Friday, May 26, 2006


[These little explanations of how and why I find these things are surprisingly hard to do. Because who really knows why he thinks of this word or that one? Sometimes things just come to you.]

Fondant is a confection used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries, and candies or sweets. In its simplest form, it is sugar and water cooked to a point, specifically soft-ball stage, cooled slightly, and stirred or beaten until it is an opaque mass of creamy consistency. Typically, glucose is added to prevent the syrup from graining while cooking. Corn syrup is probably the most common form of glucose used.

The finished product solidifies and may be stored until needed, when reheating returns it to a liquid state. As a liquid it may be poured into molds, or over cakes and pastries as a form of icing. The word fondant comes from the Old French fondre and Latin fundere, meaning "to melt."

In an intermediate temperature between liquid and firmly solid, fondant may be rolled or molded. In this state it is often used for making "cream"-filled chocolates, and elaborate cake decoration. Fondant may be used as a substitute for chocolate in coatings for candies, either as mock white chocolate, or with chocolate added to the fondant, as a chocolate-like covering.

Cherries or other fruits preserved in liqueurs or syrups are dipped in liquid fondant, which is then allowed to solidify. When the fruits are subsequently dipped in chocolate for an outer hard shell, the fondant liquifies again inside the chocolate.

When used as an icing for cakes, petit fours, and certain pastries, fondant is often put over a base layer of marzipan.


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