Which Icing Is Best In The Heat?

Decorating By SallyBratt Updated 22 Feb 2010 , 5:58am by SallyBratt

SallyBratt Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 4:44pm
post #1 of 26

I have a meeting tomorrow with a prospective client and she just told me that her wedding will be outdoors in August. It's blisteringly hot and humid here in August. She said she doesn't really want fondant but buttercream will likely be a big pool under her cake if it's left in the heat.

I'm going to try and convince her to use fondant anyway because it will be the most stable but does ganache hold up better than buttercream in the heat? I've had fondant/BC slide down my cake just from the heat in my house!

btw...I use all butter BC. How much more stable is BC made with shortening? I've never tried it and I've heard that it doesn't taste as good but it might be another option. Anything is better than a melted cake!

Any suggestions?

25 replies
tiggy2 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 4:51pm
post #2 of 26

Indydebi's recipe on this site holds up very well in the heat.

maimai16 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 5:06pm
post #3 of 26

how about chocolate ganache? i was bc user, but after trying choco ganache under fondant i wont look back ever. the climate here in our country is definitely hot. i havent experienced any disaster with ganache.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 5:26pm
post #4 of 26

Ganache is simply the BEST thing to use under fondant in the heat. They use it in Australia, which for me, is a great advertisement to it's holding up properties in the heat! In fact, I use ganache under fondant in all weathers because the base it gives you to work on is far superior to anything else - your fondant ends up flawless, no bumps, lumps, bulges or blow-outs icon_smile.gif.

leah_s Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 5:54pm
post #5 of 26

Whipped Cream Buttercream is absolutely perfect in heat. (There's no cream in it. Unfortunate name.) The recipe's here in CC.

I started using this stuff years ago, because around here in the summer, the temp and the humidity numbers are the same. I iced up some cake tops, stacked them (no dowels) piped on swags, roses, all kinds of crap. Put in on a plate and set it out on my deck in direct sunlight/heat/humidity for 6 hours. Nothing melted. Nothing moved. Nothing slid. Great icing.

Texas_Rose Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:00pm
post #6 of 26

I did some experimenting with Indydebi's buttercream under fondant on a cake that was out in the heat mostly in the shade for about an hour. I think it was 105 outside that day and our humidity in the summer is usually about 90 percent. It held up all right, except for the little bit that was in the sunlight. On that part the buttercream melted off and made a bulge at the bottom of the fondant.

I have a question for ganache users...in the summer I can't buy a chocolate bar and take it home without it melting to a liquid on the way home. Is there something about the mix of cream and chocolate that makes it stand up to heat better, or does it soften in heat like chocolate? Sorry if it's a dumb question, I've just been really curious.

maimai16 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:34pm
post #7 of 26

well, in my case, i use compound chocolates so it does not melt just like the expensive chocolates other bakers use. there are delicious compound chocolates that can be bought. they also have dark, semi sweet, etc. i'm not sure if adding cream to expensive chocolates makes them not melting too fast.

SallyBratt Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:39pm
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I did some experimenting with Indydebi's buttercream under fondant on a cake that was out in the heat mostly in the shade for about an hour. I think it was 105 outside that day and our humidity in the summer is usually about 90 percent. It held up all right, except for the little bit that was in the sunlight. On that part the buttercream melted off and made a bulge at the bottom of the fondant.

I have a question for ganache users...in the summer I can't buy a chocolate bar and take it home without it melting to a liquid on the way home. Is there something about the mix of cream and chocolate that makes it stand up to heat better, or does it soften in heat like chocolate? Sorry if it's a dumb question, I've just been really curious.




I've heard about the Australian ganache thing. They don't refrigerate their cakes either. My school is actually giving a class on it so I think I'll sign up.

I'm not 100% sure about this so anyone who really knows chocolate please correct me if I'm wrong...but your chocolate bar will melt because of all the milk and vegetable oil in it, at least I think that's why. It's compound chocolate and it reacts differently than couverture. I use Lindt or Callebaut semi sweet chocolate in my ganache. It's more expensive but it's definitely worth it.

Luckily this couple want a chocolate and vanilla cake so the ganache will be perfect with it.

thanks for the advice everyone!

SallyBratt Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:40pm
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

Ganache is simply the BEST thing to use under fondant in the heat. They use it in Australia, which for me, is a great advertisement to it's holding up properties in the heat! In fact, I use ganache under fondant in all weathers because the base it gives you to work on is far superior to anything else - your fondant ends up flawless, no bumps, lumps, bulges or blow-outs icon_smile.gif.




Do you know if white chocolate ganache works as well as dark?

maimai16 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 6:59pm
post #10 of 26

sallybrat, i've read somewhere that white choco ganache is much softer than choco ganache. on cakes and more blog, they use more white chocolate compared to dark chocolate ganache. here's the link.... http://www.cakesandmore.org/blog/2009/06/a-guide-to-ganache/

MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 1:41pm
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

Ganache is simply the BEST thing to use under fondant in the heat. They use it in Australia, which for me, is a great advertisement to it's holding up properties in the heat! In fact, I use ganache under fondant in all weathers because the base it gives you to work on is far superior to anything else - your fondant ends up flawless, no bumps, lumps, bulges or blow-outs icon_smile.gif.



Do you know if white chocolate ganache works as well as dark?




My preference is to use white chocolate anyway, I prefer not to use dark chocolate under a white/light coloured fondant. Just make sure you use a GOOD quality chocolate (I too use Callebaut couverture chips to make my ganache), and if you are using white or milk chocolate you MUST use a 3:1 ratio of chocolate to cream (which must be a 35% fat content cream).

The best thing about ganache is that if it is a little soft after allowing it to set overnight on the cake, you can harden it up in the fridge before covering in fondant, and you will never get blow-outs when it returns to room temp (like I used to get all the time with BC). I also do more than just crumbcoat the cake with ganache - I put a thick enough layer on so that no cake is visible through it (probably 3-4mm thick), often doing a 'crumb' layer first, setting in the fridge and then doing a second layer and getting that as smooth as possible (using a hot bench scraper).

If you look at my photos, all the fondant cakes pictured there from the 3 tier diamond & roses cake are done with ganache and they are flawless - well, the fondant finish is anyway thumbs_up.gif ). Hope that helps!

Melnick Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 2:09pm
post #12 of 26

I can't answer the questions about how the composition is changed - I think it actually has more to do with the boiling cream changing composition but I'm not sure so don't quote me.

But, I can tell you that we use it here in Brisbane. My sister and I made a cake for my niece in the height of summer that was outside on a table (undercover) on a ridiculously humid day and the ganache got to a thick buttercream type texture in the heat - when it's not so hot it stays a bit firmer - but the fondant didn't move or slide. I don't think you'd ever be in danger of it slipping off the cake but I'm no expert. If you want to talk to someone who is a bit of an expert, try talking to Applegum - she's a member on here. And like MikeRowesHunny said, you want a thick layer of ganache where you can't see any of the cake. It really tastes divine!!!

SallyBratt Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 6:20pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

Ganache is simply the BEST thing to use under fondant in the heat. They use it in Australia, which for me, is a great advertisement to it's holding up properties in the heat! In fact, I use ganache under fondant in all weathers because the base it gives you to work on is far superior to anything else - your fondant ends up flawless, no bumps, lumps, bulges or blow-outs icon_smile.gif.



Do you know if white chocolate ganache works as well as dark?



My preference is to use white chocolate anyway, I prefer not to use dark chocolate under a white/light coloured fondant. Just make sure you use a GOOD quality chocolate (I too use Callebaut couverture chips to make my ganache), and if you are using white or milk chocolate you MUST use a 3:1 ratio of chocolate to cream (which must be a 35% fat content cream).

The best thing about ganache is that if it is a little soft after allowing it to set overnight on the cake, you can harden it up in the fridge before covering in fondant, and you will never get blow-outs when it returns to room temp (like I used to get all the time with BC). I also do more than just crumbcoat the cake with ganache - I put a thick enough layer on so that no cake is visible through it (probably 3-4mm thick), often doing a 'crumb' layer first, setting in the fridge and then doing a second layer and getting that as smooth as possible (using a hot bench scraper).

If you look at my photos, all the fondant cakes pictured there from the 3 tier diamond & roses cake are done with ganache and they are flawless - well, the fondant finish is anyway thumbs_up.gif ). Hope that helps!




I always use either Lindt or Callebaut. I'm going to make some white chocolate ganache today for the 1st time.

Do you still offer BC under the fondant or do you use ganache exclusively? It's more expensive, of course, and I'm wondering if people balk at the cost. I think it's so worth it tho because the flavour is far superior IMO. The last cake I made got blowouts on both sides and I was so upset. It was my 1st real customer cake for someone I didn't know and I panicked a bit. I managed to fix them but I think from now on I'll just use the ganache and save some headaches.

I've heard that Australians don't even refrigerate their cakes when they use ganache. Any of you from 'down under' want to chime in on that? My school is offering a class on Australian mud cakes and the ganache masking/no refrigeration process which I might take (if I already mentioned that please ignore me...I'm running on only 4 hrs sleep) but if I can learn about it on here maybe I can save the money. icon_smile.gif

Melnick Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 9:52pm
post #14 of 26

I don't do them professionally, but all the cakes I have made over the past year have been ganache and fondant and I leave them on the bench.

sugarandslice Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 10:18pm
post #15 of 26

I'm with Melnick; I only use ganache under fondant and never refrigerate after they're covered. There's just no need. And I tell all cake recipients not to refirgerate - cakes taste so much better at room temp.

If you want to use white choc ganache your ratio of choc:cream needs to be (at least) 3:1.

If you can get hold of a copy of the Planet Cake book, there's lots of great info there on ganache and how to get a super smooth finish before applying your fondant.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 7 Feb 2010 , 10:17am
post #16 of 26

Yes, ganache only. You don't need to refrigerate, I never do, BUT make sure you use shelf-stable fillings - no mousses, cream cheese, dairy fillings, fresh fruit fillings etc - those need to be kept refrigerated.

I second obtaining the Planet Cake book - a wealth of ganache information!

Bluehue Posted 7 Feb 2010 , 12:29pm
post #17 of 26

Ganache all the way for me.

Our summers get up to 44C = 118F and the humidty over powering...still our Ganache holds up so well under regalice/fondant medium.

Once applied and smoothed over - allow to sit - then go back and smooth off all your corners (if a square cake)
You won.t be sorry you switched from BC to Ganache.
Even with a thin layer you can oobtain excellant results...if you do not want it thick.

It freezes very well also.

BC over here is not very popular at all - under mediums.
Its to sickly sweet and fluffy to eat for our likings.
Similar to that fake whip stuff they squirt into little cakes you sometimes can buy in the supermarkets... icon_razz.gificon_razz.gif

If you would like to read more - google the Planet Cake web site -
Some very interesting readings for all.

Bluehue.

Miffy Posted 7 Feb 2010 , 12:44pm
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarandslice

I'm with Melnick; I only use ganache under fondant and never refrigerate after they're covered. There's just no need. And I tell all cake recipients not to refirgerate - cakes taste so much better at room temp.

If you want to use white choc ganache your ratio of choc:cream needs to be (at least) 3:1.

If you can get hold of a copy of the Planet Cake book, there's lots of great info there on ganache and how to get a super smooth finish before applying your fondant.




I have only just started using ganache under fondant and love it. I bought the Planet Cake book and followed their instructions....brilliant!! I leave my cakes out on the bench overnight...no problem at all icon_smile.gif

SallyBratt Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 5:36pm
post #19 of 26

Can someone please link me to the Planet Cake book? I looked and couldn't find it.

Miffy Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 8:24pm
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Can someone please link me to the Planet Cake book? I looked and couldn't find it.




Hi, I just checked the website (www.planetcake.com.au/) and you are right. You can't purchase the book online. I will see if I can find out for you icon_smile.gif

Miffy Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 8:32pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Can someone please link me to the Planet Cake book? I looked and couldn't find it.




http://www.cookbooks.com.au/book/Planet-Cake/isbn/9781741963182.htm

If you go the above site they sell the book online!! There are a few other places as well. Good luck icon_smile.gif

tbittner Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 8:54pm
post #22 of 26
Melnick Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 9:34pm
post #23 of 26

Try the Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781741963182/Planet-Cake It had free worldwide delivery. The units will be metric if you get if from the Book Depository.

Sweet_Kakes Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 12:54am
post #24 of 26

How can you find out if the heavy whipping cream you are buying for ganache is at lease 35% percent fat?

Miffy Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 2:57am
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnajimenez

How can you find out if the heavy whipping cream you are buying for ganache is at lease 35% percent fat?




If you look at the ingredients listing it should state the percentage of fat!

SallyBratt Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:58am
post #26 of 26

Thanks everyone!

In Canada it says it right on the package.

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