Sweating fondant

Discussion in 'Decorating' started by Akos, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    47
    Hello. My crumb coated cake was in the freezer for say 10 to 20 minutes. I brought it out cake to cover in fondant. When I was almost done, it started to sweat, and melting. I covered one earlier and nothing happened. What did I do wrong?
     
    Akos, Oct 19, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Location:
    Northern California
    Hello Akos

    You really didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just the nature of the beast when working with chilled cake.

    The condensation develops when there is a significant difference in temperature between the cake and the air.

    Fondant is pure sugar, which is highly hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the environment). This only adds to the problem of condensation development on the cake.

    There is no avoiding it if the cake has been chilled. However you can take some steps to mitigate against it.

    1. Dehumidifier: if you live in a humid environment and you own a dehumidifier, turn it on at least 12 hours before you begin.


    2. Refrigerator: it is best to place the cake in the refrigerator rather than the freezer when you are chilling before applying fondant. The reason being is that the refrigerator has an evaporator. Evaporators pull moisture out of the refrigerator.

    Cover the entire cake tier with a cake cover or heavy corrugated cardboard box.

    3. Refrigerator temperature. If your refrigerator does not have a digital thermostat, I would recommend you purchase a refrigerator thermometer. It’s best to set the refrigerator temperature to 40°F (4°C) or a degree or two higher.


    4. Air conditioner: if you have air conditioning, an hour before you begin rolling the fondant, blast the air conditioner to bring the temperature down to 68°F (20°C) or colder.

    5. Ganache: where heat and humidity are issues, it is best to use ganache under the fondant instead of buttercream. I know ganache isn’t always an option when your client has requested specific fillings and icing.

    Ganache is a good choice as you can leave the ganache covered cake on the counter overnight to set up — provided you filling does not require refrigeration. Leaving a good nosh covered cake on the counter eliminates the condensation problem. Just make sure your kitchen is cool.


    6. Cake cover: however if the cake has been chilled before applying fondant, after you apply the fondant, immediately cover the cake tier with a heavy corrugated cardboard box or plastic cake cover that is large enough to place over the cake tier. Then let it come to room temperature. As it warms, the fondant will dry.

    You don’t want to much room between the cake and the cover. The less air air around the cake the better.

    If you do not have a large box or cake cover you can use a stock pot. Just make sure when you turn the stock pot over the cake that the rim of the pot is flush with the cake board. If it is not wrap a towel around the rim of the stock pot to prevent air from flowing under it.

    Do not disturb the cake cover any more than necesssry; leave the cake covered until the fondant is completely dry. Depending on the size of the cake tier and the temperature of the cake when you started, the drying can take up to 3 hrs to 12 hrs.


    7. Decorations: do not add any decorations, especially dyed decorations to the fondant until it is completely dry. If you apply dyed decorations before the fondant dries completely, any moisture on the fondant will
    Cause the color to bleed onto the cake.


    8. Work method: when working with the cold cake it’s important that you work quickly. You want to get that fondant on as quickly as possible, then cover the cake with the corrugated cardboard box or cake cover and leave it sit at room temperature until the fondant dries.


    Remember the more you handle the cake, running the fondant smoother over it, rubbing your hands over it, you’re creating heat from friction. The difference in temperature between the inside of that cake and the heat you’re creating by handling it is going to encourage condensation. The less you handle the cake, and the sooner you get it covered the better


    9. Cornstarch: when rolling out your fondant use a bit of cornstarch or powdered sugar, which contains cornstarch. You don’t want to overdo the cornstarch as it will create elephant skin. But a thin layer of cornstarch will help keep the fondant dry.






    *********

    Methods on icing a cake with ganache

    First link is the upside down method to ganache a cake. The technique shown here can be used for applying buttercream as well. Are used to use this method. I just don’t like having to flip the cake over, so I stopped using this method a few years ago. But it does work.


    https://sweetnessandbite.com/how-to-ganache-a-cake


    This second link demonstrates

    The method I currently use. You can use cardboard cake circles in place of the acrylic guide used here. Years before I purchased acrylic guides, I used the cardboard cake circles. They work fine. The only reason I purchased the acrylic guides is they are reusable. Using disposable cake circles can get expensive.


     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 20, 2018
    #2
    Becky likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    47
    Thanks a lot my friend. I hear some bakers use Crisco to knead fondant. Is that a good practice?

    Please what is your Instagram handle?

    Can I have your email address please?
     
    Akos, Oct 20, 2018
    #3
    Norcalbaker59 likes this.
  4. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Location:
    Northern California
    @Akos

    I don’t use social media, so I don’t have Instagram.

    I sent you a message regarding email

    Regarding the crisco shortening...It’s not one or the other between cornstarch/powdered sugar and shortening. I set up my workstation with both when working with fondant.

    It’s a balancing act. Every time you work with fondant you work by feel. If you commit to only cornstarch or only shortening, you CANNOT fine tune the texture. Each has a different effect on the fondant. So you need both of these tools to obtain the best results.

    They both provide benefits in handling in that the fondant will not stick to the surface and rolling pin. But there also some significant differences

    Cornstarch has a drying effect, so it will counter a sticky texture.

    Shortening has a softening of fact so it will counter a dry texture.

    **********
    As you knead the fondant, you’ll get an idea of how dry or sticky it is.


    If it feels too dry, rub a thin layer of shortening on your hands. DO NOT ADD IT DIRECTLY INTO THE FONDANT. Then continue to knead the fondant. You do not want to add shortening into the fondant as too much will ruin it.


    Repeat coating hands with very thin layer of shortening as needed, but take care not to add to much.


    **********


    If the fondant feels tacky/sticky, sprinkle an extremely light layer of cornstarch or powdered sugar on it. Then continue to knead.


    Keep in mind there’s a difference between moist and tacky/sticky. You need the fondant moist enough to roll and drape. If it’s too dry or too tacky it will not roll out smoothly. But you don’t want the fondant bone dry either.

    **********

    Since fondant contains fat (oil) and sugar, when using shortening, cornstarch or powdered sugar in the decorating process, you’re changing the properties of the fondant. So it’s extremely important that you use shortening and cornstarch/powdered sugar VERY SPARINGLY.


    Shortening

    Pros:
    • Fondant does not try out as quickly
    • Softens fondant makes pliable
    • Adds gloss finish
    • No powdery residue on surface
    • Makes handling easier as fondant won’t stick to rolling pin or surface

    Cons:
    • Too much won’t absorb condensation
    • Too much makes it too soft to hold shape and scuff easily
    • Too much looks greasy and be greasy to the touch and feel
    • Too much will make fondant clumpy, like a cookie dough as it will break down the fondant
    • Too much could affect attachment of decorations to the fondant
    • Too much shortening can affect food dye or cause dyed decorations to bled onto the fondant

    Cornstarch

    Pros:
    • Eliminates tacky/sticky texture
    • Makes handling easier as fondant won’t stick to rolling pin or surface
    • Absorbs condensation
    • Very fine powder easier to brush off than powdered sugar


    Cons:
    • Too much will dry out fondant.
    • Too much will effect flavor of fondant
    • White powder can be visible on darker colors
    • Too much leaves powdery residue on surface
    • Residue on the surface could affect attachment of decorations to the fondant



    Powdered Sugar

    Pros:
    • Makes handling easier as fondant won’t stick to rolling pin or surface
    • Absorbs condensation
    • Doesn’t effect taste of fondant

    Cons:
    • Too much will dry out fondant
    • Too much can make fondant sticky since sugar is hygroscopic
    • Too much will effect flavor of fondant
    • May be visible on darker colors
    • May leaves powdery residue on surface
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 20, 2018
    #4
  5. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    47
    Thanks so so much. I really appreciate this. Always learning
     
    Akos, Oct 20, 2018
    #5
    Norcalbaker59 likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.