or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Pastry Chefs › Making cakes to withstand hot weather
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Making cakes to withstand hot weather

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I live in Hungary and it is very hot just now – around the mid to high 30’sC.
I have been asked to make an engagement cake covered with roll-out icing and decorated with sugar flowers.
I am new to making cakes in these high temperatures as I come from England where even in the summer it is seldom very hot and most of the cakes I made there were traditional English fruit cakes or Victoria type sponges (containing fat) filled with butter cream.
I will make a moist, fatless sponge which I use quite often now so I know it works well but I am at a loss as to what I should fill the layers with.
There is no double (heavy) cream available here just whipping cream which reverts to liquid whenever you try to add anything to it unless gelatine is added.
I know many of you who make cakes live in areas where the temperatures are high in the summer so I am sure you must have a lot of experienced on how to deal with the problem.
Because I will be using roll-out icing and sugar flowers, putting the cake in a chiller is not really an option as the sugar spoils. Perhaps artificial cream is an option and if so can you give me a recipe – I am sure someone can give me some ideas.
Many thanks,
post #2 of 9
Why will your rolled icing not refridgerate? The flowers are to be pulled or blown? Is the cake to be displayed outside at the reception?
Here in the Southern US avg. 100
We do use fresh purees in between layers sometimes. We slice the layers as thin as we can get. Spread purees like Rasp and maybe mango or passion fruit. It's a good look, kind of like a petite for... crumb in a buttercream and cover in fondant.
pm if you like
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dear Panini,
Thank you for your reply.
I use an uncooked, fondant icing to roll - the ingredients of which are liquid glucose, egg white, icing (confectioners) sugar and glycerine. It makes an icing which gives a very smooth finish on the cake and can be worked well to make frills, drapes, etc. but if put into the refrigerator it tends to sweat and sometimes ruins the decoration. When the cake is taken out of the refrigerator it dries and if it has been tinted with colour it leaves ugly marks on the cake.
The flowers I make are made from pastillage which is made from icing (confectioners) sugar, gelatine, liquid glucose, white vegetable fat, egg white & gum tragacanth. It is easy to work and dries to porcelain like hardness which is also affected by refrigeration.
Do you put something in the cake box to prevent condensation?

The buttercream I use is made from 4oz butter, 4 oz icing sugar, 2 tablespoons milk whipped until white and fluffy and flavouring then added.
Fantastic as it stays soft and fluffy at room temperature in England but as soon as it is put in the refrigerator it becomes hard – do you have a recipe for a buttercream that will stay soft when refrigerated – and I know it is called butter cream but should I use butter or margarine.
However, as long as I am on hand at the reception then I can put the flowers on just before the cake is served if I am not, then there is a problem.
I believe the cake I am about to make will be displayed outside for a short time.
I appreciate your help as I have also been asked to make several wedding cakes so I need to resolve these problems as they will have hundreds of flowers on them so assembling them at the reception will not be possible.
If I was using a traditional English fruit cake then there would be no problems but the preferred cake here is a fatless sponge.
post #4 of 9
If you have heat and humidity, the moisture inside the cake will come out, regardless of the fat content of the sponge. Why would there be no problems with a fruitcake?

I have recently started using a product called Damp Rid in my fridge, from the hardware store. Keep it on the bottom shelf, with no food products near it. It absorbs some of the moisture in the air. Unfortunately, when you remove the cake from the fridge, condensation REALLY begins. Air conditioning will help, and a fan can be useful too.

If I were you, I'd figure out a way to avoid putting handmade flowers in the fridge. It sounds too risky.
post #5 of 9
You will encounter some condensation with your rolled fondant if you put it in the ice box unwrapped or boxed. We have found that careful preperation and wrapping of the cake eliminates most all of this. This is a small challenge though. It is most important to have your cake and fondant the same temperature. As with anything else, if two melded products are different temps. it will cause condensation. If your cake is cold and you wrap it in room temp fondant you might encounter condensation. We find that after the cake is wrapped with fondant it can be wrapped rather closely and stored in the cooler. The enemy here is humid air from the coils. I hope I'm explaining this in a way you can understand.
Your buttercream is more of a frosting which would be the prefered choice for this climate. I'm going to assume this will be stacked or tiered :confused: actually maybe not. If stacking or tiered the buttercream cannot be used for any type of support. It must be totally supported by the structure ie plastic, wood, plates etc.
You might want to try some small items and give them a try. Also if you go with something like the purees and have a 100% internal structure, the cake really does not have to be cooled. If we have an outdoor event and the bride is h--- bent on displaying her cake outside we usually do a semi-pound cake with alternating purees, so thin there is usually 10-11 layers in each cake. we decorate in fondant and let it go. We have had great results.
It is tricky wrapping a cake closely with large numbers of flowers.
You might also want to try a genoise. the drizzle of butter is pretty undectible but give you a little more stability.
Anyway, not to worry you'll come up with something spectacular. If you have problems with sweat then you can go to something that is not cooled.
Totally off topic, but one of my best friends, who is one of my son's teachers, is a part of Cistercian monks who left Hungary to persue teaching young men here in the states. He was raised in his families bakery in Hungary. We has wonderful memories and stories and is quite the frustrated baker. They were many generations who worked it until the communists took it and turned it into a brothel.
Jeff HTH
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice, Momereg,
I am beginning to think there is no easy answer to this.
The reason why I say that there is no problem with a traditional English fruit cake is because it does not need to be kept cool as there is no cream or butter cream filling that will go off or melt.
The fruit cake is baked and then covered with a layer of marzipan then fondant and if it is sealed in a container it will last a couple of years without freezing or refrigeration. The spices etc preserve it. Unfortunately, to make it you need raisins, sultanas, currants, glace cherries and candied peel and only sultanas are sold in Hungary not the other ingredients – apart from that most Hungarians find the cake too rich and sweet. They are used to cream filled sponges or yeast pastry based cakes.
I will certainly avoid putting the flowers in the fridge as I cannot risk them being spoilt.
We might be able to run to a fan but not many places have air conditioning.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Jeff,
Many thanks for you advice.
I certainly do understand what you are saying and this project seems as if it will be a case of trial and error.
You say that frosting would be the preferred choice for the climate I am working in –

Could you please give me a recipe for it as I have never used anything like it before.

The engagement cake will be a 12” single tier but subsequent wedding cakes will either be pillar and dowel supported or I have a number of stands that hold the cakes in different positions – I have never made a stacked cake as it has never been very popular in England up until recently.
I must agree that the fruit purees do sound delicious and I will experiment with a selection – in Hungary we make a fruit puree preserved in sugar called lekvar. It is not as sweet as jam being about 40% sugar to 100% fruit - I am sure it will serve the purpose adequately.

I am delighted to hear that you have a Hungarian friend. I am in Hungary because I married a Hungarian man 42 years ago and we have retired here. I ran a cake business in England and I still like to keep my hand in by making cakes for friends and relations. As I do not have to rely on it to make a living any more I am able to spend more time on each cake and modelling people in sugar is my latest project.
I am also interested in learning how to do pulled sugar work – it is not practiced in England but I believe that there are chefs in the USA who practice it and there is a school in Switzerland that teaches it.
This guy is an expert –look on the following web page http://www.jeff-the-chef.com/
However, no doubt I shall have to do with a book if I can find one and teach myself.
It is an old art form in Hungary and there are a few older people who still do it so I am trying to locate someone who can give me a demonstration.

Once more, thanks for all the information and I look forward to finding out how to make the frosting.
post #8 of 9
On site catered events are most of my previous experience, and tiered wedding cakes are possible, although I have never done artificially colored marzipan. We have a wildly successfull cake shop in town; I'll ask how they deal with their colored works. ANYTHING that is pulled from the cooler into a hot enviroment will have condensation accumulate, so I think you the coloring is your real problem. I have put a fan on some cakes to evaporate the moisture as quickly as possible. (Works to dry strawberries too!). I wonder if you could spray shellac before cooling, then blow dry when you pull it out?
Gelatine should be added to fruit fillings.
Italian Meringe should be added to true buttercream.
You may have to add supports to your layers if they are stacked directly on top of each other.
I did a a lot of frostings with white chocolate as a stiffener in them, of course cocoabutter would work too. Would this apply to your sugar flowers.
Good luck.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Rose,
Thank you for your reply.
The tip about adding gelatine to fruit fillings is very good. I was wondering how I would prevent the fruit from soaking into the sponge.
I have looked on the web for information on adding Italian meringue to butter cream and it says everywhere that it makes a more stable filling.
I have found a recipe for the Italian meringue but there are no recipes for the complete filling – so, can you please give me a recipe for the butter cream that is used and tell me how much meringue is then added to the butter cream.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Pastry Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Pastry Chefs › Making cakes to withstand hot weather