Fondant a la Grec - a delicious sugar Submarine

Jun 26, 2013

As a kid there were three sweets that I loved most, all of them made with sugar and water: cotton candy usually found on during festivals, lemon flavored candies found just about everywhere, and  a vanilla soft fondant served on a teaspoon dipped in a glass of ice cold water. Because it was submerged in water, we called it submarine (ipovrichio in Greek).

Summers in Greece are hot, so it is quite usual to take a nap for an hour after lunch until the hottest part of the day has passed. I never liked sleeping during the day, especially during school holidays when free time is plentiful but never enough. The only thing that could keep me in bed for an hour was the promise of sweets when the adults would have their coffee after the siesta. There were no ice creams in the little village where our cottage was so unless mom made chocolate mosaico for me, submarine was my favorite alternative..
This sweet was always store bought and it came in vanilla or mastic flavor; I had never heard of anyone actually making it at home. A few days ago when I found myself missing the taste of  ''submarine'' I did some research on the internet and  looked in my cooking books for a recipe and I found two versions, one with  corn syrup  and one with honey, and I tried both. I used fresh strawberry juice as a natural flavoring. When I tasted them, it all came back to me: childhood mid summer afternoons!

You will need a candy or cooking thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, you could experiment by cooking the mixture for 25 min from the moment it starts boiling, but it might turn a bit softer or a bit harder than it should be.

Ipovrichio – Submarine

Vanilla flavor:

480gr granulated sugar
250gr water
1Tbsp corn syrup
1Tbsp lemon juice
vanilla flavoring

Combine the sugar, syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring
occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves, and cover the pan for 5 minutes to allow the sugar to wash down the sides. Uncover the pan, add lemon juice and vanilla to taste, and clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan (being certain that the tip of the thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan ); cook the mixture to 115 C degrees. Total cooking time for the batch falls between 20 and 25 minutes.
 Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into a heat proof bowl.
Let fondant cool down at room temperature to 40C. 
  Then place the fondant mixture in a bowl and work with a wooden spatula until it becomes opaque,  
 place the fondant mixture in your mixer bowl and, with the hook attachment, let it mix until opaque.
You can store it in a glass or plastic storage container at room temperature for six to eight months.
Serve a teaspoonful of ''submarine'' in a glass full of ice cold water.

Strawberry flavor made with honey:

480gr granulated sugar
125gr water
125gr fresh strawberry juice
1Tbsp honey

Combine the sugar, honey, water and strawberry juice in a medium sized saucepan.
Follow the instructions above, the same way you would make vanilla fondant. 
Keep in mind that honey makes a softer fondant than corn syrup.


  1. I didn't grow up in Greece, but I remember on my first trip there to meet relatives when I was a child I was introduced to mastic submarine :) Do they still make submarine with mastic?

    I love the pretty colours of your submarines and your story about sweets after siesta :)

  2. Thank you Lisa.They do make mastic submarine nowadays too, since its the original Greek flavor, but kids are familiar with vanilla and so was I ;)

  3. Thank you so much for this. My husband is Greek and recently inrtroduced me to this vanilla fondant and he got me hooked! Unfortunately, it's very hard to find and very expensive here, so I did some research and up popped this page :) I'm so happy to have found it, knowing I can share one of my husbands favourite past times with our daughter :)