Next week's blog is the French Christmas extravaganza, Buche de Noel. At the bakery we always had fondant, pastailliage and almond paste around so making the holly berries was easy. We just tinted one of the items red and rolled little balls.
When it came time to figure something out for the holly berries for the Buche de Noel, I wanted to give you the option of making something as I think the berries add so much to the Buche.
As I researched different things, I thought the marshmallow fondant was the easiest and best for this small item. It could be scaled down to make a small amount and it could be tinted for the berries. However, all the recipes I could find on line required actual marshmallows heated with a bit of water. Then it would be turned out onto a work surface. Powdered sugar would be plopped on top and with greased hands the mixture would be kneaded, adding more sugar as necessary to obtain a workable fondant. Almost all the recipes made reference to the amount of kneading that went into it. When I looked at many of the tutorials, I knew I definitely didn't want to do this.
So it didn't take me long to figure out I would let the processor do all the work in a matter of minutes. It works like a charm. I have read that made in large amounts the fondant can be used to cover cakes. I have never tried the Marshmallow Fondant for that purpose. But for the purposes of making small pieces and holly berries, this is more than adequate – and a whole lot simpler.
It should be made ahead, wrapped and refrigerated. It can be made weeks ahead. As it rests, it will firm up somewhat. If, when you are ready to use it, it still isn't stiff enough, just work in more powdered sugar as needed.
If you are coloring the entire batch, add the coloring when making in the processor. Otherwise, just color what you need. I found gel colors are much better than the liquid as they don't add a lot of additional moisture.
I have broken this recipe down as far as possible and still be able to work it in the processor. It can be scaled up if needed in a larger quantity. The fondant freezes well also.
Marshmallow Fondant2 to 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (225 to 285 grams 8 to 10 ounces)
1 cup marshmallow cream (4 ounces or 114 grams)*
1 tablespoon water
*There are two brands of marshmallow cream that I am familiar with – Jet Puff and Marshmallow Fluff. Either will do.
Place 2 cups of the powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the marshmallow cream and water. Process until it forms fondant. You can see in this photo there is not enough powder sugar and the fondant is saggy. If it doesn't get stiff enough, add more powdered sugar a bit at a time until it becomes firm. You can see in the photo below that the fondant is more firm and isn't sagging.
The fondant will be sticky at this point so use a spatula to scoop out as much fondant as you can and place it on plastic wrap. To easily remove the remainder from the bowl, replace the blade and pulse the processor two or three times. The fondant will come off the blade and be slung to the side where it can be scooped out with no trouble. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.The fondant will stiffen somewhat in the refrigerator.