So i decided to try Satin Ice fondant for the first time. it was hot and humid and it was sweating really bad. My question to myself that maybe someone can help me out with is: "Would my MMF have been sweating the same way?" It was so bad that colors were running into each other and i kept having to wipe with a paper towel. Luckily it was a trial cake for my daughters bday but still curious since i would like to continue to work with Satin Ice versus MMF.
I've never used Satin Ice before so I can't make an actual comparison. But I do use MMF and have had similar issues with it still melting. Humidity is the real threat to all kinds of fondant. Also beware of cake carriers or other sealing containers that increase moisture levels.
It really depends on what you used the fondant for but here is a summary of my thoughts/advice:
If they are fondant decorations/toppers I try to make them at least a few days in advance so they can set. Considering a solid fondant figure won't dry completely I sometimes add tylose powder to make it more like gumpaste and aid in hardening. I've also used marshmallow treats to shape a large object and then wrap that in a thin layer of fondant. It definitely holds better shape and dries easily - no issues with melting.
As far as covering cakes in fondant I've heard that using the "cardboard box" trick helps with condensation. Package the finished/covered cake in a cardboard box (completely enclosed if possible but the more surrounding cardboard the better) and stick everything in the frig. Some even go as far to wrap the cardboard box in plastic wrap. When you remove the cake keep it in the box which will absorb the moisture. As the cake comes to room temperature it will give off some perspiration but that should dry - just leave it be and keep it in the box. Obviously, if you bring a cake out of the frig and into a hot/humid room or outdoors it's at greater risk. Plan ahead and get the room cooled with a/c. Then decrease the a/c so you can gradually bring the room and the cake closer to its natural state. By then the cake should be okay and you can bring "out" for serving. It should be fine as long as you don't expose it to heat for too long or put it in direct sunlight.
Another important factor is what you used to frost underneath the fondant - assuming this was a fondant covered cake. A buttercream with a high water content (i.e. cream cheese) will give off tons of moisture. Many people hear rave about using ganache under a cake. It smoothes very well and will set nicely to create a nice foundation for the fondant.
Here's a great recipe for LMF (named after the creator I think) that I really love. It has a "special" ingredient that helps make the fondant very soft but stable. And it tastes really good. This makes a decent batch (about 4lbs) so reduce the recipe if you're not sure and just want to try it out. I highly recommend it for figures, cut-outs, and covering. http://artisancakecompany.com/2012/11/the-best-marshmallow-fondant-recipe-ever/ Best part is it's way more affordable than buying the pre-made stuff.
I've noticed with other basic MMF recipes that it can become too soft sometimes especially when I'm coloring it red or black and need to add a lot of gel. If you only need one color you can reduce the water in the MMF recipe and sub your food coloring gel to add at the stage it calls for water. It's important to get your fondant to a soft but workable consistency before using it. It shouldn't feel too sticky and if it does add more powdered sugar. You want to be able to pull it apart like taffy but still have it "break" if that makes sense. Also be careful if you're using shortening to grease because that will obviously soften the fondant. Some prefer to use cornstarch over powdered sugar to dust when rolling out fondant. Others like using a silicone mat and no powders at all. You gotta find out what works best for you. But it sounds like your first Satin Ice experience wasn't a good one.
Wow - sorry for the extremely long response! I hope some of this info. can help you in one way or another. Most important of all - don't give up! You were smart for making a trial cake. Better luck on your final run :)
For the most part, when it's hot and humid, it won't matter what standard fondant you're using--it will sweat. If the cake and fondant are cooler than the ambient air, it will sweat the worst.
Massa Ticino Tropic by Carma is a fondant that is specially formulated for hotter, more humid climates. I know people who live in south Florida, the Caribbean, etc. who swear by it. I've used it, but not under extreme conditions, and it's a lovely (but pricey) product. I don't know what about the formula helps it to deal better with heat & humidity.
Wow, that is some expensive fondant! Does it have flecks of gold in it, lol. Kidding - it must do its job if people swear by it. Definitely a big investment in one supply though.
It is expensive at about $6/lb., but it can be rolled very thin.
But, heck, without a coupon, a large box of Wilton is just shy of $5/lb......
ASorry, I should have looked past the price tag (of $175) and noticed this is a 30lb order. Too bad its not sold in smaller quantity.
When I first started using it, I would give a sample of my old favourite and this one, and tell them the price difference if they ordered carma's, every person, with one exception, chose carmas.
ARecently i used carma for my 3 tier fondant cake in india where prespiration was 85%. Fondant started to melt. Adding tylose or gumpaste can be a help. Make sure cake in room temperature. Overall from my experience, fondant cakes are gud under a/c weather to prevent sweating
AI recently purchased the Massa. I did really love the workability if it. Still, it had a bit of a grit feel. Also, it doesn't taste as good as Fondarific in my opinion. Wish I could find one that had the good qualities without the bad!
I have not had quite the extremes of humidity as mentioned above, but have worked in very hot temperatures. I use Massa Grischuna neutral from Albert Ulster Imports. I like it because it handles beautifully. It sets up to a dry satiny finish very quickly, and I have never had it sweat or soften. It tastes so good, like those Brach's white nougat candies with the gels in them. I eat it straight out of the bag. The flavor is why I prefer it to the Massa Ticino Tropic which is also wonderful to work with and still far better tasting than Wilton or SI. . It comes in 13.2 lb buckets, and of course lasts practically forever. It is 4.78 a pound. With shipping (to California from New York, comes in 2 days) it is 6.68 per pound. I think it is worth every penny. It is not worth the few dollars saved to compromise on the first thing that everyone sees. The company is wonderful. It is all I use. I think Wilton and Satin Ice taste awful. I buy it if it is on sale, and use it for cake boards and figures unlikely to be eaten.
The people at Albert Ulster are so nice, they might even send you a sample. http://www.auiswisscatalogue.com/505023.html
You an get it in a smaller quantity at a marginally lower price from
fondant source .com (run it all together for the actual website).
If you put in cakecentral as a code at checkout, I believe that you still get a 10% discount. Their shipping is usually reasonable, too.
Cool, thanks for the tip!