Ah, the glorious summer! Lazy days spent lounging, munching on mangoes and watermelons or frolicking around the pool. Summer is indeed a great season when the world seems to slow down a bit. Well, there is the other side of summer too – soaring temperatures, hot, sticky outdoors.
And not to forget the woes of the cake decorator – Drooping fondant figurines, melting buttercream, bleeding colours. The anxieties of the cake designer are many, especially during summer. While it’s impossible to fast forward through the season magically, here are some tricks and hacks, which can help you, tackle those sultry hot days.
Bypassing the Sweltering Effect of summer
Even during normal weather, some fillings and decorations are more susceptible to heat when compared to others. So, try to avoid particular ingredients during summer. So, instead of custards, you can choose to have a fruit filling or fruit infused buttercream. This not only withstands the heat but is refreshing.
Also, try to avoid frostings that require refrigeration like whipped cream, ganache and cream cheese frostings. Mostly, bakers prefer either fondant or buttercream during the hot, summer months of April to June.
Now, we come to the biggest frosting conundrum – Buttercream or Fondant during summer?
When it comes to withstanding heat, fondant which is lower in fat when compared to buttercream and has stabilising ingredients like gelatin tends to hold up better during summer. However, with the tricks mentioned here, you can make use of either fondant or buttercream for your cakes.
Here are a few smart hacks that will help you to get perfect fondant even as the mercury rises.
• Keep the cake in a cool, dry place, if possible in an air-conditioned hall at the venue to prevent shapes from drooping and bleeding colours.
• The summer is not the right time to try out delicate shapes and figurines. Instead, opt for sturdy decorating elements.
Now, if you want to head the Buttercream route,
You must try to stabilise the icing by making changes to your original recipe.
• Substitute a part of the butter with shortening to prevent it from melting rapidly.
• Or add some starch like cornstarch to the icing. Around two tbsp for every 3 cups of icing.
Other stabilising agents are melted marshmallows, meringue powder or milk powder. These not only stabilise the icing, but also add a unique flavour.
On a parallel note, several of these tricks work well even on whipped cream frosting. Yet, it isn’t advisable to use whipped cream (fresh cream) on hot days. If you wish to do so, then you must proceed with extra caution. Even after adding these stabilising agents, whipped cream is very sensitive to heat. So, refrigerate the cake up until the time of serving.
Have these tips under your sleeve, when you set out to frost your summer delicacies. But, remember that even the most thought out and planned creation could fall victim to the soaring temperatures. So, if possible keep your cakes in the refrigerator and take them out only at the time of serving. When storing outdoors, never place it under direct heat. Once, you have cut the cake, make sure to refrigerate the leftovers.
Hope this guide helps you to navigate the sweltering summer and emerge as the victorious baker!
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