Cream Fondant for Chocolates

When you make your own chocolates, you can control the ingredients and the flavors. And fresh homemade chocolates sure beat cheap store-bought chocolates.

Cream Fondant

4 cups sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk 
1/3 cup light corn syrup 
 1/4 tsp. salt
 Flavoring
Nuts, coconut, dried fruit, etc., optional

Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium-high heat in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Use a wet pastry brush or dripping paper towel to wash all the sugar crystals off the sides of the pan down into the hot candy. A little water will not affect the recipe, but the fondant will be ruined by any sugar crystals remaining on the sides of the pan. While the candy is cooking, butter the countertop or pan you will pour the candy in, or get out your Bosch mixing bowl.

Stir occasionally until the fondant begins to boil. Do not stir again! Cook to soft ball stage at 235°F to 240°F. The hot fondant mixture dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball under water. When you remove the ball from the cold water, it will flatten out into a pancake in your hand. (An accurate thermometer takes out the guesswork.)

Pour on a buttered counter, a buttered marble slab, or into a buttered glass pan without scraping the saucepan at all. If you hate to waste what is left in the pan, scrape it into a separate container, and then if (when) it crystallizes, it won't ruin your whole batch. Cool until warm to the touch. How long it takes to cool depends on the temperature in your kitchen. You can put the pan in the fridge to speed the process, but it may still take 45 minutes to an hour. A double batch took 2 hours to cool enough for me.

Beat with a wooden spoon (or a silicone spoon or spatula) until the fondant forms. Have someone else help take turns beating it... it may take a while. When it changes to a lighter color and a consistency like play dough, stop mixing immediately.
Instructions for using a Bosch: This method saves a lot of time and will spare your arm muscles. While the fondant is cooking, prepare your bowl by putting in the dough hook. When the fondant is ready, pour the boiling hot fondant directly into your Bosch, remembering NOT to scrape the pan. That's right... boiling hot candy right into your plastic Bosch bowl. I know... eek. Don't worry... it works just great. It won't melt your plastic bowl. Let it cool in the fridge (or on the counter if your fridge is full) until the bowl is just warm to the touch. If you wait too long, the fondant will solidify (and might break your Bosch), so let it cool in the fridge for half an hour, and then check it every five to ten minutes until the bowl is warm to the touch instead of hot. A single batch is supposed to cool in about 45 minutes. My double batch took almost 2 hours to cool on the countertop. Once it is cool enough, turn the dough hook a few turns by hand to make sure it's not too cold. (If it's too hard to turn, you will have to scrape it out and beat it by hand.) Then put the bowl on the mixer and turn your mixer to high and watch the mixture carefully. It will mix for a while and then suddenly change to fondant. Immediately turn off your mixer. It may look crystallized, but as you work handfuls of the fondant, it should turn into a beautiful, soft dough.

Rescue Measures: If you have been beating your fondant forever-and-a-day (15 minutes or more) and it still hasn't changed into fondant, add powdered sugar a little bit at a time until it changes to fondant. You may need one or two cups. This will change the texture a bit, but may keep you from losing the whole batch.

Take a handful of fondant and knead it until the texture is smooth and consistent.

Decide what flavors you want. If you want more than one flavor, divide the fondant into several bowls. Oil based flavorings are the best to use, but they are very strong, so add just a bit at a time.

Add a drop or two of food coloring to match the flavor. Green for mint, yellow for lemon, etc.

You can also add chopped nuts, dried fruit, cherries, coconut, or anything else that sounds good.

Form the flavored, colored fondant into small balls, ovals, pyramids, etc. 

Place the chocolate centers on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper or wax paper. Allow them to dry overnight, or for at least a couple of hours. This will form a crust so the chocolates will be easier to dip.

Melt about 2 lbs of chocolate using your favorite method. Double boiler, saucepan, microwave. Using a high-quality chocolate and tempering it is the optimal choice for dipping the chocolates and avoiding the "bloom" that overheated or cheap chocolate can develop.

If tempered chocolate is not your thing, then at least let the chocolate cool for a while before you dip the centers. Dipping chocolate should be about 90 degrees. Stir the chocolate frequently while dipping to keep all the chocolate the same temperature.

Dip the semi-dried fondant centers into the chocolate and drop them onto the parchment paper to harden. Using a special chocolate-dipping fork helps. Some people have had luck using plastic forks with the center tine broken off. Otherwise, use a regular fork to simply lift a chocolate covered center from the bowl, tap off the excess chocolate, and transfer to the tray.

To differentiate the chocolates, here are a few suggestions:

Use different shapes for each flavor
Dip half in milk chocolate, and half in dark chocolate
Place a slivered almond on almond flavored centers
Add a chocolate chip to the top
Drip white chocolate on vanilla centers
Draw swirls or lines on different flavors
...Be inventive!

Makes about 60 chocolates.

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