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Summer Sun and Buttercream

It seems such an age since my last blog. Where has all that time gone?

Here in the UK, we have been enjoying some amazing Summer sun. For those of you who live in the UK, this is really exciting to have more than one sunny day at a time, without a deluge of rain in between. The lack of rain has been a bit of a challenge with hosepipe bans, and some field fires but we have been luckier than many countries that have been beset with vast fires raging in the countryside. My thoughts go out to them.

You all know by now I love my fresh flowers but my garden is really looking very sad at the moment with wilted plants despite me getting out my watering can.  I don’t think my flowers in their current state will give me much inspiration for new projects.

Buttercream has also been a challenge in this hot weather. I know some of you from hotter climates have already worked out how to manage the heat and share this knowledge with others on my VIP Cake Community to help new pipers. I thank you all for your generosity of spirit. This spirit really is what makes my cake community so very special to me and all of the other members.

I am very fortunate to have air-conditioning now but I remember the struggles before it was installed. Hot weather, hot hands, and buttercream is a potential recipe for disaster. I have learnt a few tricks along the way which if, suitable to your lifestyle may help. This is one of those times to really consider temperature management as well as time management to survive the heat when piping with buttercream.

  • Consider baking your cupcakes last thing at night when the temperature is at its coolest and freeze the cupcakes. This allows the kitchen to cool overnight from the cooker heat.  A frozen cupcake will also help keep the buttercream cool whilst you are piping your flowers allowing them to crust before the heat gets into the buttercream.
  • Get up extra early to pipe before the real heat of the day builds.
  • A fan will definitely be a boost and are relatively inexpensive. It will help keep you cool.
  • Only put small amounts of buttercream in your bag at a time to avoid it getting hot from the heat of your hands.
  • You can use various methods to keep you and your hands cool. A bowl of iced water to plunge your hands into (don’t forget to dry your hands or you will get water drips on your piping). I have used a wet tea towel placed in the freezer. This will not only help keep your hands cool but is great for cooling your head. I did hear someone mention that they put a water bottle in the freezer to cool their bed. This might also work with cooling your hands and would prevent your hands from getting wet. You could try a freezer block wrapped in a tea towel.
  • If the buttercream in the bag starts to get too warm pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down again. Don’t leave it too long or you will not be able to pipe with it. Test it is free running before you start piping on your cupcake. Keep the covered buttercream in the fridge and only take out small amounts as you need it.

I am sure there are loads of other ideas out there and I am happy for everyone to share these in the Facebook VIP Cake Community. I will post a link to the blog in the group and please feel free to add any extra hints to the post that you think might assist other pipers in this heatwave.

Until next time.

Keep piping

Kerry xxx