Many of us enjoy watching cake decorating competitions on television, and we secretly wish we had the skills to replicate the cakes we see on the shows in our own kitchens. If you ever attend a wedding or a party and are served cake, chances are good that it was iced with fondant. Fondant is also commonly used by professional pâtissiers.
Is fondant edible, and if so, how does it taste? All of the ingredients in fondant are food-safe, but it is extremely sweet—perhaps even sickeningly sweet—for some people. It’s common practice to remove the fondant coating from cakes and set it aside because its smooth, paste-like texture is off-putting to some.
Do you wish to expand your knowledge of fondant and its applications in cake decorating? Everything you need to know, including the secret to delicious fondant, is right here.
What Is Fondant?
You cannot have missed the recent explosion in popularity of TV shows featuring cake baking. You will also notice eye-catching, beautifully decorated cakes everywhere you go as specialty patisseries start to appear on every street corner. However, if you enjoy baking cakes at home, you might be curious about how these experts achieve such stunning frosting. After all, it’s a major accomplishment for many of us when the royal icing stays on the cake!
What are some methods for making elaborate and complex cake decorations at home? Is it a secret form of magic that only experts possess? Or perhaps we could all try it? Well, fondant is the key here! And yes, fondant can be used by anyone, and it will improve your cake decorating abilities.
In its most basic form, fondant is a very straightforward kind of icing that only contains sugar, water, and corn syrup. With these three components, a thick paste with a smooth and elastic consistency is produced.
Working with high-quality clay or Play-Doh is very similar to creating intricate sculptures out of fondant. The perfect material for cake decorators, it is soft, malleable, and holds its shape well. Usually, fondant is rolled out to cover cakes, but it can also be used to make elaborately decorated cake toppers.
To alter the paste’s appearance, the fondant can be colored with a variety of food dyes. Additionally, finished items can be painted or given a color wash to produce stunning designs.
On this fundamental fondant type, there are many variations, but they all serve the same purpose. There may also be the addition of additional ingredients like gelatin, glycerin, cornstarch, vegetable fats, or shortening. These all slightly alter fondant’s texture in various ways.
The fondant is made firmer by the addition of gelatin or glycerin. This kind of fondant is also known as gum paste, sugar paste, or sculpting fondant. Although making fondant isn’t difficult, you might find it easier to start out by purchasing pre-made fondant from the store. Either a solid block of dough or pre-rolled fondant sheets will be available for this.
Can You Eat Fondant?
Have you ever sat at a fancy event and watched people carefully peel away the fondant icing after the cakes were served? It is not uncommon for people to set aside the fondant icing and happily tuck into the delicious cake underneath! But why do people set aside fondant? Is it because it’s inedible, or do they simply dislike the flavor?
If you receive a beautiful box of carefully decorated cupcakes, you can be confident that the fondant icing is completely edible. Fondant is made entirely of edible ingredients. Basic fondant is made up of only sugar, water, and corn syrup, though thicker sculpting fondant may contain additional ingredients such as glycerin.
So, if you’re tempted to eat that lovely handmade fondant flower that adorns your cake, go ahead and do it! Fondant is completely safe to eat, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular for cake decorating.
Previously, intricate decorations were made with marzipan or royal icing. Marzipan contains ground almond flour, and royal icing contains raw egg whites, both of which can cause an allergic reaction. As a result, fondant is not only more convenient and easier to work with than royal icing or marzipan, but it also does not come with an allergy warning.
What Does Fondant Taste Like?
If you were to look at the fondant ingredient list, you might be perplexed as to how it could possibly taste bad. After all, it only has corn syrup, water, and sugar in it! Actually, fondant doesn’t taste all that bad. It tastes exactly like a very thick, sugary paste, which is what it is in essence! So how could you possibly eat fondant wrong if it tastes good and is completely edible?
The issue is that fondant might be one of the tastiest foods you’ve ever had! It tastes exactly like eating paste-form pure powdered sugar. So when it comes to fondant eating, a little goes a long way. A small bit of fondant can be the ideal accompaniment to a bite of delectable cake, but it quickly becomes overly sweet and completely ruins the flavor.
The type and sweetness of the cake it is used to decorate will also affect how much fondant you will want to eat. You may enjoy eating the thin layer of fondant icing if you are served a slice of cake that is not overly sweet, like a rich coffee cake.
But what about those tiny chocolate cupcakes with elaborate fondant decorations on top? Ignore it! After taking the first bite, you’ll be overcome with sweetness to the point where you can no longer bear to continue eating.
Of course, your individual taste and dietary needs will determine how much fondant icing you want to consume. Others will relish eating every last scrap of this sweet icing, while some will avoid it like the plague. Despite the fact that fondant is completely edible, there are a few situations in which you should avoid eating it.
Every 10 ounces of fondant contains almost 9 ounces of sugar, so it is incredibly sugary. Additionally, it’s very simple to consume more sugar than is advised each day because fondant is typically used to top sugar-heavy cakes.
The presence of unnoticed additives in fondant is the other issue. Nowadays, food coloring is commonly used to produce the various colors of fondant icing that are typically used to cover cakes.
Despite the fact that these food colorings are meant for human consumption, many people try to avoid using too many artificial additives. Food dyes can cause allergies and have been linked to hyperactivity in children.
It is simple to verify that the food dyes you are using are as safe as possible if you are making fondant yourself. With pre-dyed, store-bought fondant, this can be trickier, but try to find one that doesn’t contain any artificial additives.
What Is The Texture Of Fondant Like?
Now we get down to the meat and potatoes of why people don’t eat fondant — the texture! Yes, fondant is extremely sweet, but the overall flavor is pleasant — similar to eating sugar. The texture of fondant, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. Fondant has the texture of clay or good quality play-dough, which is the best way to describe it.
While this makes fondant ideal for rolling out and shaping into intricate shapes, it also means that eating fondant is similar to chewing soft gum. Many people avoid fondant because the texture is so unpleasant to them.
However, as with the sweet flavor, it is entirely subjective! So, if you enjoy the texture and flavor of fondant, enjoy it. But if fondant isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Does Fondant Taste Good?
The debate over whether fondant tastes good or bad is fairly contentious. Although the majority of people would concur that it doesn’t taste bad, the sickly sweetness can sometimes be too much. The good news is that fondant can be made to taste better with a few easy tips! Look for flavored fondant if you’re purchasing premade fondant from the store for a unique variation. The manufacturers of flavored fondant have a fun habit of matching the flavor to the color!
This implies that red fondant might be strawberry or raspberry-flavored, yellow fondant might be banana or lemon-flavored, and chocolate-brown fondant would probably have coffee or fudge flavors. And if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can even order flavored fondant that is made exactly to your taste and color preferences!
A few drops of flavored extract or essence make it incredibly easy to flavor homemade fondant. Additionally, you can use fruit powders and flavored sugars to completely change the flavor of your fondant.
Is Fondant Better Than Other Types Of Frosting?
For many of us, the best part of any baked item is the frosting — a smooth layer of creamy sweetness that complements the cake beneath. But how does fondant stack up against other types of frosting? The beauty of fondant is its malleability and ease of shaping into intricate shapes. This means you can use it to make beautiful butterflies, perfect petals, and a variety of other things.
Fondant, unlike most other types of frosting, can be rolled out and draped over a cake rather than piped or spread with a knife. This contributes to a perfectly smooth surface free of wrinkles and blemishes. However, while fondant is a cake decorator’s dream, it is not always everyone’s preferred type of frosting. Many people dislike the sweet flavor and paste-like texture of fondant and will remove it and set it aside.
So, while fondant cake creations may look amazing, you may find yourself putting in a lot of effort for something that is only put to one side and then discarded! If you want a flavorful frosting, go with something more traditional, like royal icing or cream cheese frosting. Typically, these are piped onto the cake or spread with a knife. These types of softer icing can be used to create some clever finishes, but not as elaborately as fondant.
Another option is to use buttercream icing instead of fondant. Buttercream’s smooth, paste-like texture makes it ideal for creating swirls and patterns on the surface of your cakes. It must be piped onto your cake rather than rolled out.
Although buttercream is not as versatile as fondant, it far outperforms it in terms of flavor and texture. It’s deliciously creamy with a subtle sweetness — you won’t find anyone scraping off buttercream to save it!
This frosting is also great for adding sprinkles or edible glitter to your cake. The disadvantage of buttercream is that it has a very short shelf life and deteriorates quickly in warm weather. Certainly not the best option for a summer wedding!
Fondant, on the other hand, has a long shelf life and can withstand a wide temperature range without deterioration. It forms a seal around the cake, shielding it from air, moisture, and bacteria, allowing your baked goods to last longer.
So now we’ve got to the bottom of whether you can eat fondant, let’s take a look at some other common fondant-related questions!
Can you eat expired fondant?
Store-bought fondant can be kept at room temperature on a pantry shelf because it is shelf-stable. It will have a best-before date on it that will tell you when to eat it. But should you discard expired fondant or can you still eat it?
The fondant’s “best-before” date is only a recommendation; it may be safe to eat for several weeks after that. However, you should always carefully examine it to make sure it has not deteriorated.
Store-bought fondant should be kept in the ideal storage conditions to maintain its quality. Ideal storage conditions include a cool, dark shelf away from any foods with strong flavors or scents in a place with low humidity.
Does fondant go bad?
Because of its high sugar content, fondant is naturally self-preserving. Because it often contains artificial preservatives, store-bought fondant has a shelf life of up to two years. Homemade fondant has a short shelf life and should be consumed within two months.
Fondant, on the other hand, can spoil if it is too old or not stored properly. It will gradually harden and become difficult to work with over time, so it is preferable to use it sooner rather than later. Mold will appear on the surface of fondant when it has gone bad. The fondant is no longer edible at this point and should be discarded. If you have a large amount, you could cut away the moldy parts and use the rest for practice, but be careful not to eat it!
How do you store fondant?
Fondant’s main enemies are air, moisture, and bacteria; if it comes into contact with any of these, it will quickly start to deteriorate and go bad. To keep fondant from drying out, store it in an airtight bag or container. It is a good idea to first wrap a block of fondant in plastic food wrap if you have one. Keep the container cool and away from heat sources, bright lights, and direct sunlight. A high humidity area should not be used to store fondant.