Introduction: Fondant & Coloring
Fondant is a thick vanilla flavored paste used to cover cakes and make decorations. It is an edible icing made with sugar, water, gelatin and flavorings. Fondant is also referred to as sugar paste.
Fondant is very fun and easy to work with. It is easy to color, holds up well to sculpting, and if left out will harden and keep its shape for a very long time, if not forever!
I prefer using Wilton brand fondant. It is widely available in craft stores and Walmart and comes in a rainbow of premixed colors and plain white.
There are a lot of choices/brands, but Wilton is the one I find works the best. It's always smooth and soft, and stores well, which is not always the case with other brands.
You can also make your own fondant with a few simple ingredients. I don't love using homemade fondant but I don't hate it either. There is hardly a flavor difference between homemade and store-bought, however, you do have control of the ingredients if you make your own!
Step 1: Food Coloring
I guess I like a lot of Wilton brand products because along with fondant I also prefer Wilton Icing Colors! They are gel based colors that evenly and easily incorporate into fondant.
There are other options out there, but I recommend using a gel coloring as opposed to liquid food coloring or natural food coloring (which is also liquid). Liquid food colorings tend to make fondant sticky and can get very messy. Although natural food coloring tints relatively well, it has a very distinct flavor that, in my opinion, isn't exactly pleasant.
Wilton food coloring can be purchased individually or in sets.
Step 2: How to Color Fondant
The hardest part about coloring fondant is not turning your fingers and hands into a temporary rainbow! I do not use gloves but you certainly can to protect your skin from color. You will need:
- white fondant
- food coloring
- paring knife
- rolling mat
1. Cut an appropriate sized piece of white fondant for what you need of a specific color. It's always easier to mix too much than it is to run out and have to try to match a color later. Dip the tip of a knife or a toothpick into the food coloring and smear it on the fondant trying to keep it in one general place. Start with a small amount of food coloring. You can always add more later to get a deeper or darker color.
2. Fold the fondant to cover the food coloring and start twisting and stretching the fondant until you achieve a uniform color. If you see a blob of coloring just fold it over again to avoid it touching your skin. Continue until color is uniform.
There are several premixed colors of fondant available. If you need a lot of either red or black I definitely recommend buying and using premixed. Brown may also be tempting to purchase, however, keep in mind that if you buy Wilton brand brown fondant it is chocolate flavored. If you make a lemon cake it might not be the best combination of flavors! For all other colors, purchase white fondant and color it yourself. It will be much more cost effective and you can make whatever tint or shade you wish!
Although I encourage you to experiment and create a unique color palette, if you choose to replicate the two specific cakes in this class you will need the following colors of fondant in the amounts listed below:
- light yellow - 3 ounces
- turquoise - 1.5 ounces
- orange - 1.5 ounces
- light pink - 4 ounces
- dark brown - 4 ounces
- light brown - 1.5 ounces
- dark blue - 1.5 ounces
- bright green - 1.5 ounces
- dark pink - 2.5 ounces
- deep yellow - 3 ounces
- white - 12 ounces
After you have all of your colors mixed, store them tightly wrapped in the silver packaging the fondant came in. This will prevent the fondant from drying out until it is ready to use. You can also use a resealable plastic bag.
Be aware that dark colors will bleed onto lighter colors. To avoid this from happening, leave space between the different colors inside the bag, or bag them individually. If they do bleed, you can simply cut that portion off!
Step 3: Up Next: Lesson 8 — Decorated Drip Cake
In the next lesson we will complete a beautiful drip cake. We will learn how to apply chocolate drips and decorate the top of our ganached cake giving it height and interest. If you haven't already purchased your confections for decorating this cake, do that before the next step. If you have everything ready, let's get started!