I'm making a three tier cake for a 50th birthday. I made and froze the cakes a couple of days ago. Today I filled and covered them with white chocolate ganache. Then covered them with fondant. It was the first time I've used white choc ganache and I was quite surprised by how soft it was; it didn't seem to set nearly as hard as the dark choc ganache.
Anyway, I chilled the cakes after ganaching and before putting on fondant. That was a few hours ago and since then they've been sat out with a fan on them. It is really hot here today 34C (96F). I haven't put the AC on becuase it's evaporative and makes it quite humid inside and I've read here on CC that fondant + humidity = disaster. And I didn't put them in the fridge for the same reason.
Well, it looks like I have my disaster anyway. One side of one tier has bulged out and torn. I thought (still do) that it was a giant air bubble under the fondant and when I tried to pierce it with a needle it tore!!
AAaarrgghh! What do I do now? It's not going to completely ruin the cake because one side is still OK and that will be the front and it's going to have decorations all around anyway. I just want to know what went wrong? Can it be fixed?
I think I've managed to attach the pics I took. You can see how bulged and rounded it is on one side!!
You had a blowout, likely caused by an air bubble, or perhaps due to the cake settling.
Air conditioning works by EXPORTING the humidity inside of your house to make it cooler. When you run the air conditioner, you are REMOVING humidity from your home.
I live in Texas where summer days typically reach 100 degrees and I think I would be DEAD if it was that hot outside and I was not running the air conditioner. How can you even function?
Here are my thought on what could go wrong:
The white ganache recipe - what is the proportion of chocolate to cream you used? With the dark chocolate it can be a 1.5:1 but with white chocolate you should use a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio. Did you let the ganache set in bowl? White chocolate ganache is best left for full 24 hours - it gets thick as butter, you can spread it with knife and get it smooth with hot spatula.
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
The white choc ganache was 3:1 and I made it a few days ago, so I don't think it's that.
My air con is evaporative which is what I think in the States you call "swamp cooler' because it does increase the humidity inside the house. It can be 29% outside and 76% inside when it's on (I checked it the other day)
So now..... it there anything I can do to fix this cake?
Try carefully your cake where the bulge was. Is the ganache very soft under the fondant or was it really only air bubble? The later is easier to correct.
I assume you have some of the colored fondant left. Soften piece of it in MW till it has very soft, glue like consistency, smooth this side again, getting the tear to close.
Using the warmed, softened fondant glue it together best you can. It should be very soft so you can smooth it with the finger over this tear. Let it cool and harden and smooth carefully over it again. It will be slightly visible, but should be much better.
What fondant did you use? It could be perfectly fine in fridge and would do your work much easier. Do you have simple air fan? I would use it instead or with the AC, get the air moving around the cake. It will cool the cake itself, and the fondant won't sweat as easily.
I here you with the heat - I am also in Oz and I had a caramel mud this week and made a caramel ganache - this is using white chocolate and it is much softer than the dark chocolate ganache and the heat does not help.
We have just had a huge storm hit in Sydney - hopefully you are also in Syd and the temperature has now dropped about 10 - 12 degrees for you.
The icing to me looks like it has set and if you try and smooth it back in it might look crackly all over - is it an option to re-cover it?
Hey Emma - it's weird that it tore like that when you used the pin! Am watching purely for educational purposes, it's been a few hours, how did you go?
Can you slice it and mend it that way?
Hey everyone. Thanks for your replies. Kim, I'm not in Sydney, I'm in Canberra and the temp has dropped a little but it's going to be another hot one tomorrow (34 forecast).
I decided to take the coward's way out: cover it with fondant details and ignore it! I've obviously made that side the back of the cake and although I can tell my DH just told me that it's not that noticeable (perhaps he's just being kind). I'll take another photo in the morning and show you all how it looks now - nowhere near perfect but probably passable in the context of the whole cake.
I comtemplated slicing that section out, but Lauren was right, it had hardened quite a lot so I knew that any repair was going to be very obvious.
The client knows I'm just starting out and I know she won't be a b*tch about it.
Thanks again everyone for your help.
Can you lift the bottom edge with the tip of a knife and press the side down toward the bottom of the tier? You could cut the bottom edge level once the extra fondant is smoothed down.
. Kim, I'm not in Sydney, I'm in Canberra and the temp has dropped a little but it's going to be another hot one tomorrow (34 forecast).
After I posted my reply to you I realised who you were and knew you were in canberra - sorry about that
I hope your cake turned out well - I am sure it will look great - post the pic so we can have a look - I am sure you are worried over nothing
I always have a flaw or two ( or 3,4,5,6,7,8....) on my cakes and I try to see them as challenges for my creativity and decoration skills . On the other hand I always come up with my design as I go so that sort of helps.....
Really hope your cake turned out good and would love to see pics
depending on what kind of fondant you are using, you might be able to spackle it !
this is what I do....
mix some vodka with powdered sugar to make a icing that is the consistancy of maple syrup... THEN i put some on a dish with some very small cut up peices of fondant and with a knife I kinda mix it up so that I have a thick mortar- I then with my finger fill in the cracks with this mixture and with small light circular movements sorta smoth it as I "spackle it".. then i use a steamer over it, just lightly and it the surrounding areas to make it blend... I wait for it to dry before going any further with the cake.
I use fondarific mostly, so I am not sure how this would work with other fondants.... and I roll out my fondarific with Crisco when i cover a cake vs. powdered sugar..... ( not sure if that is useful info or not)
You might want to consider poking a small hole in each layer so no more blow outs appear--like in the back--I use a hat pin.
Hey Emma, just thought I'd join the drama - I just had my first blow out today too! (Must be catching! ) I finished my baby shower cake at 2am, got up this morning and took all my pics, all good! Left the cake in the coolest room of the house and went out for the day. 15mins before pick up, I put the cake in the box look at the back and there was a massive bulge in the fondant. My cracks were vertical and there were about 4! I decided to chance it, stuck a toothpick into one crack to release the air and managed to ease it all back down! Not perfect, but.......
It must be the weather - what are we gonna do in January??!!
Not sure exactly but I think it comes down to extremes of temperature, fridge to 34c is quite a shock!
White chocolate ganache is much softer than the dark anyway and a pain to use in hot weather - I try to avoid using it in summer as I don't have air con in the kitchen.
Well, the cake has been delivered and the client was extremely happy wiht it. I didn't point out to her that one side was a big bulgey and the cracks had been covered with details anyway. I was going to tell her about it but decided not to.
Lauren I hope yours turned out OK too.
I think I've decided that I'm not going to do white choc ganache in summer anymore, it's just too soft.
One good thing to come out of it though is that I've discovered that pettinice is fine to put in the fridge; it doesn't go soggy or sweaty the way I've heard some others do.
I'll post a pic when I've got time. Another cake awaits.........
Hi all, thanks for your replies and advice.
I've finally got around to posting the pic of this cake. I think it turned out really well and am really happy with it. Although I hate having to take my pics at the delivery venue; the lighting is never as good as I have at home.
Here's the link:
WELL DONE ON A GREAT RECOVERY!
The cake looks fantastic, it's a great style, I love the design and I am sure the customer would have been over the moon with it!
Congratulations on pulling that one off....... here's too cooler days... as I sit in 40 degree heat!!
Wow....... it turned out great! How long did that checkerboard base take you?! You ROCK! (hahaha that was me being funny!)
Thanks Kim. I was really pleased with it and it was exactly what the client wanted; she was thrilled.
It's stinking hot here too today - 35 with v strong wind. Thankfully I'm not doing any caking today. It's going to be 39 later in the week when I will be using white choc ganache again! And my first cupcake tower! Oh boy, wish me luck!
Ha ha Lauren!
The checkerboard base didn't take as long as I thought it was going to. I just used a small square cutter then glued them on in lines; didn't fill in the middle though!
Oh, I forgot to say, Lauren and Kim, check out my Planet Cake thread on the Cake Decorating forum and my pic too!