Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Hot Hands" & Buttercream

Today, I'm going to talk about my struggles of having "hot hands".
Last night was day two of my Cake Techniques & Design class, loving it so far by the way. Our project was to mask, cover and pipe simple borders to the Genoise cake that we created the first meeting, using French Buttercream. For those who are not familiar with French buttercream, it is very rich and "buttery" type of frosting.  Personally, I love it because I love anything with butter, but some people think it's very heavy. So as I was icing and smoothing out my cake and getting it prepped for borders, I was reminded once again on why working with buttercream is my least favorite thing when it comes to cake decorating. Some people, who are lucky enough are born with normal temperatures in their hands, while others like me are born with unusually hot hands that can literally melt butter in a matter of seconds. My challenge begins as soon as I start holding a piping bag filled with buttercream. Having hot temperature in your hands dissolves and melts the buttercream faster, thus making it hard for the decorator to create the shape. In my case last night, I couldn't create a simple shell border and rosettes. I expressed my frustration to the chef and was glad to know that it can be controlled and that I am not the only one who has this kind of problem. So being that I learned something new, I'd like to share some tips for you guys out there who go through the same problem as I do when using buttercream.

1.) Use gloves- Rubber gloves (those used for food prep) can act as a barrier to prevent heat from transferring to the piping bag, I'm also going to try putting the gloves on the fridge or freezer first to make it cold.
2.) Prepare multiple piping bags and switch it around. This may seem like a task but switching around bags will ensure that you are not transferring all the heat in your hands in just one bag.
3.) Try to wash or run your hands with cold water or ice before touching a piping bag.
4.) If the buttercream starts melting put it back in the fridge for a couple minutes.
5.) If all else fails...pray.

Hope this helps, happy decorating!


***Photos are for reference only and do not reflect my actual work***


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