General question to all those accustomed to working in hotter climates - in the UK, we are currently experiencing a heatwave. The mercury is topping just over 30 degrees C where I am. I know that by many standards, this is cool (I'm thinking Australia, southern USA!) but for we Brits (where 25 is cause to celebrate), it's HOT! And most houses (mine included!) don't have any aircon. Do any of you have any tips for dealing with the heat for successful baking/decorating in warm weather?
Snowflakebunny23, no advice, just sympathy. I am in Canada and I had a good chuckle at your line about 25 degrees celsius being a cause for celebration. I can relate because here we either "feast or famine" when it comes to warm temperatures and once it gets warm, it gets humid. Actually, when it is cold, it is humid too. If it weren't for central air conditioning, I would be serving a life sentence behind bars because heat and humidity make for a rabid Squirrelly.
Do you have a dehumidifier and lots of fans? They would certainly help somewhat with the icings and decorating. I think I would also be freezing my cakes after they are cooled - until decorating time.
I didn't have air conditioning in my early baking/decorating days in the 70's and 80's and I found that even the cakes themselves were affected by the humidity and breads - even worse.
Here is hoping your temperatures become more conducive to baking and decorating.
We were sweltering here in Paris too SnowFlakeBunny (up to 38 today). Good luck!
I'm in southern Australia - summer times get to 40+ degrees here....but right now I'm shivering through sub-10 degree days and struggling to get my butter warm enough to make SMBC! Wish I could swap places with you!
Number one tip is to use chocolate ganache under fondant, so much more stable. You can increase the ratio of chocolate to cream as the temperature rises. Plus I chill my ganache do cakes in the fridge before I cover them with fondant to keep the sharp edges and smooth finish.
Give yourself plenty of time to deal with weather-related issues eg drying decorations and transport cakes early or late in the day to avoid the midday heat.
Good luck and enjoy the sun - maybe send a few degrees down south before I'm too frost bitten to pipe!
As @winniemog said. Also - I recommend UK brand Renshaw Fondant icing for hot dry weather. It is super moist, so it will give you plenty of time to work with it before it starts to dry out. However, if you have humid high heat, then use a dryer fondant - Australian/New Zealand brand Bakels is quite dry, less so is the American Satin Ice.
Keep a bowl of ice & water nearby to wash your hands in regularly to cool them down too. A big basin full of water & ice sat in front of your fan could help as a 'cheats' airconditioner.
I'm from the US in New England - very hot in the summer &sometimes quite humid. I used Wilton's buttercream recipe for high heat and humidity the other day and it held up great. I decorated my cake with multiple large roses made from traditional buttercream and they stayed put as well. No slipping or melting at all, and very tasty. http://www.wilton.com/recipe/High-Humidity-Icing-Recipe-I