In Australia it is known as Plastic Icing. The term plastic is a good description - according to the dictionary it means supple and pliable, exactly how it is. Other names used are fondant icing (real fondant is melted and poured over cakes) rolled fondant, satin icing, mallow paste, moulded icing and gelatine icing.
The icing can be made at home, and the ingredients include egg white, liquid glucose, icing sugar and gelatine. Liquid glucose will keep the paste pliable and gelatine allows it to stretch. Sugar-paste has many uses. It can be used for modelling figures, flowers and leaves. It can be crimped (marked with a tool, rather like a pair of tweezers) smocked, embossed, draped and used to make edible frills. Also by softening it with a few drops of water, or egg white, it can be piped. So as you can see it is a very versatile icing.
However, its main use is still as a coating for cakes.
1 tabsp gelatine: 1/4 cup water,
1/2 cup glucose
1 tabsp glycerine
2 lbs pure icing sugar
For smaller quantity half or quarter the amounts
Sprinkle gelatine in cup with water and let it dissolve slowly...or very carefully slightly warm in micro oven.
combie glucose and glycerine add the melted gelatine...mix well ,then sift in the pure icing sugar a little at a time.
Sift some of the remaining 1/2 pound of sugar onto a clean work surface. Any leftover sugar can be added back into the fondant mixture, as needed.
Knead the fondant. Turn the fondant onto the powdered work surface and knead until it forms a smooth, pliable mass, adding more sugar if necessary.
. Place the wrapped fondant in a tightly sealed container to stop it from drying out. The fondant will last for approximately six days, if kept in the refrigerator.