For many months now I’ve been curious about homemade Marshmallow Fondant. I’d read a number of blogs where the blogger had made their own. Most of them claiming how simple, if not a bit messy, it was. And they all raved about the improvement in flavour.
I wonder what they use that they don’t like the flavour. For me it’s always been Bakels. I don’t much care for the flavour of Satin Ice and I’ve only ever really used Bakels and don’t have any trouble using it (other than my lack of practice).
The other thing I’d read often is how much cheaper it is to make it than it is to buy. Which leads me to two related questions:
- Is it dear to buy ready-made fondant
- Is it really cheap to by the ingredients
You can buy Bakels white and almond fondant (750gm) at Countdown. And that’s the way I usually buy it. Except for black and red. In those cases I’ll buy it pre-made because you need a lot of gel to achieve a real red and black and by that stage the fondant is too sloppy.
What I’d read, and watching Liz’s YouTube on making MMF, is the mini marshmallows are the way to go.
I don’t know where others shop, but I can barely find just a bag of white marshmallows let alone find them in a mini size. I’ve only ever (until recently) found minis in a range of pastel colours, mixed in a bag, or the usual pink and white marshmallows by Pascals.
When we were in Melbourne I went to a shop Mum had suggested might stock white marshmallows. I went to Adi (I hope I remember the name right) and bought about 8 bags of Pascal White Marshmallows.
Then when we were in Nelson, because we had lots of time to potter, I went to The Warehouse, a place I’d ready about on CakeStuff’s Facebook page as stocking bags of white marshmallows. And we came home with a large bag, but it was anything but cheap. I think the bag was a little over $11.
I’m sure it’s not escaped your notice that these are NOT mini marshmallows. They are MASSIVE. I also bought a big tub of Crisco. Until recently I’d not seen Crisco on NZ shelves and had no idea of what it really looked like. I assumed it was very similar to Kremelta, the “shortening” I’ve used in the past making buttercreams. Only when I began my hand at sugarflowers, and found Cake & Art sold small pottles of Crisco did I begin to realise how different the two were.
You can’t really tell from the photo above, Kremelta is a more solid shortening and when it’s cooler, it is firmer. When it’s warmer then it can be soft, but it has a sort of oiliness to it, a solid oiliness. Crisco on the other hand has a much more creamy consistency. So far I haven’t noticed any change it it’s texture between the house being cooler or warmer. I use Crisco to condition gumpaste and I basically pat my finger tip onto the Crisco and use just a tiny bit and it’s always felt the same to me.
Anyway, the Crisco is not in the MMF, but is needed to lubricate the KitchenAid bowl and dough hook, and later your hands when you begin to knead the last of the icing sugar in.
I think you get a feel for how sticky the melted marshmallows will become looking at that 3rd photo above. The cooler the marshmallow, the firmer it gets.
Despite having bigger than Texas sized marshmallows, it only took 2 minutes to fully melt them, though I had to mix a lot after the 2nd minute, and the marshmallows began to cool a bit (which is how I know it gets a little thicker) which meant I heated the melted marshmallows just a little more before mixing in the food gel colours I was using.
In the end I didn’t get the colour I was aiming for. Mixing colours is a little intimidating, but I am getting better at it. Mixing colours with no natural light makes the whole process a little more hit and miss. I had to take the fondant out side the next morning to really know what colour it ended up.
I was making this fondant for Cel’s morning tea, or whatever it ends up being. She’s having a baby girl and I wanted either a green or blue toned fondant, but not grass green or sky blue. A different type of hue.
You can almost see what the colour was from the melted marshmallows in the 4th photo above.
What I did was put some icing sugar in the bottom of the bowl and then poured in the coloured, and flavoured (I used orange extract) melted marshmallows before tipping the last of the icing sugar on top. The weight of the icing sugar caused the marshmallow to puff up the side of the bowl.
I also assumed the icing sugar would tone down the colour but in my experience (ha!, like making it once qualifies me as experienced ) the depth of colour didn’t change. I ended up with a mint green. I would have preferred it to have a bit more blue, but that’s where I chicken out with dabbling with adding a bit more or this, or change colour completely to try and correct the colour. I might give it a go when it’s daylight but not at night under the kitchen lights.
Kneading the remaining icing sugar took no time, or effort, at all. And I didn’t find it was too sticky, but I did use some Crisco on my hands. The bowl and dough hook weren’t so easy to clean, but a good soak and it all came good in no time.
The flavour is interesting. I might have just a bit too much extract in there. I really didn’t know how much to add and I added 2 teaspoons. Next time I’ll add just one and give it the taste test before adding extra. While I wonder if the flavour is too much, I think it could also be the complete surprise of the taste. I’ve only known fondant to have one taste and this is quite different. Mr Fussy didn’t have any trouble picking what it was, but he never said it was too intense.
And here we are all finished. Coming back to the cost. The MMF tips the scales a little over 1.3kg. Bakels white fondant from the supermarket is 750gm and a little over $6 now. To be pre-coloured fondant you have to buy Satin Ice or Bakels. Satin Ice, for 1kg is $19.95 from Spotlight and Divine Cakes and Bakels for 750gm is $10.50 (plus postage). I guess I don’t really consider the cost of icing sugar since I always have it. Given I got the colour I wanted (well close enough), and used 2/3 of the bag of marshmallows, I have changed my tune about how expensive it is. In the long run I don’t think it is so expensive and I liked the idea of getting a colour I wanted without having to knead gel into white.
I’ve yet to use it, so I’m not sure how it is to work with. I could practice with it but I don’t have anything I want to make on a whim, in fact I’m rather enjoying this Sunday afternoon not baking or being in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love to bake, but having a day where I’m not busy trying to take photos with adequate light, having to jockey ingredients around on the bench for a better composed shot (I know, there’s nothing artistic about my photography but there’s a bit more to dumping ingredients on the bench and just pressing the button) is like a breath of fresh air. So I’m not jumping up to make some cupcakes where I could cut out rounds of fondant to just see how it rolls, moulds and covers. Nothing like leaving it to the actual day I need it to find these things out. No pressure
Anyway the MMF really is very simple to make and it takes only a few minutes once you get going. The KitchenAid takes all the pain out of kneading in the majority of the icing sugar.
I used Rose’s post from her blog, Rose Bakes.