Want to know the magic answer?
You thought I had a magical solution didn’t you? Hahah sorry, nope. But I do have some useful advice.
But before we talk about how to stop things melting in summer, let’s just think about what we are working with. Butter. Butter from the fridge is hard, a brick. In winter, we can leave butter on the bench for days and might still be hard.
But butter has a melting point. and that quickly gets reached in summer. It is even worse when we are talking about dairy free items as margarine tubs are already flexible straight from the fridge.
Here’s some practical tips to combat heat:
1. Environment: keep your workign area cool. If this means air con or fans, see what can work for you and your home
2. Time of day. think about baking when it is coolest, to keep you, your goods and home as cool as possible.
3. Goods: work with items at room temperature. You’ll notice butter won’t take as long to come to room temperature in summer. Sometimes it will be soft within 20 minutes. If it’s too hot, make it colder ie fridge or freezer.
4. Storage: I usually say things don’t need to go into a fridge over about 27 degrees. But it does depend on your house and how cool it is. In summer, things do need to go in the fridge. Make sure you have room!
5. Transport: Even if my house is cool I will often chill items before delivery/travel. This is so they are as cool as possible. Also make sure they are not in direct sun in the car, and no not leave them alone in a hot car. Ever.
6. Destination: Where are you goods sitting at the end of their journey? Is there a fridge? Is there shade? Planning ahead will lead to less tears!
To reassure you, I once delivered by brother’s three tier wedding cake in 43 degree heat in the middle of the day, and it had no fridge to go into. It survived. And I bawled my eyes out when they cut it because of the stress release, and some emotions. You can work with buttercream in summer, if you are smart and prepared.