Fondant or sugar paste as it is otherwise known, is a dough made of mostly sugar. It comes in two varieties vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
Fondant is what gives our cakes a satin smooth finish and an impeccable look.
The blue part of the above cake, is fondant. So are the leaves, fondant and all the accessories surrounding the cake. The cake within can be any cake you like.
Why do you use fondant?
Mainly because it gives a good finish to the cake, and makes it look perfect. Although Indian population is traditionally used to only creamy cakes, there is something artful about a fondant cake. The ideas, expressions and emotions that can be conveyed in a fondant cake, simply cannot be conveyed in a cream cake. A fondant cake therefore is more about emotions and imagination as well as expressiveness than a cream based cake.
Does it taste good?
It tastes extremely sweet, and can be irritating to some palates. The icing sugar and cornstarch used to roll the fondant can make the fondant also taste a bit powdery. Not everyone likes the taste of fondant. As a matter of fact, most cake decorators do not like the taste of fondant. But fondant was never about the taste anyway. It was more about art and designing and conveying the right emotions. However the good news is, that it can be peeled if so wished and the cake under it can be devoured.
Does it contain egg?
No it doesn’t. However some fondants may contain gelatin (which is an animal based product) so vegetarians may want to ask their cake decorator before they go ahead with it.
What is the texture like?
The texture of fondant is very smooth and chewy, kind of like soft candy. However, when cutting into a fondant cake, it may not feel as soft to cut as a cream based cake. It is slightly harder to cut. That does not mean that the cake under it is hard. The cake will still be soft, spongy, moist and yummy. Although ganache (a mixture made of chocolate and cream) is used most often under fondant, sometimes marzipan may also be used, the filling used in between the cake layers can be whipped cream based.
Are the figurines made up of fondant too?
Sometimes, but not always. Most of the times figurines are made with a harder setting sugar dough called gum paste which has edible gums added to it so that they retain their shapes. Indeed, the figurines need not be eaten. They can be stored in an airtight container for a long time. Edible flowers made out of gum paste can also be saved instead of being discarded.
Can I choose to order a cake without fondant?
Absolutely! Ask your decorator for options such as gum paste figurines on a whipped cream cake or a chocolate truffle cake, with only fondant accents.