Senior Project Research Paper


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Senior Project Research Paper

  1. 1. Shreves 1Sarah ShrevesMs. BennettBritish Literature07 October 2011 Baking: Fondant or Icing? Thirty-seven percent of people in the baking industry prefer using fondants over icings.Bakers say that fondant is very versatile and easy to manipulate, giving them a great chance to doextraordinary things to their cakes. Fondant is also relatively easy to mold into a number ofdifferent shapes to make what is needed for their cakes. Whereas, buttercream icing is acompletely different consistency and can only be used to thinly cover the cake. Buttercreamicing can be used to decorate a cake as well, but it is not very stable and there are only limitedamounts of ways you can use buttercream icing on your cake as a decoration, and it also does notlook as professional and elegant. Cake decorating has been around for a very long time, so haveboth buttercream icing and fondant. Fondant originated in Europe in the eighteenth century.Europeans used it to decorate elaborate cakes, usually for royalty. Buttercream icing originatedin the early twentieth century, it replaced the traditional boiled icing. Fondant is a great way to express ones creativity when baking. You can do almostanything with it. There are two different types of fondant: poured fondant, which is at one pointalmost a liquid and rolled fondant, being much more solid. Rolled fondant is more commonamong bakers because it is much easier to mold and shape and does not have to be cooked. Abaker can use it to make anything he needs for his cake, though; rolled fondant doesn’t taste very
  2. 2. Shreves 2good so it is usually peeled off the cake before it is eaten. Poured fondant is completely differentthough; it can easily be colored and you can also put flavoring in it, giving it a much better taste.This type of fondant is cooked, so it takes a little longer to prepare the cake. Poured fondant alsocannot be molded because of its loose consistency. One can always tell the difference betweenthe two types of fondant because rolled fondant has a dull matte look to it, while poured fondanthas a shiny sleek look. When making poured fondant use two and a half cups of sugar, half of a cup of water,and one fourth of a cup of corn syrup. Then heat the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the “soft-ballstage” which is two hundred and thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. When heated, the fondant turnsinto a syrup like consistency, so it must be left to cool, undisturbed, until it reaches one hundredand forty degrees Fahrenheit. This usually takes around thirty minutes. If one would like tochange the color of the fondant, this would be the time to do it (Fletcher, Helen). When it isfinished, it can be stored, completely sealed, for up to two days. When it is time to use thefondant roll it out on greased wax paper to a quarter of an inch thick, place it over the cake,which should have a sticky surface, usually being buttercream icing, or mold it into the shapethat is desired and let it harden for twenty-four to thirty-six hours. When making rolled fondantsixteen ounces of white mini-marshmallows are needed, two to five tablespoons of water, twopounds of icing sugar, and half a cup of shortening are also needed (Weaver). First melt downthe marshmallows by adding two tablespoons of water and heating it up. Once the marshmallowsare melted add three fourths of the sugar onto the mix, then dump the mixture onto a greasedtable or counter and knead until it becomes firm enough to mold. Color can also be added to this,but it is much harder than when using poured fondant. When it is ready to use simply place thefondant on a counter lightly sprinkled with cornstarch and flatten it close to the shape of the
  3. 3. Shreves 3cake. Roll the fondant up so it can be moved without cracking or breaking, then place it on top ofa buttercream covered cake, unroll the fondant, then shape it to the cake until no part of the cakecan be seen. Icing is a much different concept. There are many types of icing that can be used on acake, a couple of them being buttercream icing, royal icing, and boiled icing. Buttercream icingis a very common type of icing to use; it is made out of mostly sugar, corn syrup, and butter, andis very sweet to the taste. It is usually only used as a base layer on a cake, but can also be used tocreate interesting designs. Royal icing is a desert icing used on cakes that dries to be glossy andshiny. It is mostly made out of confectioners sugar, egg whites, and lemon. It is, in a way, runnyat first so it can be manipulated into designs, then dries to a hard, candy-like consistency, butcannot be molded into three dimensional shapes. It can only lie on the cake flat, because when itdries, it hardens and can easily be broken apart. Boiled icing is a lot like regular buttercreamicing but some of the ingredients have to be boiled. Though, unlike buttercream icing, boiledicing contains no butter and is very light and fluffy. It is used as a basic layer for many cakes aswell because it has such a sweet, delicate taste. There are a variety of icings that are used to top off a cake. All of which are relativelyeasy to prepare. Buttercream icing is probably the most simple of the aforementioned icingsbecause it only requires six tablespoons of butter, two and two thirds cups of powdered sugar,one third cups of milk, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract (Frosting, Icing, and Cake DecoratingRecipes).There is no need to heat it or let it dry, it can be used as soon as it is needed. Royalicing has a much different consistency meaning it has different and more versatile ingredientslike two large egg whites, two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or three tablespoons of meringuepowder, and three cups of sifted confectioners sugar, if one is wanting to add color then gel paste
  4. 4. Shreves 4dyes can be used, which come in a large variety of colors (Yard). Unlike buttercream and royalicing, boiled icing must be heated, meaning it takes a little longer to prepare, though theingredients aren’t much different. To make boiled icing you need one cup of sugar, half a cup ofwater, one tablespoon of light corn syrup, two large egg whites, and one teaspoon of vanillaextract (Zesty). All of these icings are fairly easy to use and all have a nice, sweet taste. There are many things that make fondants and icings similar while also very different.Some of the similarities are how they are made, what they are used for, and how beautiful theycan make any cake look. Icings and fondants are all made with mostly sugars, making them verysweet and most of them very delicious. They are also all used to make almost anything that onecan imagine to put on a cake, while still being edible. Some of the creations that bakers put oncakes are incredible; their only limit is how far their imagination can take them, even withbuttercream icing. Buttercream icing is actually used on a cake along with fondant. Before youplace fondant on a cake, you have to have a sticky surface so the fondant will stay on the cake, somost bakers will put a layer of buttercream icing on the cake, then spread the fondant out overthe cake. The differences between icings and fondants are quite apparent. They have completelydifferent consistencies no matter how similar the ingredients are. Icing having a light, easilyspread texture, while fondant is heavier and much more dense, making it impossible to spread,and making one have to lay it across the cake. Icing and fondant also differ in how they areprepared. Some fondants must be heated then cooled to be able to be used, and icing is justmixed and can be used once it has settled. Royal icing and fondant might seem slightly similarbut there are also quite a few differences, one of them being the consistency. Royal icing starts
  5. 5. Shreves 5out as a sort of syrup and dries to be a rock hard, candy like, texture while fondant is smooth andclay-like. Overall, fondants and icings have their similarities as well as their differences. It alldepends on your vision of a cake and which you really prefer. Fondant is very elegant and canalso be extravagant when used correctly; there are no bounds to what you can do with it. Icing ismostly a basic topping for a cake; it can also be used for decoration, but is mostly used as a plaincover for cakes. Both cake toppings have been around for many decades, and everyday moreideas become present with how to use them. Who knows what the future of cake decoratingholds?
  6. 6. Shreves 6 Works Cited“Decorating with Fondant.” Food Network. Food Network, 2011. Web. 8 Sept. 2011. < recipe/index.html>.Fletcher, Helen. “How to Make Poured Fondant.” Ochef. N.p., 2006. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>.“Frosting, Icing, and Cake Decorating Recipes.” CDKitchen. CDKitchen Inc., 1995. Web. 7 Sept. 2011. <>.Weaver, Peggy. “Marshmallow Fondant Recipe and Photo Tutorial.” Whats Cooking America. N.p., 1995. Web. 7 Sept. 2011. <>.Yard, Sherry. “Royal Icing Tested Recipe & Video.” Joy of Baking. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. Web. 7 Sept. 2011. <>.Zesty. “How to Make Boiled Icing.” ZestyCook. Zesty Blog Consulting, 2007. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <>.