Hi all, I know there is quite a lot on here about sweating fondant but have found that this is relating to when you put an already fondant covered cake in the fridge. I'm in the U.K. and we're having a humid snap at the moment, which almost caused me a minor aneurysm at the weekend when I took my uncovered GANACHED (base tier) and BUTTERCREAMED (top tier) cake out of the fridge and then covered it in fondant. I didn't place it back in the fridge but it still sweated to the point of the fondant almost melting! I ended up borrowing a room dehumidifier from a friend which got me through it but not without causing hairline cracks in the fondant as it dried. Because the cake started to sweat almost immediately, I didn't even get to smooth it, so the finish was bad too. I make cakes for a living from home and this have NEVER happened to this extent before and now I'm panicking thinking all my cakes are going to do this through the summer! Please could I have any tips or advice from those who have experienced the same, so that I can be well armed next time!?
I'm assuming the issue is with the cold cake hitting the warmer air, causing condensation, so if I box the butter creamed cakes to harden in the fridge and have the dehumidifier running well before taking them out, should that work do you think? I've also got my fridge on 4 degrees if that helps. Should I make it a degree or so higher so it's not as big a change in temp when I take it out?
Many thanks :-)
Well I'm surprised it never happened to you before. I have this all the time (because it's hot here all year round). I learned to work fast and put to put the cake back in the fridge in between steps.
It is extremely humid here throughout mid to late summer, as julia1812 says you learn to work fast and the cake goes straight back in the fridge. I am lucky as I have an airconditioned room that I can close off. I work on the cake in there, it keeps the cake cool and allows it to come up to temp gradually. Welcome to our world!
Fondanting cakes can be stressful. Here are a few tips of what has worked well for us:
Put cake in the fridge for at least a couple hours before you fondant. If you notice any wetness on the surface of the buttercream, take a spatula or spackling tool, and get rid of the excess water before covering
Make sure the room you are doing your fondant work is between 66-67 degrees. the colder the better for the transition!
Use a great brand like Albert Uster-I have had the least problems over the years with this fondant. Plus it tastes the best!
Don;t use too much powdered sugar on the fondant as you roll-too much can lead to a strange barrier between the fondant and cold cake, causing more excess bubbles to form. If you notice any small air bubbles forming, pop them with a small pin. You can always tit royal the same color as the fondant and go back and fill in holes.
These problems are most definitely related to the high temperatures and high humidity levels. You have to be able to work in a temperature and humidity controlled environment when working with buttercream and fondant. The brand of fondant you use can also be a contributing factor. Those of us that used Wilton fondant back around 2004, found that the Wilton brand had a lot of issues if you refrigerated it. Some fondant brands today are more susceptible to issues with heat and humidity.
Thanks so much for the replies :-) I am seriously considering a portable air conditioning unit for when I'm working (which will be nice for me too!) but didn't know whether to go the dehumidifier or air con route. Would you have any suggestions? I'm guessing air con as if I can keep the kitchen cold, the cake won't have as much of a 'shock' when it comes out? I don't know why this has just started to happen. Have made literally hundreds of cakes in the same room, using the same brand of fondant ( Couture from CakeStuff) but this is the first time the humidity has been at such a level that it's almost wrecked one! Have normally managed to get round a bit of tackiness by throwing icing sugar at it but this time it just went WAAAY beyond that within about half a minute!
I hate icing sugar. It just makes everything more sticky. Since I use corn starch to dust (have a little cotton bag where I keep it in so it literally only leaves a thing layer) it's a dream.