Color fondant starts with plain fondant – a simple mixture made from sugar and water. The combination forms a paste and it is the paste that is used to decorate cakes. The paste is rolled over the cake to form a smooth icing or frosting. A professional cake decorator will often use fondant to decorate wedding or speciality cakes, but home cake decorators will also find fondants are ideal for creating cakes which boast three dimensional decorations, like elaborate bows, ribbons or flowers.
In order to produce a perfectly decorated cake, a decorator must know how to color fondant. A fondant can be made at home, however there are commercially made fondants readily available that can be colored and used.
The first step to adding color to a fondant is to roll it into a round ball shape and to ply the ball until it has a soft and workable texture.
Using your thumb, make a pit in the centre of the fondant and use a toothpick or skewer to dab dots of color into the pit. When color is added to the fondant, it is important to be careful not to add too much coloring at at time. This could lead to the fondant having too much color which is difficult to correct.
If the color is not correct, more coloring can be added, if necessary. As color is added, the fondant must be kneaded – this will ensure that the color is evenly spread.
It is a good idea when coloring a fondant, to wear plastic gloves, to avoid the color staining your hands (see the Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake for how this can happen). Also, instead of liquid food coloring, use gel food color, which works better for coloring the fondant. Since it can be difficult to achieve the same coloring on another batch of fondant, it is suggested to color more fondant than is needed.
You may not use all the colored fondant, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If your idea is to store the colored fondant, remember that the stored fondant will darken in time, so allow for this and don’t make it too dark.
If making cakes regularly, an assortment of colored fondants can be created and stored for later use. This will provide ready access to a range of colors that can be used to make an assortment of intricate and appealing cake decorations.