Fondant icing is used to give cakes a smoother appearance than can typically be created with frosting. Fondant is popular among professional decorators because it can be rolled out and draped over cakes, cut into any shape for custom decorations or poured warm over the top of the cake for a smooth and shiny finish. While you can purchase fondant, making your own will allow you to add your own flavours and ensure that you always have fondant on hand when you need it.
Combine 402 g (2 cups) granulated sugar, 2 tbsp corn syrup and 236 ml (1 cup) water in a large saucepan.
Heat the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Cover the pan and cook over very low heat for two to three minutes. During this time, steam inside the pan will dissolve any sugar crystals stuck to the sides of the pan to prevent crunchy spots in your finished fondant.
Remove the lid and cook the mixture at a light boil until it reaches approximately 114 degrees C (238 degrees F). Use a dessert thermometer to determine the temperature of the fondant.
Run a large serving platter under cold water and place it on your counter. Pour the hot fondant directly onto the serving platter and let it cool. Do not attempt to touch the fondant at this point because it is extremely hot and will cause burns.
Add 1 tsp of vanilla or any flavour extract you prefer to the fondant when it is cool enough to touch. If you are making white fondant, use clear flavour extracts because regular extracts contain dyes and will produce off-white fondant icing. Mix the fondant with a fork to distribute the flavour extract.
Knead the fondant on a counter dusted with caster sugar. The fondant will start out somewhat lumpy and difficult to knead but it will become smoother and more pliable after several minutes. Keep kneading until it holds together well and has a shiny appearance.
Wrap the fondant in a sheet of waxed paper and store it in an airtight container until ready to cover your cake.
Quick-pour fondant icing
Measure 768 g (6 cups) caster sugar, 118 ml (1/2 cup) water and 2 tbsp light corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir the ingredients together until no dry clumps of caster sugar remain.
Attach a dessert thermometer to the side of the pan with the tip of the thermometer immersed in the mixture but not touching the bottom of the pan. If the fondant icing is heated higher than 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F), it may appear dull on your finished cake.
Heat the icing over low heat while stirring occasionally. The icing will become uniform in colour and consistency during the heating process. When the icing looks smooth and is white throughout with no clear or runny areas, it is done. Do not let the icing exceed 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F).
Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add 1 tsp of any flavour extract. Use clear extracts for pure white fondant icing.
Add a few drops of liquid or gel food colouring to the fondant if desired. Stir the food colouring it has reached the desired shade.
Knead food colouring paste or gel into your fondant just before you roll it out and use it to decorate your cake. Liquid food colouring will result in pale colours, and if you use more than a few drops, it may thin your fondant making it difficult to work with. Quick-pour fondant icing is meant to be poured while warm over cakes, cupcakes or biscuits placed on a wire rack. Place a baking tray underneath the wire rack to catch the icing as it runs down the sides of the item to prevent a mess. The icing will harden as it cools.