Monday, December 5, 2011

Tutorial: Marshmallow Fondant (MMF)

Marshmallow Fondant (or MMF for short) is a delicious, versatile icing that I use to decorate cakes and make figures or shapes with. Some of the most beautiful smooth looking cakes are made with fondant. However, professional fondant is hard to make or expensive to buy and doesn't taste very good. Marshmallow fondant on the other hand is easy to make with readily available ingredients, and tastes great.

I use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I've never made MMF without it but it can (apparently) be done using a well-greased spoon to stir and hand kneading it.

To get started, you will need:
- mini marshmallows (453 g)
- icing sugar (1 kg)

- crisco
- a sifter
- a microwaveable bowl
- a spatula
- a mixing bowl
- the KitchenAid mixer with dough hook
- water (2 tbsp)
- flavoring (optional)
- icing colouring (optional)

Step 1:
Grease the microwaveable bowl, the mixing bowl, the dough hook and the spatula using crisco. Sift the icing sugar.

Step 2:
Place the marshmallows in the microwaveable bowl and add water. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the marshmallows puff up. Using the greased spatula, stir the marshmallows until they are smooth.

Step 3:
Place 3-4 cups of sifted icing sugar into the mixing bowl and add the melted marshmallow on top. This is where you would add flavoring (e.g. vanilla, almond or peppermint extract). Use clear extracts to avoid distorting the colour.

If you're making a whole batch the same colour, it is easiest to add the colouring at this step, while the marshmallows are still liquid. I recommend using the Wilton Icing Colours as they create a much deeper colour than regular food colouring, which will create pastels at best.

Begin mixing - either using a stand mixer or by hand using a greased spatula. As the icing sugar and marshmallow combine, they will begin to form a dough. This dough will be extremely sticky. Continue adding icing sugar a little at a time until the dough is pliable, and not sticky. A good test is to pinch it, like this:
Step 4:
Once the MMF is not sticky to the touch, turn it out onto a surface covered in icing sugar and knead it with your hands. Some parts will still be sticky, so continue to incorporate icing sugar. When ready, it should look like this:

At this point, you're finished! Wrap the fondant in cling wrap, and you can store it in the fridge up to 4 weeks. To use it, take it out of the fridge for 30 minutes, or heat in the microwave for 5-10 seconds at a time, kneading it in between to soften.

Colouring a portion of fondant:
If you're making small amounts of multiple colours, you may find it easiest to colour portions of the large batch at this stage. In the case of my snowman cookies, I needed a small amount of orange MMF for the noses.
I took a small portion of white MMF and used a toothpick to add orange coloring. I worked the colour in with my hands, adding a few more drops of colouring as I went, until I came out with a solid orange colour.

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