Sugarpaste - all of these products can be used to cover cakes
Is a paste made from sugar & glucose and is used to cover cakes. It comes in white usually and you can use food colours in it.
Simple so far, but - different manufacturers give it different names and it's known by different names in other countries.
Americans (and posh people) tend to call it 'Fondant'.
You'll see people telling you to only use this paste or that paste - it's personal preference to a point.
The supermarkets' own brands tend to use the cheaper Xanthan gum (E415), which I find gives a slippery, wet texture to the paste.
The better brands use the more expensive GumTrag (E413) which gives a firmer and easier to work with texture to the paste.
Some, like Covapaste use a mixture of both gums.
Like I say, it's a matter of personal preference but I don't like using pastes which contain only Xanthan gum.
A. Yes you can, but honestly life's too short ! Buy it ready-made and go do something more interesting instead :-)
Technically, it's not 'Fondant' icing.
Fondant (comes from the French word for 'melted') is the type of icing you melt and dip cakes into - think Mr Kipling Fondant Fancies
Store in a cool, dry place.
Once opened, wrap any unused icing in polythene (food bags) to prevent it drying out. Don't refrigerate.