Fondant is the basis of all French cream candies. It can be kept any length of time in air-tight preserve jars, and used as needed for the various purposes which it serves. A great variety of bonbons can be made of it by using different flavors, colors, and nuts in various forms and combinations. Some of these are given under "Candies," but each one's taste may suggest something different. Fondant makes the nicest icing for small cakes; strawberries with the hulls on dipped into fondant make a delicious fruit glace. It will be found easy to make fondant if the directions given below are strictly followed.
Place in a copper or a graniteware saucepan two cupfuls of granulated sugar, one cupful of water, and a scant half saltspoonful of cream of tartar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, but not a minute longer. As it boils, a thin scum of crystals will form around the edge of the pan. These must be wiped away by wetting a cloth or brush in water and passing it around the dish without touching the boiling sugar. This must be done frequently, or as often as the crystals form, or the whole mass will become granular. When large bubbles rise it must be carefully watched and tested, as from this time it quickly passes from one stage to another. Have a cup of ice-water and a skewer or small stick; dip it into the water, then into the sugar, and again into the water. If the sugar which adheres to it can be rolled into a soft ball, it is done. This is the stage of small-ball, and the thermometer registers 236°-238° (see page 512). Have ready a marble slab, very lightly but evenly rubbed over with sweet-oil. If a slab is not at hand, a large platter will serve the purpose. The moment the sugar is done, pour it over the slab and let it cool a few minutes, or until, pressing it with the finger, it leaves a dent on the surface. If stirred while too warm it will grain. If a crust forms, every particle of it must be taken off, or else the boiling must be done again, as it shows it has cooked a little too long. When it will dent, work it with a wooden spatula, keeping the mass in the center as much as possible. Continue to stir until it becomes a very smooth, fine, white, creamy paste, which is soft and not brittle and can be worked in the hands like a thick paste. If the results are not right and the mass becomes grained, the sugar need not be wasted, but can be put in the saucepan with a spoonful of water and boiled again. In stirring the fondant do not mix in the scrapings unless the whole is still very soft. They can be worked by themselves afterward. Confectioners use one part of glucose to ten of sugar and boil to 240°.