Do you ice your cakes chilled or at room temperature? Any advantages or disadvantages of icing a chilled cake vs. one at room temp?
i am a room temp caker. my cakes dont *need* refridgeration, as i use bc as a filling. my icing is firm enough for me to work with fondant over it as it is, and its what im used to doing.
some people like refridgeration to firm up the icing before doing the final coat or fondant. some people just blitz it for 10 mins in the freezer, or a bit longer in the fridge. you can get problems with air bubbles (cake still too cold usually) and condensation (ifits been in a while usually - cold enough for it to form).
i have seen people who have 'such soft icing' and then refridgerate, and it firms up so well they can put on fondant - and of course when it comes to room temp, the icing is just as soft, and can move, and cause bumps in the fondant too. so it can help sometimes, but it cant fix real problems.
a lot of people who carve cakes cut them part frozen so its firmer, i dont tend to though. no space in freezer for a start!
mainly, as with everything, its about learnign what works for you.
I totally don't get putting the cake in the fridge before icing it. I tried it once, and the darn thing was sweating for just about forever & my icing would not crust, so I could not viva it smooth. I stick with what works for me which is not the fridge! haha
Given the time--and sometimes, I just don't have it--I like to split my cakes while they're still quite cool (fully defrosted--I freeze my layers--but not yet at room temp). This makes it really easy to move the split layers around without breakage.
I add my filling and then crumb coat--the cake is till a bit firm and not yet at room temp. Doing it this way, I find that I get fewer crumbs and the cake doesn't flex much as I ice it. I then let it sit at room temp to settle. If it bulges, I scrape out the bulge and then refrigerate for no more than half an hour. I apply the final icing coat and I'm good to go. The cake will accept fondant easily but won't sweat at this point.
My cakes are shelf stable, too, so I don't have to refrigerate, but I do because I find the firmer cake easier to work with.
Mine are at room temp. I don't generally refrigerate.
I fill my cakes and freeze them then ice my cakes frozen and then store in the chillbox too--deliver cold for that invisible inner cohesiveness.. That's what works for me. I use highly perishable fillings and I am as careful as I can be with that.
Chill!!!! No other way to transport for me!
If I'm torting and filling I partially freeze so the layers will be easier to handle.
room temp for me
I chill! The fridge and I work very well together but I agree you should stick with what works for you!
I work full-time, so I find it easier to bake ahead and freeze, but I let them thaw completely before icing. For me it is more a matter of convenience and time. But I believe that I read here somewhere where it really isn't a good idea to put fondant on a frozen cake if you work with cornstarch, because the cornstarch "ferments" or something. I'll have to see if I can find the exact wording.