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Fondant

So, last night I was seized with a sudden and inexplicable urge to
make fondant. Peppermint creams to be precise. There is no
particular reason why this should have happened. I haven't recently
bought a cookbook. We'd been to the supermarket that afternoon, so
there were plenty of snacky things around (mmm, strawberries). I
didn't even particularly fancy something sweet, I just wanted to do
the cooking.

450g sugar
150mL water
3T powdered glucose (I used light karo, thanks Stephanie, and it worked great)

Heat sugar and water gently to dissolve sugar, bring to boil, add
glucose, boil to soft ball stage. Pour onto marble slab. Gently,
otherwise it will flow over the sides. Once a skin has formed around
the edges, use a spatula to pick up syrup from the edges and transfer
it to the middle. Once the syrup has started to thicken a little,
start to turn it in a figure of eight shape with the spatula. At
this point, add colourings and flavourings (green and peppermint,
for me). Keep turning it, and it will start to grain and thicken.
Eventually you will be able to scrape it all into a mound in the
middle of the slab, pick it up and knead it a little.

Shape by rolling out and cutting with small cutters or eggcups.
Lay on waxed paper to dry out and when dry, pack in an airtight
container.

Now, I don't have a marble slab. My mother does, and if I asked
I bet she'd lend it to me, long term, but I don't want to ask. My
kitchen bench is not stainless steel, so that wasn't an option
either. I ended up lining a baking tin (the kind with a 1cm edge)
with nonstick baking paper and using that. Neither do we have
small cutters or eggcups - I used (ahem) the top of a shotglass.

It was messy and fun. I've pretty much decided that my end-of-year
gifts for people will be peppermint creams (half dipped in dark
chocolate) and sugar mice (same mixture, flavoured with raspberry,
shaped into stylised mice with shaped ears, candy eyes/nose and
licorice tail).

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