Basic Baking and Cake Decorating

Beat the heat with icing, fondant or sugarpaste.

With the summer fast approaching, I thought it might be an idea to put together a few helpful hints to help you survive the searing heat! So what better way than to give you 5 ways to beat the heat with icing, fondant or sugarpaste.

1. Keep it Cool – summer causes a lot of problems for us bakers, and the kitchen is no fun to be in when it’s hot and humid. So to combat the fondant frustrations here’s a few things you can do: i) Buy a dehumidifier which will zap all the moisture out of the air. ii) Invest in some much-needed air-con if you can afford it. iii) Get a fan, if nothing else it will create the movement of air in your kitchen and hopefully cool you down in the process. iv) Keep blinds and windows closed to keep as much of the heat out as you can. v) Bake in the early morning when your kitchen will be at it’s coldest.

2. Cornflour Convert – usually I opt to use icing sugar/confectioners sugar to roll out on because I like the fact that it absorbs into the icing/fondant. However, with the heat causing additional problems, cornflour/cornstarch may be a better way to go. This is because it doesn’t absorb into the icing/fondant as quickly so may give you a better chance at rolling out.

3. Cold Hands – you’ve all heard the expression cold hands, warm heart, well this is a great saying to remember especially in the scorchio summer months, so in order to keep your icing/fondant in check make sure that you keep your hands as cold as possible for as long as possible. Even if this means running them under the tap every few minutes and drying them off.

4. Five Minute Fridge Time – now normally I would banish you from putting any kind of fondant in the fridge as it’s a massive no-no, however, if you find that your icing/fondant is causing havoc and is effectively too hot to handle then put it in the fridge for five minutes to help stiffen it up before rolling out.

5. Freeze Dried – If you are creating intricate icing/fondant decorations or letters using moulds and you find that they’re not playing nice due to the weather then stick them in the freezer for about ten minutes.  This will cause the icing fondant to freeze and allow the decorations or lettering to be removed much more quickly because they will be solid. Once removed from the moulds, place them on a dusted cold surface (I use a plate) and allow them to return to room temperature. 

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