Hi, I'm experienced with cake decorating, but new to Virginia.
I'm from Illinois and used to working with Carma Massa fondant and use SMBC to fill and crumb coat my cakes. I recently moved to Virginia and started a cake business here. I am using Satin Ice fondant now too, since Carma is so hard to get here. Last week was my first experience with a lot of heat and humidity and I encountered some issues. I always refrigerate my cakes overnight after stacking and crumb coating with SMBC, then cover them in fondant the next day. I have never had any issues doing this. However, last week, after covering in Satin Ice, my cakes immediately turned sticky and wet with humidity. I have had a little dampness before, but nothing like that. I was completely unprepared, but my awesome husband ran out and bought 2 dehumidifiers, a small fan, and hooked up the AC. Whew, this solved the problem and my cakes cleared up fine. However, these were just small cakes, one tier. Now I am terrified about problems in the future. For example, if I keep my shop cool and the cakes are fine there, but then I bring the cakes in my car for delivery and to a warmer or an outdoor venue, will they get wet and sticky there? I am considering just using Carma fondant as it is designed specifically for humidity. Maybe the Satin Ice is part of the problem. I just started using it so I'm not too familiar with how it holds up. Also, I have seen recipes on here for more heat stable buttercreams. I'm thinking about using these for crumb coat under fondant, or the outside of a buttercream cake now that it is hot, and especially for outdoor venues. Do you think it would be okay if I still used SMBC fillings but only used a heat stable buttercream for the outsides? Do you think it is necessary to use a more stable buttercream to crumb coat a fondant cake. I have never worked with a non-meringue based buttercream before, so this intimidates me. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated and sorry about the long post. Also if any one has experience working in Virginia, specifically central Virginia and Shenandoah valley and can shed some light on their experiences with heat and humidity here, that would be awesome!
I am in New York and we get some really sticky humidity ( and heat at times ). I use Satin Ice exclusively now and I have never had a problem so I'm thinking that isn't the issue.
In the summer I do not offer any sort of dairy based filling, it's flavored buttercream or preserves and I use a very sturdy , heat tolerant buttercream ( Sugar Shack's ).
I do not refrigerate the cakes before decorating, I'm scared it will put more moisture in them and/or cause sweating as they come to temp. I did this in my early days and I experienced some condensation and blow outs in the humid summer months. I stopped, and now I ice and decorate the night before and allow cakes ( dairy free) to sit in a heavily air conditioned room overnight and have had no problems setting up at outdoor venues.
We also constantly run a dehumidifier from Early Spring - Fall.
I hope this helps, east coast humidity is not fun...