Due to a number of factors, your fondant might not be the right consistency and texture. Checking and knowing your fondant’s consistency is key to making successful decorations. Here’s a quick guide to understanding fondant issues and how to adjust accordingly.
After kneading, fondant should have a similar consistency to children's modeling dough. When pulled apart, it shouldn’t crumble to pieces.
Too Hard: In cold weather, fondant can be harder to knead, but it’s certainly still usable. Simply knead it longer to make it pliable. It can also be very hard to knead fondant if it is too dry. When fondant is dry, it may also appear crumbly. To add moisture, knead in a few drops of water. Start by adding about ⅛ teaspoon of water to a 24-ounce package. Knead, adding more as needed.
Too Soft: Fondant can become too soft due to over-kneading, hot hands and humidity. When fondant is too soft, it will be too sticky and will not hold its shape well. To fix, first try letting the fondant rest; cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let sit in a cool, dry area for 30 minutes to an hour. When rolling out, dust the surface with cornstarch or confectioners’ sugar to absorb moisture.
Hint: Sometimes, even with these adjustments, fondant might never get to the right consistency and texture. In that case, it’s best to start over with a fresh package as your decorations will not hold up well.
Using Gum-Tex Powder
Gum-Tex is a powder that can be added to fondant to improve its strength and elasticity. It reduces drying time and helps decorations hold their shape. It can also be used to adjust the consistency of soft fondant and is great for use in humid climates. To use, knead a very small pinch of Gum-Tex into the fondant. Wrap it and let it rest for about 30 minutes to let the Gum-Tex set. Because your starting fondant consistency and amount of fondant can vary greatly, it’s better to start with less Gum-Tex and adjust later. Too much will harden the fondant excessively.
If you are making fondant decorations with extra dimension, such as Lifelike Blossoms, adding a little Gum-Tex is a must to increase lift and keep petals from drooping.