, it breaks them down a little as well. Yet glycerine does far more than that in a fondant. Glycerine is what's known in chemical circles as a humectant, a word which I'm betting at least a few of you have seen before. Anyone? Anyone? Yes you with the spiral perm. Correct! On shampoo and conditioner bottles. Humectants are moisture-retaining (hygroscopic) substances, which is to say they are molecules that bond with and trap water molecules. They're great for keeping hair moist and skin moist, which is why glycerine is also found in a wide variety of cosmetics.

What does a humectant do in a fondant? Obviously it traps moisture, but then sugar does that as well. Sugar is in fact one of the best known hygroscopic substances in the kitchen, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. On the one hand sugar helps keep a muffin moist, on the other it will absorb so much moisture from air that a thin and caramelly tuile cookie will go limp in a matter of minutes on a humid day. Which means what exactly Joe? I've got a conference call I'm supposed to be on! Alright already! The thing of it is that you don't want that tuile scenario happening in your rolled fondant. You don't want the sugar to absorb moisture from the air, since water is also a solvent and will eventually make your fondant sticky, then limp, and in a worst case scenario runny. Glycerine keeps a rolled fondant firm by trapping and holding the moisture before the sugar crystals can latch onto it. Happy now?
... End quote
post #6 of 18
Awesome Pamicon_smile.gif Thanks! I got a science lesson in todayicon_smile.gif
Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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post #7 of 18
That is such a cool answer! I love it and thanks for posting it.

Michele
Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
Galations 6:9, NLT

Author of "The Sugar Fix" cookbook and "Bloomin' Garden" DVD.
Reply
Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
Galations 6:9, NLT

Author of "The Sugar Fix" cookbook and "Bloomin' Garden" DVD.
Reply
post #8 of 18
not to be dumb but how much glycerine do you use in your fondant and do you delete anything eles? Sue
post #9 of 18
Not sure with the types of fondants you are using..... it is normally already added to pre-mixed fondants

Here is the recipe I have used for years.

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/14630/homemade-rtr-fondant

If I am using Bakels Pettinice - and I am experiencing problems with slight crazing on the edge - happens occassionally with weather ?? batch problems?? I may add a teaspoon to perhaps 500g of pre-made fondant

Have no idea how glycerine would react in MMF as I suspect there may be a form of 'humectant' already in the marshmallows

No harm to do some product testing for yourselves icon_wink.gif
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your answers, I'll check our local pharmacy's glycerine ingredients. I don't live in the US, so I can't get it from any of your places, and ordering online wouldn't be helpful as I will need quantities for my work, and it will cost me a fortune to ship overseas. I managed to find Wilton's glycerine at a store here, but they don't always have it, and it cost me $4.5, so I need a cheaper source.

Laurascakefactory: I always make MMF, but wanted to try the regular one, and all the recipes I found contain glycerine.

ApplegumKitchen: thanks for the chemical explanation...

sassysue48: I don't really know which recipe is better, but here is the one I tried maing today, it looked good, but I still didn't use it one cakes.
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2127/toba-garretts-fondant
post #11 of 18
Where abouts are you located?

In Australia - glycerine is available in our Supermarkets but not located where you would EXPECT to find it - surprise surprise!!

It is in the "pharmaceutical" type area - near where they have generic cough syrups, lavendar oils etc. Above the Dettol etc !! JUST where you would look !!
post #12 of 18
Wow AppleGum! I think you were channelling Alton Brown! I could just see his skit in my head as I read your answer.
post #13 of 18
Sorry - but your reply has gone straight over my head icon_redface.gif

Alton Brown ??? US specific??? not Oprah or Ellen..... his notoriety must not have reached Downunder yet?

We are still stuck with re-runs of Leave it to Beaver !! icon_cry.gif
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I live in Saudi Arabia where my husband works. Yesterday I found Glycerine at a store specialized in cake things, but they only have the 250kg barrel at the moment, for the price of what's equal to $270 (US). icon_eek.gif
I'll just check pharmacies and natural food stores tomorrow.
Thanks again for your answers.
post #15 of 18
Applegum, see my avatar. That is a photo of Alton Brown. Alton is a hugely popular food guy on an equally popular cable TV channel called Food Network. Alton doesn't cook fancy, Alton cooks good. He is a very funny and entertaining guy, obviously quite brilliant. He teaches "how-to", not recipes, although he will throw a recipe in every now and again. He focuses on the science of food and cooking, and presents the information in hilarious skit format. I do wish you could see them. His books are hugely popular as well.

This guy is awesome. He is a former music video producer, plays guitar, rides a big motorcycle, throws out constant references to music, movies and pop culture in general, loves his wife, child, mother, dogs, and most of all his grandmother, who was the major influence in his love for cooking. He had her on one episode where they had a biscuit making contest, and of course she won. She died shortly thereafter.

He writes all the material for his weekly shows, plus he has periodic multi-episode specials where he will travel parts of the US by bike to sample the local cuisine via the backroads. Had a bike wreck and broke a bone in one of those episodes. Got a tattoo in one too. And he's taken a cruise to sample island cuisine. Got a little tipsy on one of those and almost wept in remembrance of his grandmother.

Obviously, I love the guy.

edited to add: The poster who said you were channeling Alton gave you a very high compliment!!
No good deed goes unpunished...
the greater the deed,
the greater the punishement.
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No good deed goes unpunished...
the greater the deed,
the greater the punishement.
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