Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fondarific Fondant Review part 3-- Is it Duff?

This was going to be the review of the sculpting chocolate and gumpaste, but I'll save that for tomorrow. The burning question now is whether Fondarific and Duff fondant are the same. And the heat issue from the last part of this review.

I spoke to Laura from Fondarific about the issue of how it stands up in the heat. She said that they tested it by putting a Fondarific-covered cake in a car with the windows rolled up during the summer, with shades up to block the direct sunlight. The temperature of the car got up to 110-115 degrees (43 to 46 Celsius) and the cake was fine. It was when they put it in direct sunlight that it was affected. So if you're out in the heat but under a tent you'll be fine, just don't put the cake in direct UV rays. She also said that if it gets too soft when you're working with it, just let it sit for a few minutes and it will stiffen up again.

Fondarific Ingredients
And now, on to the intrigue...

(First, all of the conclusions that I've drawn from comparing these two fondants are my own opinions. Laura couldn't confirm or deny the specifics of the formulas or any licensing agreements that may or may not exist, for obvious business reasons. So take what I'm going to say as my own opinion and not as proprietary information that I have access to. Because I don't have access to that.)

In my review of Duff fondant I mentioned that I'd been told that Duff is the same as Fondarific, just relabelled. Doing a little research on the subject makes it pretty clear that this is accepted as true...BUT IS IT???

Well, check the ingredients lists first: they're not the same. They're similar, but not the same. The proportions are different even when the ingredients are the same.
Duff fondant ingredients

Duff's label goes so far as to say that the primary ingredient is "compound coating," which I'd guess is another name for candy clay. That's going to be pretty obvious to anyone who's worked with candy clay before as soon as you take it out of the container, though.

Anyone who's added a tiny amount of tylose to fondant knows how a little bit of a gum can stiffen the fondant, so with the proportions of ingredients being different, you'd expect some handling differences. And you definitely get that.

The Duff fondant is definitely stiffer and less pliable. When I used it the last time it took FOR-EV-ER to soften it up enough to roll it, and it was the same this time. The Fondarific was stiff to begin with but softened up quickly. The Duff brand stayed stiffer and never really softened up as much.

The Duff brand was also harder to roll out and I was reminded that another name for candy clay is "chocolate plastic" while I was rolling it. It has a more plastic texture than Fondarific, and it doesn't have as good a mouth feel because of that.

Both fondants rolled out without ripping and were easy to mend, but the Duff was harder to roll out as thin as the Fondarific, and it tore less when I abused both by stretching them out. It was more elastic but not in a good way.

Flavor and smell-wise, the Fondarific smells like a butter-type fragrance. The Duff fondant smells more coconut-y and less buttery.

The Fondarific just tasted better. It was a combination of the flavor and the softer texture that seemed to have a lower melting point, so it wasn't as chewy as the Duff brand.

Basically, the Fondarific was softer, tasted better,  and had a better mouth feel. If you're choosing between the two, Fondarific was better for eating purposes. Which, after all, is what it should be for.

In my opinion, then, the two aren't the same. They're similar, but not the same. You'd definitely have a preference of one over the other if you tried them, the differences are noticeable enough.

NEXT time...gumpaste and sculpting chocolate.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA

1 comment:

  1. I think the Duff is delish!!! Smells wonderful, too. A friend and I worked on a cake together, and she bought it. I think it was the buttercream flavor. It tasted like vanilla tootsie rolls. I don't like the taste of fondariffic, at all. I got a sample pack of all the flavors, and they are chemically and play dohy. I always use MFF, myself, but due to the time it takes to make, I keep marshmallows around, in a pinch.