How to make sure your cake doesn't melt in the heat
It's so hot outside I'm surprised my tea hasn't evaporated. Goodness knows what a buttercream cake must be feeling.
That said, there are always ways to ensure your cake doesn't become some dribbling pool in the centre of your outdoor celebration.
The biggest problem is adapting to weather we're not used to. In America, the clever so-and-sos have got themselves air conditioning installed in practically every place possible, so baking's less of a scream and more the dream it ought to be.
But here we never seem to expect hot weather. It doesn't occur to us that the heatwave from last year could happen again. And again. And again.
Remember June twelve months ago? I do. Vividly.
I was 8 months pregnant and it was 34 degrees. The cakes were a priority. And here's what I learned:
If you want a fondant cake to look its best, don't put buttercream underneath. Use ganache instead and put the fondant on as late as you possibly can.
Buttercream cakes are easier initially as they can go in the fridge. However, if you want them to last longer than five minutes in the sunshine or a marquee, make sure you use swiss meringue buttercream. Its stability is famous for making it more likely to withstand hot temperatures.
That said, it's not a good idea for any cake to stay out too long, especially if you're using dairy. The good news is:
Fondant is naturally dairy-free.
You can make vegan ganache.
You can make a version of swiss meringue buttercream using dairy-free margarine and no egg.
It's still fashionable to have a naked wedding cake, which means there's no exterior icing. You can either use vegan frosting or simply have jam between the layers. Just make sure it's a thick-set jam and not jelly, which may make it dribble. (If you're wondering what the difference is between (e.g. raspberry) jam and jelly, the former still has seeds in.)
So there we go. Good luck in your cake making! Just be careful how you go out there.
Do share your cake stories below - I'd love to hear from you!