I have a 'beginner' type question. I read a forum post once that said, "I never refridgerate my cakes." and a lot of people agreed with the person. How do you bake, fill, crumbcoat, and decorate the really large and fancy cakes without refridgerating them? Does this all really get done in a window short enough to avoid the fridge? Shouldn't cream-based fillings be refridgerated after a few hours??
I think there's a miscommunication here.... Some fillings have to be refrigerated, and yes, you refrigerate usually for the crumb coat. After that, many bc and even fondant cakes (though many wouldn't do this) are refrigerated too. I think what you were seeing was something about refrigerating straight out of the oven, or for a few days BEFORE decorating. Personally, I refrigerate my cakes not long after they come out of the oven (about 20 -25 minutes or so), but this is a controversial method. I love it though. After that, I have left them in the fridge for a couple of days before decorating. I do not, however, freeze my cakes ever. Some people swear by this, but I can't stand it. I hope this clear it up for you a bit. A final note though -- some fillings HAVE to be kept cold -- anything with whip cream for example. Feel free to pm me if you have any more questions, and I'll be happy to help if I can.
I don't refrigerate at all. During any process of the cake, unless it has a perishable filling, but i only do perishable fillings for personal use. I also use an american buttercream which doesn't need refrigeration, some SMBC and IMBC do, so it alld epends on the products you're using to decorate.
There is no need to refrigerate a cake w/o perishable fillings or icings, refrigeration actually speeds up the "going stale" process, expecially if the cake isn't sealed by buttercream or fondant. Cakes are just fine on the counter for a few days while working on decorating.