Frosting or Fondant?

I’m going with fondant because it’s traditional. Yes, I know there are a lot of bakeries our there that are updating the black and white these days, using coatings of melted chocolate, ganaches and/or thick applications of frosting. To me that’s taking a good idea too far. I’ve long maintained that good cake needs very little adornment…a thin application of a real buttercream or a delicate veneer of icing. Any more and you ruin a delicate balance. The genius of a good black and white is that there’s just enough of the sweet stuff on the top to entice you into another bite. Which is why most of us have very little trouble finishing off the whole thing.

6 thoughts on “Frosting or Fondant?”

  1. I think fondant has gotten a bad name because of the way it has been used to make highly decorated showpiece cakes that give no consideration to taste.

    Take an overly sweet caked ‘hardened’ to withstand the weight of the decorations, but with no thought given to flavor, and a ton of fondant in pretty/gaudy/complex design and you have a beautiful to look at (maybe) tasteless pile of sugar you can charge the brides family a fortune for – and who is going to complain to the bride about the tasteless cake?

    As a crown for a flavorful cake fondant is an eye-opener. But it is being abused by bakers who think more about eye-candy because thats where the big bucks can be harvested.

  2. Hello Joe,

    I’m sorry to take you back, but I just want to share this with you.

    Please I will like to ask you if this theory of mine is logical: Because, I don’t have access to corn syrup, other than glucose, It occur to me recently, if there is any possibility of making the neoclassic buttercream (from the Cake Bible) with Glucose + hot water to dissolve the glucose to a corn syrup consistency.

    I saw in the cake bible, recipe for rolled fondant, the substitution of glucose for corn syrup and the subtraction of water. I feel the same thing could be done on the reverse.

    I’m thinking 1/2cup Glucose + 3tbs Hot water to yield 1/2 cup corn syrup.

    Then I thought to myself, wont the liquid exceed 1/2 cup of corn syrup while not – 6tbsp of glucose + 2tbsp hot water or 5tbsp glucose + 3tbsp hot water.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I just want some advice from you.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Wale Taiwo

    1. Hello Wale!

      I’m not sure what Rose has to say on the matter, however corn syrup and glucose syrup provide roughly the same amount of sweetening power, one is simply thicker than the other (and in fact most glucose syrup IS corn syrup). Thus, to get the same effect you should just substitute them 1 for 1. In the instances where the thickness of glucose is an issue, a small amount of water will thin it, as you already know. It strikes me that 3 T is a lot of water to thin out a half cup of syrup, but then I’ve never tried it. However I’d suggest going without the water in the case of buttercream, since I strikes me that a little extra viscosity in the formula isn’t a bad thing. If it’s hard to work with, then by all means dilute it a bit.

      Does that help at all?

      – Joe

  3. Hello Joe,
    I contacted Rose, I got the following comment “Hi Olawale,
    The reason why glucose is not offered as a substitute for the corn syrup is it’s much higher boiling point, which is roughly 300?F/150?C. Adding the water will lower the boiling point. Whether the amount of water you have calculated will work to lower the boiling temperature to around the same temperature as the corn syrup and have the same sweetness level will need your experimenting to see if the water and glucose mixture is a viable substitution.
    Over time and/or experimenting, recipes can evolve and improve. We added the lemon juice to add a subtle hint of its flavor which is harmonious with the other flavors in the buttercream. The lemon juice also helps to minimize the chance of the golden syrup from crystalizing.
    Rose & Woody”

    I will give it a try with the hot water, may be start with 1 tbsp, until I get a viscosity that resembles corn syrup.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *