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let's discuss FONDANT

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So many questions!

Does anyone make there own from boiled sugar worked on a marble? If you need a small amount it works out well to make your own.

When working fondant from a commercial brand (or hand made) it is important to keep the heat low and use either simple syrup or water flavored with compound or alcohol or extract. Colour the amount you wish to use with paste colour adding small amounts at a time.
Work by hand slowly adding liquid over heat until it is the desired thickness.

Pour from a wide mouth decanter such as a ladle, measuing cup or pot so the fondant comes down over the item covering as much as possible in one pass much like a waterfall. You want the fondant to come down in a sheet. You do not have a lot of time to go over and re-do the coating so take a deep breath and stay cool and practice.

What is your secret? ;)
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #2 of 22
Thanks for starting this thread. I'd like to add my questions too.... how does your fondant set, can you leave behind a finger print or not? If you drop it on it's side will it stick alittle to the counter or not?

Also, which comercial brand is your favorite?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #3 of 22
according to my boss... the cheapest one!! :)
post #4 of 22
I think I use Karp's.
post #5 of 22
I've used a couple different brands and didn't really notice any differences in texture or density, but I think that some taste a little sweeter than others. (Which doesn't really make sense). And I didn't discover any differences in how they handled when melted. I always used simple syrup to thin.

At first I used wire racks and let my fondant run down and collect on the sheet pan underneath (as classicly shown in books).

But I had problems releasing the petite fours from the wire rack. They'd be stuck down to the wire racks. When I'd work them off the rack, they'd have a rough bottom from where the wire had been inbedded in the base of the cake.

Then I gave up on the racks and placed them on sheet pans that were sprayed with PAM. I could cut the bases of the cakes that stuck with a knive and aleast I'd get a clean bottom line. But they still stuck to the Pam sprayed pan and I'd have to cut them off.

The best results I got came from holding the petite four in my left hand and pouring over the top with my right hand. Then I could shake off any excess, leaving less pooling on the Pam sprayed pan. But this wasen't so easy, I made a huge mess. Fondant dripping off my hands with cake crumbs stuck in them so I couldn't reuse any fondant.

I also struggled keeping it at the right temp.. I'd barely heat it (no thermometer available, just a bit above body temp. is what I strived for, I'd guess about 110 to 120 tops), then it would get cold so quickly I hardly got a dozen cakes done before I'd be reheating the fondant. When I left the bowl of fondant on the water bath while I was working, that just seemed to contibute to the over all mess of stickness and frustration. I'd still have to turn on the flame to remelt because the water bath only lasted so long (not long enough).

I never tried freezing my petite fours before dipping. Do you? Would that help?

What am I doing wrong?

Then to top off all my fun... the stuff only lasted 6 months or so, on the shelf. I hardly used it because I couldn't easliy, then I'd be throwing out mold covered full buckets of fondant. I tried covering the top surface with h2o and once with simple syrup. When I put a light layer on the top of syrup, it molded just the same. Then I put a heavy layer on top and the fondant absorbed it ruining most of the bucket.

Help, I'd don't get it?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #6 of 22
All I can think is that you're either not adding enough liquid to your fondant, or you're heating it too high. The rack and sheetpan method should work well, and you should have enough time to take them off w/out sticking. Freezing the cakes does help, in my opinion.

If you don't use your fondant very often, try storing it in the fridge. It will not mold as quickly.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
to remove crumbs from your fondant, send the fondant through a fine chinoise, don't force too much.

careful freezing and coating, you could get condensation on the marzipan layer if you are using one.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #8 of 22
I have to admit I've never had sucess removing cake crumbs from fondant, not even close! My cake crumbs dissolve into the fondant, their not like pebbles that sift out. When I've use ANY strainer all that did was a good job mixing the crumbs in so the left over fondant took on the shade of the cake. I've tried picking them out by hand and that just makes a mess, so I throw out my left over fondant. Sorry I'm just don't get it?


Told you I was having problems..... :D help?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #9 of 22
Wendy, regarding the mold problem ---if you decide to keep it covered with water just barely cover it and the water does need to be changed out on a regular basis. I've been storing my tubs this year without any water because I also had the mold problem. What I do is fill the surface of the fondant with VERY HOT water so the surface evens off(after scooping some out the surface is very uneven), then pour out the water. Wait for the surface to cool and then cover. The next time you use, fill with hot water to soften the crust and then pour out and scoop what you need. To thin fondant I use plain old water. I have had a problem of my fondant covered petit fours getting sticky, but only when it is very humid in our kitchen.
post #10 of 22
We store our fondant in 5 gal. buckets. When finished we pour water to fill the3 buckets. We throw spent vanills beans. This makes for a nice simple syrup.We don't use hot water ,or touch the water or fondant with our hands, this encourages molding.
We use a sugar dough bottom spread with rasp. jam. We fill this with frangiapan and bake. When cooled we remove from sheet pan and cover the top with rolled marzipan.
They are now ready for cutting( the most important part!) The sides must be perfectly straight to cover easily. Placed on the racks we bring the fondant to blood temp. We cover with a curtain poured from shallow hotel pans. One pass each way should do it.
We work our product at room temp, we found that chilling or freezing exudes moisture. Actually cold is a petite fours nightmare.
Over heating will dull and thin. To thick will carry crumbs. If our client has to have cake we toast or grill the bottom. I don't like this of course. The more you expose the fondant to foreign matter the quicker the mold.
Just the way we do it.
Jeff
ps: We always use rubber spats and stainless and never go in with our hands .
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #11 of 22
I always dip my frangipane frozen. Only on VERY humid days would I have problems with condensation. So I avoid dipping them on humid days. But I do find the cold to be very helpful.

Lots of great tips here. :)
post #12 of 22
To define, classic petite fours is what I'm talking about:layers of cake with either frosting or preserves inbeteen layers, topped with a thin sheet of marzipan then coated with poured fondant.

I'm supprised your using short dough Jeff. The words "petite fours" in my area means small decorated cakes to the buying public. I could definately see the advantage of having a more rigid product to coat (like short dough) with fondant but I couldn't get it past the clients or any boss.

I like the idea of using a hotel pan to pour from. Usually I'd be working with quantities of 20 or less. It was always the smallest bridal showers that wanted these plated for the center of the table as a addition to a passed sorbet.

What about holding them? How far in advance would you put them together and hold?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #13 of 22
Flo Braker is the "Queen" of petits fours. She wrote "Sweet Miniatures". Some of her recipes are also in "Baking with Julia".
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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post #14 of 22
There was a bakery I worked at for a couple weeks and they did a lot of petit fours. In school, we were taught to dip them in one by one, but the owner wanted the fondant poured over the cakes. You know, then I had to scrape up the extra, strain it through a sieve, blah blah. It was frustrating and time consuming! The next time I did them, I just stabbed a paring knife at the bottom and dipped them in one by one. After maybe every 5th one, I would heat the pan of fondant over steam for a bit, then keep going. It seemed to go by much faster and it was much less frustrating. When I looked up at the clock when I was done, for the same amount of petit fours, I had saved about 30 minutes. I also wasted less fondant and I got cleaner results. So you would think the owner would have been like, "Yeah! Do it that way from now on!" But she said, "I want you to do it the other way". Weirdo! By the way, we always worked with them frozen. Hardly any crumbs.
post #15 of 22
I'm familar with Flo Brakers book (worked out of it the first time it was released) and but I don't recall her doing classic petite fours. I've made several items from it and although many of them tasted pretty good I didn't find her to be a person to simplify proceedures (to say the least!) and avoid problems.

Now that you mention it Kimmie I do recall seeing classic petite fours in Julias baking book. I'll look thru it tonight, thanks.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #16 of 22
Wendy,
The sugar dough is just the bottom, the frangiapan is the cake. There is no comparison. I'm thinking that the cake ones are primarily american. We do use cake when we do the type that are multi layered and pressed. I've never seen the fluffy cake ones in Europe. I have never had anyone tell me they think the cake ones are better, well I take that back, that's an exaggeration.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
petites fours are many and varied items.

please do not lump them into one catagory.

petites fours sec = dry or cookie

petites fours demi sec = half dipped or iced

petites fours glace = fondant coated layers

miniondies - spelling may be off = mini pastry

friandies = praline

i don't have the energy to define all the above catagories, so please if you could, look up the forms of petite four, then have a discussion that could last for years!
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #18 of 22
No I'm not looking to start a dicussion that could go on for years. I guess I was trying to mention that in the mid-west if I was to ask someone (who ordered petite fours) what kind of petite four they want, they'd look at me with a blank stare and not understand that they have multiple options because they know of only one type of petite four. The only pastry that they call a petite four consists of cake layers covered in poured fondant. Everything else seems to fall under "mini pastries" title for the consumer.

I know we aren't the gastonomic capitol of the world (Chicago), but I'm supprised that in other areas of the country you all have clients that know there are differences and more than 1 kind of petite four?

The mid-westerners do have their ways....
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #19 of 22
Oh, I don't mean to say that our customers know the difference between anything. They know the cake petite four because it's the only thing they have had.
I'm doing some consulting for a major grocery store chain right now who tells me their best selling cakes are Red Velvet and Chocolate Fudge. I responded, because that's all you have offered them for the past 40 yrs.They laugh at me when I say I step into a time tunnel every time I enter one of their bakeries. Maroon little hats, a crossed tie and a matching apron. Just like the fifties.
I guess my point is that, try new items on people. Some will react some will love them. I'm sure cake petite fours are the norm in my area but you wouldn't know it by us. Take those cake ones, slice them a bit thinner, layer them and weight them, they are much easier to work with and your customer will get the same tasting product.
I only write in responce to the troubles people having with the regular ones. This is a high margin money maker if you don't lose it in labor.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #20 of 22
I think you might be trying to write mignardises, the new buzzword where I work.
It's not Dairy Queen.
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It's not Dairy Queen.
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post #21 of 22
What does "mignardises" mean bighat?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
Reply
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #22 of 22
Wendy,

Here is an example of mignardises:



;)
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
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