Fondant has become very well known and popular the last several years because of all the cake decorating shows and contests on television. Kelly Delaney of Cakes For Occasions offers you this primer video that demystifies it for you.

A lot of times everyone always asks me, what is fondant? They want to know what it tastes like. How do you use it? What's it used for? I'm going to show you what fondant is.

Fondant is a white dough. Wilton actually makes a really great brand of it you could buy at A.C. Moore or Michael's Crafts.

It's a mixture of all sorts of different ingredients. I don't actually have the list in front of me to tell you all. But it's something that you actually purchase. Bakeries do not make fondant. They buy fondant.

This is how it comes. It comes in block form. You remove pieces of the fondant. The excess that you're not going to use, you're going to want to keep that stored in an airtight container.

When fondant is out at room temperature, it gets hard. So if you want to make a snowboard and you want to use fondant, you would let that dry out at room temperature. You wouldn't refrigerate that.

Whereas if you wanted to do say a wedding cake, like the cake here next to me, this is covered with fondant. And when you don't want this frosting to be hard, so you want it to be soft. So you'd refrigerate it.

When fondant goes in the refrigerator, it gets soft. And then when fondant sits out, it gets dry. It's very simple. So depending on what you are making, you're going to want to determine how you're going to store it, for your cake that is.

Fondant requires a lot of kneading. Just like when you're kneading dough and you're making bread, you need to kind of activate the ingredients inside by the heat of your hand and by kneading it.

It's sticky too. So you're going to want to put something on your surface.

I recommend using confectioners sugar. It works great. Sometimes confectioners sugar can get lumpy. So when you put it on the board, you're going to want to smooth it out more so than you would do with flour.

Sometimes with flour, you just sprinkle. Confectioners sugar, you want to smooth out.

Debates go back and forth about fondant, if you should use confectioners sugar or flour, debates in my world, in my pastry world. So there's different schools of thought.

Flour works really well. It prevents your fondant from sticking to the board. However, it gives a flour taste.

You're not cooking this. So this is going right on to your cake. So you use a sweet substance like confectioners sugar. I'd stay away from using regular granulated sugar. You'd want to use the confectioners.

So with fondant, as you're kneading it, you can also make different colors. There's different types of food coloring that you can use. There's the liquid food color. There's the gel. Or there's the liquid gel.

Stay away from the powdered. The powdered would actually give a crystallized look. And it would never melt.

You want to use the gels or the liquid gels. I recommend the liquid gels. It's the only type of food coloring we use. I'm so used to using it. It works really well in all applications.

So when you're coloring your fondant, you can use any colors. Keep in mind that this isn't a natural frosting in that with the chemicals-- there are chemical reactions that happen with certain food colorings.

So I know that say a periwinkle, a color periwinkle, it's really tough to get. And then as it sit out, it actually turns blue. It loses its periwinkle color.

I'm not a chemist. I don't know why. It's just certain colors with fondant you cannot get. So it's not you. It's actually the frosting.

People ask, OK, so what does fondant taste like? I describe fondant no different than a Tootsie Roll. It's very similar to a Tootsie Roll. But it's white, or vanilla, rather than chocolate. It's very, very sweet.

When you go to use it on a cake and you put your frosting down and then you put your fondant over it, the difference is that when you eat your slice of cake, you eat your cake. You're eating frosting. You're still kind of chewing on the fondant because there's a gum arabic, which is a chemical that is used in gum which makes it not dissolve in your mouth. But there's just a little bit of gum arabic to give it its flexibility.

The fondant is very similar to working with play dough. You're working it the exact same way. You can use any kind of cookie cutters with it. You can use any kind of presses.

Remember when you were young and you used to work with play dough. And you'd put the play dough in. And you'd fold down. And all of a sudden, you'd have a Mickey Mouse face or something like that.

You could use this to make actual figurines, if you're great at sculpturing. So you could take your piece of fondant. You could make a little ball. You could roll it. And then you could make another, like a body. And if this was different colors, you'd be able to see what I was trying to make.

But you literally can make figurines in it. I would use a little toothpick. And I would put the two together.

You can make a little hand, just like that. And I'm doing this backwards here. So it's hard for me to see exactly. But you get the point where you can actually just use this and make this into virtually almost anything that you typically would do when you were younger with play dough.

These could all be different colors. You could actually paint on this now too. You could draw a face. You could draw anything. You could make animals, rainbows. The sky's the limit with fondant.

And especially nowadays-- two years ago, no one knew what fondant was. They couldn't even spell it. They couldn't even pronounce it.

But with the whole rebirth of cake decorating and all the fascinating things that cake decorators are doing these days, the general public has taken such a wide interest in fondant that now it's readily available at the craft stores. There's books on how to use it. There's tools to make it easier. There's just so many different things that you can do with it.

But the most important thing you can do with fondant is to have fun. Be creative with it, not get frustrated. Realize that it takes practice. It's nothing like cake decorating with frosting. It's actually a different dough altogether.

It's a great, great tool to use. And it can definitely make your cake wow.

What Is Fondant?
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