Combine sugar, cream or milk, syrup, half of butter, (and salt) in (Heavy) pan. Place over (medium) heat and stir constantly until mixture begins to boil. (Make sure all of the sugar crystals are dissolved before mixture comes to a boil. Wash down the sides of the pan with pastry brush and water to remove any sugar crystals.) Keep boiling rapidly (no longer stirring) until fondant reaches soft ball stage. (228° F using a candy thermometer.) Drop rest of butter into hot syrup. Cool as rapidly as possible by sitting pan in cold water, or any cold place. (The best method of cooling the syrup is to pour mixture on a clean heat resistant surface.)
Let cool thoroughly until mixture feels cold to touch. Beat until mixture becomes thick and loses its gloss. (You can beat it by hand, but the modern way to do it is to put the mixture in a stand mixer such as a kitchen aid or bosch and beat it with the dough hook. It's less labor intensive that way!) Then place in a tightly covered container until ready to dip.
Basic Water Fondant uses the same recipe and method replacing the milk or cream with hot water.
Flavorings: Any of the basic flavorings can be added to the basic cream fondant. Orange and mint flavoring should be added to the basic water fondant.
Bavarian mint is made by adding 1/2 cup of melted dipping chocolate and mint extract just as fondant is about to turn.
Note: You can make a larger batch by increasing the sugar to 6 cups and the milk or cream to 2 cups. Don't try to make it any larger than that.
228° Is the temperature Grandma used while living in Bountiful, Utah. When we lived in Houston, Texas (Sea Level) I had to boil it to 236°. Keep that in mind depending on where you live.
(Boiled Icing is the same recipe boiling to 226°. You can add a few drops of color when beating.)