Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 20, 2007 09:10 PM

Poured "fondant" for petit fours?

I'm considering making some petit fours, but I don't want to roll marzipan or fondant if I don't have to.

Does a poured "fondant" taste and look good? This recipe from Adorn Magazine looks easy, and if the results are actually what they show in the photo, they are stunning.

I assume baking any square cake, slicing them horizontally into thin layers, filling with my choice of frosting/preserves, and cutting with small square biscuit cutters will work.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Rather than slicing them horizontally, you can also bake it in a jellyroll pan (or cookie sheet w/ sides). I just cut with a knife, on a diagonal so it's more diamond shaped than square. Put them on a wire rack and pour the fondant over it. As for the taste, it tastes like you'd think confectioners sugar and water would taste, just sweet. If you're looking for appearance, you can also microwave store bought frosting, pour over and it hardens when it cools, pretty, easy to do but it tastes like store bought frosting. I love marzipan but it's a pain to do a lot of little cakes. I'd love to find a good pourable frosting that hardens drier. Hmm, it just occurred to me to check the Cake Bible. I'll report back if I find something that works.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      There is a recipe for poured fondant in the Cake Bible that calls for boiling sugar, water and corn syrup. FWIW, Rose Levy Berenbaum says it's difficult to get it the right consistency and says that's why most professional bakers buy it from Maid of Scandinavia.

      1. re: chowser

        Just sweet is fine. I'm more worried that it won't dry hard enough to be picked up without the sugar cracking. Usually when I do something like this it's for a glaze on top of banana bread, and it stays a little moist no matter how long it sets. Any ideas about how make sure there's little enough water? I'm just going to go for it, but any advice is appreciated!

        Thanks for the comments so far, chowser!

        1. re: Pei

          Let us know how it goes. Sometimes they work fine for me, sometimes they don't set, no matter how long I leave them (not stackable). I don't know why, maybe it has to do with the weather. Royal frosting always hardens but that's really hard and I hate the way it tastes. I wonder if you can add a little meringue powder to the fondant. Hmmm, now that I think of it, it might be the humidity here that keeps it wetter so you won't have that problem.

          1. re: chowser

            I'll let you know! I plan to finish this project by Friday. Fingers crossed.

            Your profile says you are in DC, so I'm definitely not battling the humidity you are! It's dry as a bone and 90 degrees here in Los Angeles.


        Well, they sure were tasty! Highly recommend the lemon chiffon cake from Tartine Bakery Cookbook. I used a lemon whipped cream as filling, then poured the fondant over it.

        Boy did I make a mess. I couldn't get the liquid to perfectly coat all the cakes, and because I'd made a "sandwich" filled with whipped cream I couldn't roll the cake around in the liquid either. I ended up with petit fours that were covered on top but kind of had frosting dripping down the sides.

        Delicious, but soooooooo ugly. Zero points for presentation. Thanks for the help, chowser!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pei

          That sounds delicious. How did the fondant taste? When I've done petit fours, I waste more frosting than I use. I've ended up putting the wire rack over a sheet pan and pouring so I can save the frosting (which I often end up throwing away because I'm so tired of the whole mess by the end that I don't want to deal w/ it). I'll tell you, the reason I have used store bought frosting is that it makes a pretty petit four. It works for people who like that kind of stuff but not for real chowhounds. In that case, taste wins over prettiness.

        2. This is a tough skill to learn but a real tour de force when you get it.
          I haven't done these in awhile but use the recipe from the dessert book (1976) by Dominique D'Ermo, who was the owner of THE French restaurant in Washington for years.
          Boiled 3 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water with 1/8 t cream of tartar over medium heat to 236 degrees. Transfer to bowl of an electric mixer and let cool to 104 degrees. Then work with the paddle at slow speed until white and creamy.
          The mixture has to age in the fridge for at least 2 days. It keeps at this stage for a very long time and I often made large batches.
          When ready to use, heat what you need to to lukewarm - very important - only to pouring consistency, over hot water. If you overheat the icing, it will lose its gloss.
          Flavor and color the icing in small batches.
          This recipe tastes good but then I grew up on New Orleans where we had to have these at every party or we didn't consider it to be a real party.
          I always made very small petits fours so I didn't struggle with fillings. A dense cake works best, preferably made a day ahead. I often chilled mine. Filled ones might be tall and give you trouble while you're learning the skill of pouring the fondant. Maybe try simple ones first? I did them on a rack over a parchment covered baking sheet and could reheat the dripped fondant of which there was a lot until I got used to doing this.
          I always stored my finished petits fours in the fridge until party time.
          Don't worry about the humidity. New Orleans is one of the most humid places in America and we always had these before air conditioning. They do sweat a bit when you take them out of the fridge but don't melt. I live in Washington DC now so I've had no trouble with this. You'll do great in LA.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense

            Thanks! I'll definitely make these next time with a short, un-filled dense cake and see what transpires. I definitely bit off more than I could chew with this one.

            Chowser, the fondant tasted fine, though too sweet for me (everything's too sweet for me). If you ever try the lemon chiffon cake, I would stick to a light whipped cream frosting.

            1. re: MakingSense

              I think my problems with it come from not having a candy thermometer and guessing when the soft ball stage is which is why it sometimes turns out and sometimes doesn't. I don't make petit fours very often as it is but over many years have done them a few times.

              1. re: chowser

                The cooking, cooling and beating parts were easy to get down. (Get a thermometer.) The pouring was a challenge for me. Once I made a big batch of the icing and did small "arts and crafts" runs while my kids were napping or playing. A dozen or so at a time using tiny frozen cakes. They loved them for a tea party so didn't care that they weren't perfect. After a while, I got "decent" at it but never great. They looked pretty good though. It's been awhile since I've done it.
                Do most people really appreciate this kind of thing much any more? Hooray for Pei. Now that I've got the recipe out, I'll have to try again.

                1. re: MakingSense

                  I've done them when I make bite sized desserts and for kids who seem to love them but until you've made a large batch of them, you don't appreciate how much work it is. Personally, it's too much frosting to cake ratio and too sweet.

                2. re: chowser

                  A candy thermometer isn't needed to check the correct cooked temperature for the sugar. Your looking for the "softball" stage, which literally means that the sugar solution can be rolled into a soft ball. Have a little ice bath ready when you are cooking the sugar, take a small amount out, cool it in the ice bath (be careful, sugar WILL burn you very badly if not careful), and attempt to roll the cooled sugar into a ball. Once it forms a soft ball, you're all set. This stage of sugar is also used for buttercream made from scratch and Italian meringue.

                  1. re: fcistudent1331

                    Hmmm-- Is this the same as used for candy-- See's apricot bon bons are covered with an 1/8 inch thick coating of yellow, slightly shiny sweet hardened stuff. It has a twirled top, so it must have been liquid at one point. I think this is called fondant--but the orange stuff INSIDE (chopped apricots and powered sugar and butter ?) is also called fondant--it's confusing.