Featured Pinch Tips Video
- 16 oz
- good quality marshmallows
- 1/2 c
- crisco - or more
- 2 lb
- bag of powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp
- water - more or less
- 1-3 tsp
- flavoring or extract, optional
1NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.
Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)
2Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”
Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking.
If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.
It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.
Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.
Give the top and sides of the cake a nice thick 1/4-inch coating of Buttercream Icing before applying the MMF.
3Next, you need to sprinkle a bit of cornstarch on your counter to help prevent sticking (rub it in). Give the fondant icing a little kneading to incorporate the Crisco coating. It will be pretty stiff when you try to knead it again, but it can be microwaved for 10 to 20 seconds, if necessary. Start off with 10 seconds (please be careful as items that have high sugar contents can get hot in the microwave very quickly). The fondant icing will soften right up and be perfect for rolling out and playing with. You want the temperature to be close to your body temperature.
Now is the best time to add your food coloring or flavorings. I prefer to store my fondant icing in it’s natural color/flavor of plain white. Some colors can change the consistency of the icing. If you do need to store colored fondant icing, wrap each color very well in plastic wrap or Saran Wrap. Colors like red and burgundy are notorious for “bleeding” into other colors and ruining them. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Bag everything in Ziploc bags. Remember that food coloring can also stain your hands and nails. I have food-grade plastic gloves that I keep around. Add your food coloring, a little at a time, and knead it in. You can always go darker but it is difficult to go lighter. Red has a tendency to get darker as it sits and “ages”.
Pre-shape your icing into approximately the shape of your cake. For a round cake, make a disk shape. For a rectangular make a log shape.
OK, here is a point of controversy about the next step. Some instructors tell you to only sprinkle cornstarch on your counter before you put the fondant icing down, sprinkle with more cornstarch, and then roll fondant icing out to desired shape. Some teachers advise that you grease the counter, put the fondant icing down, and lightly grease the top of the fondant icing as need to prevent sticking.
I prefer the cornstarch myself, but during very dry atmospheric conditions, I have been known to use the shortening method.