This basic water fondant recipe can be used to make a variety of flavored centers for mints or fruit centers.
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
4 cups granulated (white) sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup marshmallow creme (optional)
Place a 13 x 9-inch ungreased baking pan in the refrigerator to cool (do not freeze). Use cautionary measures when working with hot syrup.
In a heavy saucepan (4 quart), combine water, corn syrup, butter, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Place over high heat and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil. If any sugar crystals are present, wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove. The fondant will be grainy if any sugar remains undissolved.
Attach a candy thermometer to saucepan. Cook syrup without stirring to 240°F (115°C) or soft-ball stage. Remove from heat and pour into baking pan without stirring or scraping. Without excess movement, place in refrigerator or cool area.
When bottom of pan has cooled (no longer warm), begin slowly stirring fondant with a wooden spoon. Add marshmallow creme if desired. Add flavoring and color. Stir fondant until it sets up and loses the shine and resembles thick frosting. It generally takes 30 to 40 minutes of stirring to set up, but can set up in as little as 15 minutes.
If the fondant hardens, wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and cover it with a warm damp towel for 15 minutes to soften. If this method doesn't soften the fondant, then it is overcooked and will need to be recooked.
If you have stirred to fondant for more than 1 hour and it hasn't set up, try letting it rest for a few minutes without stirring. This will sometime cause the fondant to begin the desired crystallization process. After resting, if the fondant doesn't work, it may be undercooked. It will need to be recooked.
Mint Cream Water Fondant: Add 1/4 teaspoon oil of peppermint or 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and 6 drops of green food color.
Orange Cream Water Fondant: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract, 1/4 teaspoon citric acid and 4 drops orange food color.
Raspberry Cream Water Fondant: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract. 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract, and 4 drops red food color.
Coconut Cream Water Fondant: Add 1 cup flaked coconut with 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract.
Making Several Flavors
After the water fondant has set up, divide it into separate balls. Press your thumb into the center of one of the balls, creating a small hole. Place the favoring and color into the hole and knead until well blended.
If the fondant becomes sticky, dust your hands with cornstarch or flour. Avoid using confectioners' (powdered) sugar since it will make the fondant more sticky.
Fondants, fudges, and caramels can be recooked if they are under- or overcooked or if the candy has sugared, as long as the candy has not been scorched.
In a heavy saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water and the cooked candy. Place over low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well-blended. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. If sugar crystals are present, wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Clip on a candy thermometer and cook to the proper temperature. Pour out and cool according to the original recipe. Add more flavoring since the old flavoring will have cooked out. The candy will have a darker color due to the increased carmelization of the sugar during the longer cooking time.
Shaping Fondant into Centers
Cover trays or baking sheets with wax paper and set aside.
To shape fondant for centers, break off approximately 1/2 cup of fondant. Roll the fondant into a rope 1/2 inch thick. With a table knife cut into 1 inch pieces.
Using your hands, roll each piece into the shape of a ball then placing on the wax paper. With your fingertips slightly flatten each ball. The fondant is now ready for dipping. The fondant can stay at room temperature overnight, if desired. If the fondant is very soft, let the centers stand for several hours to form a crust before dipping.
Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag. The fondant can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks or frozen for several months. Allow it to warm to room temperature before unwrapping.