Oh humidity...why do you hate me so?
Here is the full Editorial from this months Cakes Decor Gazette, I got a little carried away and had to trim ALOT of it…sorry Michal haha!
Full March Editorial
Well good riddance February! I won’t miss your horrible humidity that storms our kitchens, moistening and pillaging, taking no prisoners and leaving soggy, sludgy messes in your wake!
Sydney has just suffered through one of its most humid months in memory and I have realised that Cake Decorating and humidity are mortal enemies!! Last weekend I had the pleasure of making an Under Sea themed Baby Shower cake for my gorgeous friend. I could see it in my mind the minute she told me of her theme…a tiny ‘merbaby’ with his shimmery, scaly tail nestled inside an open pearly clam shell sitting atop a shimmering blue tier swarming with beautiful hand painted sea creatures and billowing clouds of seaweed.
Then a double barrel tier awash with ocean coloured ombre ruffles sitting in a bed of soft, sparking sand……sigh…..can you tell I was a little bit excited to make this cake? Haha!
So I set about spending a week painstakingly making all the elements that needed to dry in time to be intricately hand painted. Everything was dry and ready to go when I got up on Friday morning to find everything droopy and soggy gasp!!! In to the oven they all went with the oven light on, 8 hours later they were all lovely and solid again so I started to attach all the coloured pieces to set in place firmly while I painted the others. I immediately wondered what I was doing wrong…each stroke I painted made the surface ball up and flake off…what the??? I turned to look at the cake only to realise the seaweed and clam shell were starting to bend in half and were now about as firm as a strand of cooked spaghetti!! So back in the oven everything went with the family issued with the standard “you turn the oven on you lose a limb” warning.
I then tackled the ruffles…I figured they would probably take me between 2 and 3 hours….there were a lot of ruffles! As soon as I put the second row on it flopped….I poked and prodded and glued and pasted…flop! Gah!! More tylose….flop….roll the fondant thicker…flop…thinner….flop! Then I had a brainstorm! I dug out my brand new packet of patchwork pins and sterilised them, then started turning the cake into the world’s biggest pin cushion. And you wouldn’t believe how well it worked! It ended up taking 5 hours but they all ended up staying where they were put.
Anyway, at about 5am I decided that the sea creatures were all just going to be pearl lustred and put everything back together, took some photos…terrible photos, thinking I would get some better ones in the daylight on the buffet table we had to set up. The cake and I were picked up at 9am (yes I was trashed lol!) and we made our way up the mountains to our destination an hour away. 10 minutes before arrival I foolishly peeked inside the box….you guessed it….everything was soggy again and the clam appeared to be devouring the tail-less baby Merman!
Upon arrival I sprang into action to save the poor tail-less Merbaby – yes it’s just a baby now – from the clutches of the Giant clam. A quick removal of the top shell and few more pokes and prods confirmed that this was as good as it was going to get and I spent the next 2 hours smiling, chatting and laughing with the chant “eat the evidence’” “eat the evidence” running through the back of my mind. Sigh…..talk about a fast way to make you feel like you know absolutely nothing! Please tell me I’m not alone….
I seem to have beaten the enemy on the home front between using my air conditioner and the good old oven light, but transportation has killed me each time. I would love to hear any of your shockers or successes battling the dreaded enemy to sugar that is humidity :)
Raewyn, Sydney, Australia https://www.facebook.com/cakesbyraewyn