By its nature, this maple fondant is quite sweet. If you're going to dip the creams in chocolate and/or roll them in nuts, you can balance the sugar by using dark chocolate and salted nuts, both of which pair very well with this fondant.
If you've never made old-fashioned fondant before, check out this photo tutorial showing how to make fondant. You might also enjoy this list of maple candy recipes, or a recipe using this fondant, Maple Fondant Acorns.
Yield: about 36 fondant centers
- 2 cups real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 oz dark chocolate (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped salted nuts (optional)
1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside for now.
2. Place the maple syrup, corn syrup, cream, water, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir them all together. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat.
3. Wipe down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and insert a candy thermometer.
4. Continue to cook the candy, stirring frequently, until it reaches 240 degrees F (115 C) on the candy thermometer. Once at 240 F, remove the pan from the heat and pour the candy into the prepared 9x13 pan.
5. Let the fondant cool for about 10 minutes, until it is still warm but not longer hot to the touch. Begin to stir everything together with a wooden spoon. This is called “creaming” the fondant and it works best if you move in a figure-8 pattern, scraping the fondant together, working it into an 8 shape, then scraping it back into the center.
6. As you cream the fondant, it will go from shiny and translucent to shiny and opaque and start to get thicker. Continue to work it, and it will eventually lose its shine and become more opaque and have a fudge-like texture and dull finish. This creaming process takes awhile, perhaps 20 minutes, so prepare yourself and alternate arms if necessary.
7. The fondant will reach the point where it is thick, stiff, and almost impossible to stir further. Test it out by rolling a piece into a ball. If it holds its shape and doesn’t collapse, the fondant is ready. If it doesn’t, continue working it with the spoon until it is stiff enough. You can either wrap it in cling wrap and store it at room temperature, or roll it into balls right away.
8. If you have rolled it into balls, you can roll the fondants in crushed nuts, or you can dip them in chocolate and then sprinkle the chocolate with chopped nuts or dried fruit. If you are going to dip them in chocolate, store the rolled fondant balls in the refrigerator to firm up while you melt the chocolate in the microwave.
9. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the maple fondant centers into the chocolate one at a time, and place the dipped centers on a foil- or waxed paper-lined baking sheet to set. Sprinkle the tops with chopped salted nuts or chopped dried fruit while the chocolate is still wet.
10. Place the tray in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate for about 15 minutes. Store dipped Maple Fondant balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, and allow them to come to room temperature before serving for best taste and texture.