Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

 

I live in Bombay, India - HOT and HUMID (very humid). The buttercream i make is the Magnolia Bakery recipe. I ice the cake and have to keep popping it into the fridge every few minutes else it gets all runny/gooey. I have tried making it stiff with more icing sugar-  but that just makes it difficult to spread on the cake. So - i end up serving only cold cakes. Which is OK for the home - but i have (accidentally) started a small out-of-my-kitchen made to order cake biz and It gets difficult when i have to make for others. Wilton recommends a buttercream recipe for high humidity places - but that used veg. shortening/crisco - which is not available in India. the veg shortening that you do get does not mention anything about trans fats - so i'm sure it has them. I don't want to use stuff loaded with trans fats.

 

My bigger problem is with fondant. For this I use the Michele Foster recipe. I always have to use more than twice the amount of icing sugar she recommends to make it usable. else it's waay too sticky and un-rollable. I first refrigerate the cake to make it easier to cut. then i crumb-coat it and ice it with buttercream. Refrigerate it again. After this i roll out the fondant and cover the cake. The fondant immediately becomes all gooey, shiny, sweaty and tacky :(. I cannot make anything which is 3D as it wont stand up. It's only flat/cut-out stuff that i can lay on the cake. If i leave the cake out - the fondant begins to sag and get super tacky/sticky. If i refrigerate it - the moment it comes out - it starts to sweat and gets the same way. What can i do about this problem? Any and every bit of help would be appreciated. Any alternate recipe which works for those of you who live in hot and humid climes?

 

Thanks for your patience to read this. Since i'm entirely self taught - i have all sorts of problems :D

 

PS: I cannot use SMBC or IMBC - cos most people do not want eggs in anything. So i specialise in eggless cakes and frostings.

Views: 12477

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Kamini,

 

Okay, a couple things that might help...

 

1) shortening - the "worse" the fats listed in the shortening - the better it is for Buttercream. And here's why...It emulsifies better. That is to say that the liquids (water or milk) will be suspended in a more homogeneous way within the fat and therefore will smooth and "hold up" better under gravity and humidity.  Yes, it's not the most healthy, but cake is not eaten everyday, so a small serving of this one day a year will not kill anyone.

 

Crisco is actually terrible for buttercream because they have changed their ratio of fats and there isn't as much 'bad' fat in it anymore so it doesn't emulsify as well.  I usually try an off brand kind and also use real butter with it. My recipe that I use (one from Wilton) is: (I usually at least double this recipe.  Sometimes 6 times this!)

 

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup real unsalted butter (softened to room temp)

4 cups (1 lbs) powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tsp vanilla

 

I mix the butter and shortening with the vanilla first and just beat the heck out of it until it is completely smooth (no lumps of either shortening or butter). I use my whisk beater.  Then I switch to the paddle stule beater and  slowly add the sugar.  Add the milk as close to the end as you can (depending on how well it's mixing.  depending on humidity it may need a bit of milk as you go in order to not stop up your mixer). Mix on low speed until well mixed, scraping the sides and bottom every so often.

 

This recipe is great because:

A) it crusts over after about 10 minutes or so. Then you can take a Viva paper towel (or wax paper) and smooth out any bumps or marks in your frosting.

 

B) since it has butter in it, so it will harden up when you put it in the fridge. So if you need to do a second coat, it's a lot easier to apply to a cold, firmer cake. Also, when putting on fondant, a firm cake is easier to deal with.

 

Now - on to fondant....

 

I don't know if you have Wilton products there, but Wilton's fondant (although not great tasting) is pretty easy to work with and is firm when it sets up - which might be nice given your climate.  I live in a humid region also and this fondant will still set up firmly for me.

 

The other thing I would suggest, is, whatever fondant you use, you can add a little Tylose or Gum Tex (wilton product) and this will help it dry firmer and stronger.

 

Also, one other bit of advice, I wouldn't leave your cake in the fridge TOO long ( I usually only leave a cake in the fridge about half an hour to a full hour before applying fondant).  If it's in there a long time and is REALLY cold, it will gather a lot of condensation (water) on it and if that is under your fondant, that might explain your melting, sagging fondant. It may simply be getting moist from condensation.  Basically you want your cake cold enough to handle for the 15 minutes you apply fondant, but not so cold it is very far away from room temp and gathers moisture. 

 

I hope that makes sense and something in all this is helpful. I don't know what is available to you there.  Are you able to shop by internet? There are lots of wonderful products out there online. Perhaps some online shopping is in order? :0)

 

Let me know if you have other questions or need something I wrote clarified.  Take care. Carla

Does the Magnolia recipe use butter?  If it does, you would be better doing a search for an icing that is shortening only.  Or try your recipe with shortening in p lace of the butter and add in some butter flavor and maybe some more vanilla to help with the flavor.  Ditto Carla that transfats are good for icing.  Another thing would be to see if you can get high ratio shortening from a restaurant supply store.  I have read that is even better than regular shortening for heat.  I don't work with fondant but I think your fondant problem will be solved once you get an icing that isn't melty at room temp.  Fondant and refrigeration causes condensation and other problems.  So I would focus on the buttercream before you change up the fondant too much.

Hello Kamini.

 

I live in the Philippines which is just as hot and humid where you are. Regarding your questions:

1. You could ask your local bakeshop/bakery supply wholesaler if they have the no-melt butter on hand. I can't tell you what brand it is since I do not use it myself.

2. Buttercream is usually not used to crumbcoat a cake over here because of the weather. Some brush karo syrup over the cake, others spritz a mix of sugar syrup and flavoring  with no need to refrigerate the cake unless it needs to be sculpted.

3. try using an australian fondant recipe, I find that they work better for our kind of climate. I only add tylose at the ratio of 1tsp to a pound of fondant if I need to do figures and stuff

Hope this helps

Crumbcoating is fine. Thinly applied and just to even out the surface.

Icing it with buttercream is a purely American thing that is not necessary.

To make the sugarpaste adhere to the cake, use sugar syrup, sieved boiled jam, or just boiled water.

 

Which Michele Foster recipe are you using ? the original has been updated. It is also noted that hot humid climates need heaps more icing sugar which makes it  harder. I wouldn't use it.

 

This is an example of an Australian Sugarpaste. It works well and, as Sarah says, add a bit of tylose or CMC to stiffen it a bit if necessary.

Sugarpaste - Makes 1kg
4 teaspoons gelatine in 60 ml cold water
1 tablespoon glycerine 
125 ml liquid glucose
1 kg icing sugar
Sprinkle gelatine over the cold water.
Leave 5 minutes to soften.
Over hot water,stir until dissolved.
Add the liquid glucose and glycerine, stirring until well blended and runny.
Put the icing sugar in a large bowl. Make a well and slowly pour in liquid ingredients, stirring. Mix well.
Turn out on to a surface dusted with icing sugar and knead until smooth. The paste can be used immediately or tightly wrapped and stored in a plastic bag until required.

 

A boiled icing [US 7-minute icing] stands the heat well ..

I agree with all the previous post about using shortening, and also agree that they most likely wont be eating cake every day (hopefully not!) so most of the time you can get away with using something unhealthy for a special occasion.  I live in Canada and most, if not all the bakers I know and myself included always crumb coat with buttercream.  For me, I like the taste of having icing underneath the fondant so when you bite into it you're not just tasting fondant and then cake, it's almost like the fondant melts into the icing... yummy!  Here's my fondant recipe I use every time and it works out great.  But it does also depend on where you live and the humidity levels play a big roll as well.  http://www.easy-cake-decorating.com/fondant.html  Hopefully this helps!  Leigh

My only advice was to agree with everyone else about the unhealthy fat - it's cake - it's not supposed to be healthy.  Get past that and use a proper recipe made for high humidity climates.

Sorry for responding to late to all your wonderful replies and help... I've been a bit busy and didn't have time to look at all the responses in detail... Will respond to each of you now..

Carla  -you're amazing and so kind to take so much trouble to help me and explain stuff to me. It is npt easy to get a lot of the stuff you mention. For eg. in this HUGE city we live in - there is ONE shop that sells most of the baking products that people require. Isn't that amazing :(. You get the very common stuff in most stores but for anything specialised - i have to travel 40km away to that store and even he doesn't stock a lot of the stuff you all talk about.

 

Your advice about leaving the cake in the fridge with fondant on it or even before putting on the fondant is very relevant - except that the other icing just melts if i don't have it in the fridge :(. This weekend i made some buttercream which to my amazement crusted except that it crusted too much. After a while it became brittle and even at room temperature it was just breaking into little crumbs when anyone bit into the cake. If it's not one thing - it's the other :(.

 

What i really need to do is find a professional who will share their tips and tricks with me. Someone who works/lives far enough away from me - not to consider me as competition :D That would really really help me. Someone who knows how to get around the weather and the locally available supplies.


Cakes By Carla said:

Hi Kamini,

 

Okay, a couple things that might help...

 

1) shortening - the "worse" the fats listed in the shortening - the better it is for Buttercream. And here's why...It emulsifies better. That is to say that the liquids (water or milk) will be suspended in a more homogeneous way within the fat and therefore will smooth and "hold up" better under gravity and humidity.  Yes, it's not the most healthy, but cake is not eaten everyday, so a small serving of this one day a year will not kill anyone.

 

Crisco is actually terrible for buttercream because they have changed their ratio of fats and there isn't as much 'bad' fat in it anymore so it doesn't emulsify as well.  I usually try an off brand kind and also use real butter with it. My recipe that I use (one from Wilton) is: (I usually at least double this recipe.  Sometimes 6 times this!)

 

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup real unsalted butter (softened to room temp)

4 cups (1 lbs) powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tsp vanilla

 

I mix the butter and shortening with the vanilla first and just beat the heck out of it until it is completely smooth (no lumps of either shortening or butter). I use my whisk beater.  Then I switch to the paddle stule beater and  slowly add the sugar.  Add the milk as close to the end as you can (depending on how well it's mixing.  depending on humidity it may need a bit of milk as you go in order to not stop up your mixer). Mix on low speed until well mixed, scraping the sides and bottom every so often.

 

This recipe is great because:

A) it crusts over after about 10 minutes or so. Then you can take a Viva paper towel (or wax paper) and smooth out any bumps or marks in your frosting.

 

B) since it has butter in it, so it will harden up when you put it in the fridge. So if you need to do a second coat, it's a lot easier to apply to a cold, firmer cake. Also, when putting on fondant, a firm cake is easier to deal with.

 

Now - on to fondant....

 

I don't know if you have Wilton products there, but Wilton's fondant (although not great tasting) is pretty easy to work with and is firm when it sets up - which might be nice given your climate.  I live in a humid region also and this fondant will still set up firmly for me.

 

The other thing I would suggest, is, whatever fondant you use, you can add a little Tylose or Gum Tex (wilton product) and this will help it dry firmer and stronger.

 

Also, one other bit of advice, I wouldn't leave your cake in the fridge TOO long ( I usually only leave a cake in the fridge about half an hour to a full hour before applying fondant).  If it's in there a long time and is REALLY cold, it will gather a lot of condensation (water) on it and if that is under your fondant, that might explain your melting, sagging fondant. It may simply be getting moist from condensation.  Basically you want your cake cold enough to handle for the 15 minutes you apply fondant, but not so cold it is very far away from room temp and gathers moisture. 

 

I hope that makes sense and something in all this is helpful. I don't know what is available to you there.  Are you able to shop by internet? There are lots of wonderful products out there online. Perhaps some online shopping is in order? :0)

 

Let me know if you have other questions or need something I wrote clarified.  Take care. Carla

Thanks so much for your response Denette. Yes- the Magnolia recipe uses butter. There is only one form of shortening we get here (i am assuming shortening is hydrogenated vegetable oils - maybe i'm way off the mark here) - it is called 'dalda' or 'vanaspati' i think i should buy a  small quantity of it and try it in the icing. Maybe it works or maybe the taste is too distinctive to be part of icing :(. As i explained to Carla above - it is not possible to get a lot of the stuff you all mention here.

denette lynch said:
Does the Magnolia recipe use butter?  If it does, you would be better doing a search for an icing that is shortening only.  Or try your recipe with shortening in p lace of the butter and add in some butter flavor and maybe some more vanilla to help with the flavor.  Ditto Carla that transfats are good for icing.  Another thing would be to see if you can get high ratio shortening from a restaurant supply store.  I have read that is even better than regular shortening for heat.  I don't work with fondant but I think your fondant problem will be solved once you get an icing that isn't melty at room temp.  Fondant and refrigeration causes condensation and other problems.  So I would focus on the buttercream before you change up the fondant too much.
Thanks so much Sarah. It helps that you have similar climate and speak from experience. I like to have buttercream under the fondant - because a lot of people don't like the highly sugary taste of fondant - so they just peel it off and eat the cake - then i like that there should be some icing for them to enjoy when they bite into the cake. I shall try to get this tyolse powder that you and a couple of others have mentioned. Maybe that will solve a lot of the problems. I shall also try to find the Australian fondant recipe you mention. 

sarah berdon said:

Hello Kamini.

 

I live in the Philippines which is just as hot and humid where you are. Regarding your questions:

1. You could ask your local bakeshop/bakery supply wholesaler if they have the no-melt butter on hand. I can't tell you what brand it is since I do not use it myself.

2. Buttercream is usually not used to crumbcoat a cake over here because of the weather. Some brush karo syrup over the cake, others spritz a mix of sugar syrup and flavoring  with no need to refrigerate the cake unless it needs to be sculpted.

3. try using an australian fondant recipe, I find that they work better for our kind of climate. I only add tylose at the ratio of 1tsp to a pound of fondant if I need to do figures and stuff

Hope this helps

Thanks so much Suziq. For all the helpful hints and the recipe. I'm surely going to try this one out at the earliest. I was using the updated recipe of Michele foster's and you're right about needing too much icing sugar - i end up needing twice as much as is mentioned in the recipe :(.

 

Does the US-7-minute recipe have eggs? If it does-it's ruled out. Too many people in India that don't eat eggs.



suziq auzzi said:

Crumbcoating is fine. Thinly applied and just to even out the surface.

Icing it with buttercream is a purely American thing that is not necessary.

To make the sugarpaste adhere to the cake, use sugar syrup, sieved boiled jam, or just boiled water.

 

Which Michele Foster recipe are you using ? the original has been updated. It is also noted that hot humid climates need heaps more icing sugar which makes it  harder. I wouldn't use it.

 

This is an example of an Australian Sugarpaste. It works well and, as Sarah says, add a bit of tylose or CMC to stiffen it a bit if necessary.

Sugarpaste - Makes 1kg
4 teaspoons gelatine in 60 ml cold water
1 tablespoon glycerine 
125 ml liquid glucose
1 kg icing sugar
Sprinkle gelatine over the cold water.
Leave 5 minutes to soften.
Over hot water,stir until dissolved.
Add the liquid glucose and glycerine, stirring until well blended and runny.
Put the icing sugar in a large bowl. Make a well and slowly pour in liquid ingredients, stirring. Mix well.
Turn out on to a surface dusted with icing sugar and knead until smooth. The paste can be used immediately or tightly wrapped and stored in a plastic bag until required.

 

A boiled icing [US 7-minute icing] stands the heat well ..

Thanks a ton. I too like that there should be icing below the Fondant. As it is  - i personally don't like the taste of fondant. Too sugary for me. So - i prefer to peel it off and enjoy the cake and buttercream :D

 

I shall try making your fondant recipe soon and see if it stands up to the humidity here :)

 



shuswapcakes said:

I agree with all the previous post about using shortening, and also agree that they most likely wont be eating cake every day (hopefully not!) so most of the time you can get away with using something unhealthy for a special occasion.  I live in Canada and most, if not all the bakers I know and myself included always crumb coat with buttercream.  For me, I like the taste of having icing underneath the fondant so when you bite into it you're not just tasting fondant and then cake, it's almost like the fondant melts into the icing... yummy!  Here's my fondant recipe I use every time and it works out great.  But it does also depend on where you live and the humidity levels play a big roll as well.  http://www.easy-cake-decorating.com/fondant.html  Hopefully this helps!  Leigh

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Theresa Happe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service