I have no idea what posessed me to do this to myself today...
After a dreadful morning running around hunting down my lost iPhone and wasting at least half a tank of gas retracing my steps I thought - I know, lets bake some really fiddly time consuming Fondant Fancies - I must be insane! To be fair I had been obsessing about cooking these little beauties all week long (low carb diets will do that to a girl...)
I was always a fan of the Mr Kipling French Fancies. Then after the popularity of the Lamington post last week I thought - how can we expand upon the complexity of that but with a similar theme...Fancies.
To the un-initiated a Fondant Fancy is a square of sponge cake topped with a little dollop (technical term) of flavoured buttercream - in this case strawberry. Then covered in a smooth glossy fondant icing to give a smooth appearance. They sometimes accompany coffee as Petit Fours after a meal. One perfect little mouthful.
I used the same basic sponge mixture as the Lamington from last week but used a much larger sheet cake tin and as I thought the sponge again worked beautifully. While the cake is cooking mix up your flavoured buttercream (won't need too much) to a stiff'ish consistency but can still be piped.
Ingredients - Sponge
4 Free Range Eggs
3/4 Cup Caster Sugar
1 Cup GF Plain Flour (self raising makes for a soapy taste in this large cake)
1 Teaspoon GF Baking Powder
2 Cups Pure Icing Sugar
1/4 Cup softened Unsalted Butter
3 Cups Pure Icing Sugar
- Heat oven to 160C fan forced. Little higher if not fan forced.
- In a large bowl or in your bowl mixer if you have one, beat your 4 eggs for 10 full minutes until thick and very creamy.
- Gradually add the sugar to the eggs continue beating until sugar is dissolved. You can test for this by pinching a little of the mixture between thumb and forefinger and rubbing. If you still feel granules keep beating a little longer.
- Sift the flour and Baking powder into the mix and carefully fold it into the egg mix being careful to keep the beautiful air in the mix.
- Into the greased and lined sheet cake tin pour your mix.
- Bake until set - about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove and turn out immediately onto a wire cake rack that has been covered in a sheet of baking paper.
- Once cool - using a large sharp knife trim the edges of the cake and slice to the size you want for your fancies - usually about 2-3 cm squares. I did not need to refrigerate mine but if crumbly place in freezer for about 5-10 minutes.
- Make up the buttercream icing in a separate bowl by using an electric mixer to mix the icing sugar, flavouring and butter then add just enough milk to achieve desired consistency. and pipe a small mound onto the top of each square of cake. It is roughly the size and shape of a marble placed in the centre of each little cake. Set aside and let these harden.
- Once the buttercream has become a little dry and harder they are ready to be coated in the fondant icing. I read many recipes for this but decided to try the most simple method - see above ingredients.
- For the Fondant, mix the sifted 100% pure icing sugar (not icing mixture) into a bowl. Add about 1 tsp strawberry essence to the mix and begin mixing. Be very careful adding only 1 tsp of water at a time until the right consistency is achieved. Not too think but not too thin. This is a trial and error process. Have a couple of test runs coating your cakes. using a spoon on a wire rack over a bowl.
- As the fondant begins to harden, either warm slightly in the microwave or add another drop of water. Use a desert spoon to ladle over the icing it will smooth out as it slides down. If the layer is too thin wait til it dries a little then apply a second coat.
- You can then place little icing flowers, cachou balls or other decorations on the top.
I really hope you like these, yes they are fiddly but a few little gorgeous ones go a long way and they really are very pretty on a plate.