Hi all. New to this site and hoping I can get some good advice. This is long, so sorry in advance. I just want you all to have the whole picture.
I've got a few years experience in a high end custom cake shop in New England and feel very confident about my baking skills and pretty good about my decorating. I've moved to Costa Rica and have been hired by local event planners to do some wedding cake work. Unfortunately, my first few attempts were very rough - it's so hot and humid here. I literally live in a rainforest. Nothing can go in the fridge because it sweats so much when it comes out - even in a/c. I'm used to everything being kept cold - sooo much easier!
So, my guess is that most of my recipes must just be too soft for this environment - when I cover with fondant, the weight smushes the cake down - so it's not as tall as it should be and the sides show the layer ridges. I've found out that most bakers here use multiple layers of fondant and do not frost the outside of the cake first, since it will likely all just melt and slide down the sides. I've tried a second layer of fondant and the extra weight just makes the problem worse.
So, what's a girl to do? I'm so picky about flavor and texture - after all a cake's first function should be to taste good. Do I have to abandon my delicious recipes and go for things that are less tasty, but more structurally sound? And frosting - I don't want to say goodbye to buttercream with actual butter, but maybe it just isn't an option here.
I've baked and decorated cakes on hot humid summer days back home, but it's nothing like this. Is anyone on here working in a tropical environment - and if so, would you be willing to share some recipes that have worked for you? ANY advice would be welcomed.
PLEASE help me! I want to keep doing what I love in this place that I love, but I'm struggling!
Hi and Welcome to CC, bluemorpho.
Decoding CC acronyms:
Butter buttercreams don't hold up well outside in the Midwest heat & humidity, either!
Here are a few shortening based b/c recipes that might work for you:
There are tons of fondant recipes on CC:
Marzipan or marzipan/fondant combo:
Chocolate/Milk chocolate/white chocolate plastique:
Try PMing paolacaracas, she's a super nice & helpful CCer and she lives in Venezuela, so I imagine she has the same conditions to deal with!
Thanks so much for the quick responses!
JanH - thanks for the welcome and the newbie info. I'll try some of those frosting recipes - I'm happy with my fondant recipe from the shop I used to work at, but we NEVER made any frosting that wasn't butter based. So delicious, but obviously not well suited to life outside of New England - I didn't know how spoiled I was up there!!!
bonjovibabe - thanks for the referral - I'll definitely try contacting paolacaracas - I'm sure she'll understand my location issues!