Home bakers have since taken up the challenge, and recipes and how-to guides have appeared in magazines and on TV. I've also seen a number of courses teaching the secrets of a perfect fondant fancy. One such course is run by Cakes 4 Fun which I attended this weekend.
On the course we learnt how to cut our squares evenly and add the marzipan on top, adhering it with a layer of apricot jam. These fancies don't have buttercream but you could add it if you wanted to.
The secret to preventing the fancies breaking up upon covering is to freeze them for at least an hour and a half beforehand. To cover the fancies, each one was speared with a chocolate dipping fork, usually used for covering truffles, before being dipped in runny fondant icing. You can use Squires Kitchen Fondant Icing Mix which works perfectly. As we discovered there is quite a knack to dipping and covering which takes quite a bit of practise.
To add a little something extra to our fancies we used decorative moulds such as these from Squires Kitchen to make the pretty little cakes, teacups and teapots on top. We also used a mould to make the style of rose on the right below, however you can also hand roll roses, such as the one on the left below.
As always with Cakes 4 Fun, this was a fabulous class which has given me the confidence to try fondant fancies at home. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and are happy to help. Above is only a taster of what we learnt on the course as I don't want to share too much. If you'd like to learn more I'd thoroughly recommend attending!
In the video below you can see Mary Berry explaining how to make Fondant Fancies, however she used a different method to the one we used. She covers her sides in buttercream and adds the little blob of buttercream on the top. In addition, Mary's fancies are refrigerated and not frozen. She also melts down sugarpaste to make her fondant for covering.
Finally, I'm going to try and sneak these into this month's Calendar Cakes Challenge. Rachel over at Dolly Bakes is hosting in April and you'll find the latest challenge posted here at Laura Loves Cakes on May 1st. The theme this month is The Great Village Show and British baking institutions. I know, I know...I can already hear the outcry...fondant fancies didn't originate in Britain. But I rather think of them as a bit of a British institution, admittedly I'm probably thinking of the Mr. Kipling kind, however since they were first introduced in 1967 they have quietly infilrated society and can be found in many a fine establishment purveying that most British of traditions...afternoon tea.
In addition, fondant fancies were voted as one of the top foods Britain's miss when they move abroad and furthermore during the Queen's jubilee someone even made a portrait of her using these sweet treats. I for one would be delighted if I found fancies gracing my local village show. I hope I've convinced you but if you think otherwise, feel free to leave a comment! ;-)