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Cake advice please: hot weather – chocolate plastic and choc mirror glaze

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7 replies to this topic

#1 LucyInAust

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:09 AM

I’ve been asked to make a birthday cake in slightly difficult circumstances: hot weather, a 5 hour drive … then handed to caterers but not served for another 7 hours … on a boat … and I wont be there.


Temperature in the area (and for the drive) will be around 43degC (110degF)!!!  Yes, a total nightmare for any form of cake!!!!  Luckily it is family, who will forgive if it isn’t pretty but it must taste good (and as long as I don’t give anyone food poisoning!). For transport I have the option of a car fridge and once it arrives at the venue it is likely to be able to be placed in a fridge.  Please help with any advice/experience!


Cake is going to be an adaption of the Claudia Roden Whole Orange Almond Cake (no layers, so stable).  Decorating (how I wish I could just serve plain cake but not possible) … thinking of topping with a chocolate mirror glaze and wrapping around the edge of chocolate plastic or plain chocolate with a transfer sheet??? – which is more stable?  I’ve made all the components before so I’m not too worried about them … I’m worried about assembling/transport/temps.


Is it worth freezing the cake before trying to decorate?  Mirror glaze first or chocolate edge first? I’d normally use a frosting to attach the chocolate edge with but trying to avoid anything extra. Also trying to work out how to cover/carry it (my normal cake carriers I don’t think will fit in the car fridge).


I know if the chocolate plastic is refrigerated it can develop condensation – so am not sure I want the cake to be kept very very cold.  The car fridge I can choose the temperature and I was wondering would a slightly higher than normal fridge temperature reduce condensation? (say 15degC?) but then if the caterers place it in a fridge does this just counteract that anyway?  (once it arrives at the destination it is either fridge or 43degC!).  Could I instruct the caterers to take it out before serving time and it might dry out but not melt?!?!


Oh … just remembered the added complication – I work … so it will need to be finished the night before!!!  (when I was asked I really REALLY didn’t think I was going to have to do this … and it is due in less than a week).


I’m sure a nice stable fondant would be more sensible – but I can’t use that and nothing else I can find that are chocolate coverings are going to stand up to heat anyway.  I’m thinking of calling it a chocolate orange PUDDLE cake … then no one will be disappointed at what turns out!!


Many thanks for any suggestions (I so hate Australian summers!!!)

#2 Mjx

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:33 AM

This discussion may help for a start, although it is focused specifically on chocolate-making (in Australian heat): Chocolateering in warm weather

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums

#3 Mette

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 02:21 AM

Why dont you cover it in marzipan or ½/½ marzipan/fondant and make the decorations out of the same stuff- stable, moldable, colourable and the flavour will go well with the cake - you can even use marmelade as glue to stick i to the cake to complement the cake flavour


good luck

#4 Tri2Cook

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 04:35 AM

That's a tasty cake. I did a version of it that also contains chocolate a while back (I can dig up the recipe if you'd like to see it. It was provided by eGullet member The Old Foodie, who also has an awesome blog on exploring old/ancient recipes and foods). I used a layer of ganache and a mirror glaze but I think the marzipan suggestion above would work really well with this cake. Although, if you can transport it under refrigeration and it can remain refrigerated at the destination until needed, the heat shouldn't be a huge factor.



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#5 JeanneCake

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 07:27 PM

Would you consider covering it with chocolate fondant?  There's a recipe for it in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum or you could purchase it ready made..... I find chocolate fondant to be very different from the white fondant - less sweet, for one!

#6 Alleguede

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:56 AM

For safe transport you can freeze your cake. As much as use a freezer stable glaze. It should give you a form of safety net. But that heat is hot for anything. Lol!

#7 LucyInAust

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for the replies.


The aircon will be running this weekend as I attempt to make the decorations with temps over 90degC at home!!  Lots of fridge time I think!!

#8 LucyInAust

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:25 AM

Really pleased with how it turned out.  Lots of back and forth from the fridge, especially making the flowers!!!  The chocolate plastic was pretty easy to work with and I'd definitely use it again.  Tasted delicious too (Callebaut).

My sister helped me in the end ... and not only did we have to cope with heat, we also had to evacuate due to fires in the area!!!


The photo is before it travelled!!

Attached Images

  • Mum 70 cake.jpg

Edited by LucyInAust, 12 February 2014 - 03:27 AM.