I am making a wedding cake for next weekend, but the wedding is going to be outdoors in a park and the forecast is for around 90 degrees and humid. There is no ability to refrigerate the cake after delivery except possibly in the caterer's cooler - but it might not fit. They want a vanilla cake with passion fruit filling. I usually cover my cakes with SMBC and fondant, but I don't think I can use the SMBC with all butter because it will melt. Has anyone made SMBC or IMBC with mostly hi-ratio shortening, and if so, how does it taste?
I don't love the taste of American (powdered sugar) frostings. I thought about using white chocolate ganache but I don't know if that would melt too, although the flavor would be nice with the passion fruit. Can someone with warm weather experience please give some advice? I never had to deliver a cake to a reception without access to refrigeration and I don't want the cake to melt in the hour or possibly two before they eat it.
Basically this is where you the *professional* needs to inform the family that things like fruit filling and b'cream are NOT do-able in such hot, humid temps.
YOU are the cake pro. YOU need to advise about food safety and cake stability.
You can persuade them to have passionfruit flavour added as a simple syrup ( with liqueur or juice.
You can persuade them that the cake really needs to be treated like food and not just another table decoration. Keeping any kind of cake outdoors runs the huge risk of disaster when a rambunctious guest bumps the table. A soft cake will also not cut as nicely or taste as good as a cool one.
Thanks for your response; I do understand that I provide the guidance to the client. However the forecast had been cooler and was revised today and now looks like it will be warmer on the wedding date. As a result what I am asking for advice about is not food safety (that I understand - time and temperature abuse, etc.) but rather what - if anything - other than a shortening-based American buttercream might I be able to use on the cake that would be relatively stable in warm weather? I know worst case I could use something like IndyDebi's frosting - I know many people love it. (No offense intended to IndyDebi intended by calling her recipe my worst case solution). But for me, no shortening based frosting, even IndyDebi's or one made with hi ratio shortening, can hold a candle to a meringue buttercream made with real butter or even to a ganache.
I haven't had the experience of making a cake that might be in such a warm environment for any period of time. This is a tough time of year to have an ourdoor event, let alone one without a kitchen. At this point I am contemplating lining a box with styrofoam sheets and buying dry ice to put in there along with the cake until it is time to cut the cake (I.e., a makeshift fridge).. But that doesn't change the melting point of butter so I to figure out what I will use instead of SMBC. What's the best alternative?
Thanks for any help you can give.
Well I think, even if you do not like the idea of Shortening, that is your best choice so far, or maybe keep the cake frozen, until the delivery, so the cake can be cool throughout the Wedding.
You can stabilize the filling buttercream with dry instant vanilla pudding mix 1 tablespoon per cup of icing. This will keep the buttercream stiffer especially between the layers. I also use this for the coating but I ice right after I mix this stuff. You need to test the results for your own buttercream.
The dowels will do something to hold the cake layers together until the buttercream inside the layers reaches 80F. You can use more dowels than usual for some extra support.
After the cake middles warm up, it doesn't matter if it was butter or shortening to start. Ganache will do exactly the same.
As far as forecasts are concerned, people who want outdoor wedding cakes also need to keep in mind that the cake will probably be out there for some hours longer than they think. Earlier this summer, pastry chefs started refusing brides requests for outdoor cake placement due to the heat.
If a bride really needs a decorated cake to bake out in the sun for more than 2 hours, then she really needs a dummy cake and some sheetcakes kept indoors for serving.
Thanks BakingIrene. That's an interesting idea with the pudding mix. I hate having to change all my recipes to try to figure out how to make this work. I think I'll have to do the shortening based frosting; I have hi-ratio that I will use. I'll experiment making a keep-cool box this week. This is turning into quite a project for a cake that was going to be pretty easy to do otherwise...