I went to Empangeni (south africa) to bake cakes for my 2 grandchildren. Empangeni has a tropical climate, and the humidity got very high. The fondant wouldn't even dry out! Not even royal icing dried. One of the cakes was a castle cake, so the towers (however properly anchored), started falling. We even put the cakes in a room with aircon on very low. So I had to fix this towers, and because the royal icing is not doing its job, i used melted marshmellows instead. That worked well. I agree, that climate, and that kind of humidity, is not suitable for either fondant or royal icing.
Welcome to Cheftalk, glad you found us.
It is so nice to learn and see what others are doing around the globe.
Rainy season right now , January to Feb ? No wonder its not drying. But then in the dryer season , you have the high heat of July .... no happy medium it seems. I am so curious to know what it is like to bake in south africa. There so many techniques in sugar that do not do well at all in humidity. Do you do alot of sugar work ?
I'm also glad i found this site. We have summer rains here in most of South Africa's s regions, I live in Krugersdorp, which is west of Jo'burg. Over here I never have a problem with either fondant or royal icing drying. We have immense heat here in Krugersdorp, and even when it's raining, i cannot complain about the icing not drying. Empangeni is another story all together....it's very near to the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the climate is very tropical. Very high humidity, even your skin will feel sticky the whole time. The climate is like that throughout the year. So i am of the opinion that doing cakes in that region is not such a good idea. Baking in South Africa is pretty much like baking anywhere else, i guess? We just don't get all the nice supplies that's so easily available elsewhere. Over here, i teach myself to make my own plungers (for cutting small decorations), marshmellow fondant and even sugarveil icing. I do boiled sugar, i make rocks and wings for fairies and tinkerbell out of boiled sugar. I also tought myself to cover a cake entirely with homemade marshmellow. I like to make nice fillings for my cakes, so that it taste special. The filling i found the people like the most, is a cream and meringue filling. I would love to hear your ideas. Nice to meet you.
It is my pleasure to meet you. I tip my hat to you because of the circumstances in which you find yourself as a baker. Anyone who can adapt and find ways around a road block must have a tremendous amount of skill. Making your own molds is a craft in itself.
There is a chef I would love to apprentice under http://vinism-sugarart.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html. Those are just some of his pieces. Scroll at the very bottom and look at his carriage.
I am far from his level....working private, one must learn every avenue of food. One thing that caught my heart was the world of sugar art. Not because I like sweets but because its a world on its own, a skill that must be developed over time. (if only I had started many years ago)
I stumbled upon Cheftalk a few years ago and it was a saving grace (right term ? - I am French also and some expressions don't always come across right ) for me. I was stuck many times trying to get dishes figured out and quantities and etc. and I was looking for ideas on high tea and , And Voilà Cheftalk to my aid. So many wonderful chefs with incredible talent have supported me and continue to, I am thankful.....so thankful.
For your molds , please send me a pm and I will be more than pleased to go through some of my stuff and send you a package that may just help you in some of your work. (or may not-depends)
I have a hard time making cakes in the Bahamas, the heat and humidity is unbearable. Central America (Guat) is perfect. My cakes and sweet dishes have a bit of a victorian theme....I like flowers. Alan Dunn's work in incredible. http://www.alandunnsugarcraft.com/#/photo-gallery/4527599532 , one of my top 5.
I realize that I will never be at that level but I will certainly put as much skill and love into a cake as I possibly can. My cake of choice is victorian sponge. I am working on two flavor profiles right now for my 2012 cake; champagne and strawberry. There is a site https://www.lorannoils.com/ that carries the champagne flavor but everything else I try to make is as natural as possible. There are many combinations out there.
There are talented pastry chefs here.....no words....stunning, all talented in their own right.
I am a young bud among many long stemmed roses.....(gosh I hope no one thinks I'm a thorn ? lol )
Thank you for you post,
Pleasure to meet you.
I'm going to check out those links of you......thanks hey? You know what i normally do? Any container of any size could be a potential mould..... i wouldn't even go so far as to tell you how i make the plungers i need, because i think you'll find it extremely funny!! As i said, i have to make do with basics, the rest i must figure out, hehe. I would just love your help......in fact i would love anybodys help. If you can send me your e mail, i can send you some pics, maybe? If you would like that? I would also like to be someone's apprentice.....but i don't think there's any opportunities like this over here.....
I like a plain oil sponge cake.....the recipe i have is quite amazing.....it tastes great, it's easy to shape, and also stays fresh for a few days. Maybe we can exchange recipes? I would love that! I can even share some true South African recipes with you? The South African cuisine is kind of a mixture of Dutch, English, French, etc. We have wonderful dishes here, even sweet dishes that you might be interested in. I love cooking as a whole, and I am very much intrigued by the cake thing. I am also an amateur, and i would love to hear and see your ideas over there. The Bahamas i think, got the same climate and humidity as Empangeni over here.......so good luck for you there!!!!
I will send you my email in a pm. Glad you liked those sites, they just inspire me. I will post the recipe I use for victorian sponge cake in the pastry forum tomorrow. Not sure what time but I will try to get it out ....
I would love to learn some of your recipes and techniques, sweet or savory. That is what this site is about, sharing/learning. I will look out for any of your recipes in the "recipe" section under food discussions. A little info on the dish would be great to.
One thing I have learned about cooking; Necessity is the mother of invention.
You you have learned a trick or two about sugar and molds/cutters, we are here to learn. Great hearing from you.
ps. while you bask, we just had a big snow storm and I have been cooking all day. (it never leaves....)