Bleeding/Weeping Fondant

WHAT IS BLEEDING / WEEPING FONDANT?
This happens when fondant of one color starts running onto/into another. Kind of like girls with thick mascara crying and leaving a stream of colored tears.
Weeping/Bleeding Fondant

WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
Simply put, it is caused when fondant starts dissolving. Specifically it is usually caused by condensation and/or humidity. For example if you take a fondant cake out from the freezer (if you happened to have kept it there) into room temperature…. that rapid increase in temperature will cause a lot of condensation to form… the water droplets will not be able to evaporate fast enough. When it starts dissolving the fondant, gravity takes over and the fondant weeps. So, it is not about the fondant melting - melting is when the temperature is very high, like if you steam the fondant so much it melts - weeping/bleeding occurs when the fondant, which is another state of sugar, starts dissolving with water turning into solution.

Humidity is the BIGGEST culprit. After it rains, there is a lot of humidity about. Fondant is just a huge sugar sponge… and it absorbs moisture from the air until it turns into a sugary liquid and starts flowing….

WHAT TO DO?
You cannot reverse any damage done except by wiping the "tears" away, which might smudge the cake anyway. Use a well wrung wet cloth.

You can stop the damage by moving the cake to a cool, DRY, enclosed place. So sitting it very near to the air-con blower or placing it in the refrigerator will STOP the damage. Good to do these once you notice any hint of weeping or bleeding.

WHAT NOT TO DO?
1.  DO NOT blow a fan at the cake because that will actually hasten the "weeping" as that will be introducing more moisture to the cake from the humid atmosphere!

2. DO NOT wipe with a very wet cloth or dry tissue. The wet cloth will introduce more moisture and the dry tissue will just cling and mess up the fondant. Wipe with a very well wrung cloth.

That said, it is always in my selfish interest that my cakes look its best till it is time for the cake cutting. But being in Singapore which can be sunny one moment and next moment Orchard Road floods….. we can never eliminate the risk of a weeping/bleeding fondant cake. Just like eliminating car accidents.

I ALWAYS feel AWFUL if any of my cake bleeds/weeps after I deliver, but it is only as good as being angry with the heavens for raining when it should be sunny…. Fortunately that has not happened often, but the photo that I attached was the worst case and it had to happen to the birthday cake of one of my favorite clients. I felt like weeping when I saw the photo.

A LITTLE BIT MORE ON HUMIDITY.
In Singapore, humidity ranges from 90% in the early morning to 60% in the late afternoon (no rain situation for the day) with average daily humidity at 84%. After a heavy rain, humidity can reach 100%. At 100% there is so much moisture in the air, any small drop in temperature is enough to form dew, and if the droplets are large enough, will dissolve the fondant. Butter cakes being so dense, keeps its core temperature very well, acting against itself as it will just mean continual condensation.

So if you have a fondant cake and you see it raining, move it to an enclosed air conditioned place pronto!

CONCLUSION
1. Avoid delivery in the early mornings.

2. If it is raining heavily, we will actually stall delivery. If the cake is already delivered, make sure it is in an ENCLOSED air conditioned place. If the cake can only be in the open, place it where there is no draft. Keep a look out. The first sign will be an extremely shiny cake.

3. Don't fret if it bleeds/weeps it is just physics doing its thing. Make it a conversational topic to the guests. It really is just sugar dissolved in water.

But I know… it is easier said than done….


9 comments:

  1. I AM POSTING THIS COMMENT ON BEHALF OF THE RECEIVER OF THE CAKE WHO COULD NOT DO IT BECAUSE OF COMPUTER LINKAGE PROBLEM.

    “Dear Veron, the cake in question is so beautifully done notwithstanding the fondant problem… we all laughed about the bleeding fondant and in fact we see it as "fa" till it overflows!!!and dripping with luck!!!Having another similarly designed cake will be double "fa".... thank you very much for all the effort put in and for so graciously baking the second cake for the actual day... thank you! Your professionalism and commitment is admirable and greatly appreciated.I would think that we are contributory to the incident to some extent and should have prevented further damage by placing the cake in a very cold air-conditioned room which we did not! We will certainly note your advice and instructions above for future cakes. Thank you so much for brightening up all our birthdays with such lovely cakes! Cheers, NY”

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  2. Thank you so much for the clear, concise explanation of this issue. Here in the US so many amateur and even professional bakers create wonderful fondant cakes that end up looking less than stellar... or awful... due to weeping/bleeding. As you point out in some cases it can't be avoided, but knowing what causes the problem and what precautions to take would eliminate... or at least reduce... the damage in the majority of cases. By the way, I selected your ultra elegant 70th birthday golf cake as one of my Top 10 golf cakes. It's truly spectacular!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Patricia,
      Thank you for reading my post and thank you even more for selecting my cakes for any honors. Do view my works on my Facebook page too as I update faster there.

      veron
      celebrate-with-cake

      Delete
    2. Hi, veronica

      I have started my new business of designer cakes. I was new to fondant. When i made my first fondant cake i store it in referegreted and there was no issue. I recently made my 2nd fondant cake and first ordered cake with fondant. This is a rainy season here in india. I store my cake in frezeer by mistake.......nd when i take it out it was sweating like any thing. I have to deliever it at the place which is 3 hrs travelling distance from my place. So i made this cake 2days ahead. I was searching for the solutions but i didnt get it.
      I used tissue papers/kitchen papers all around the cake and shifted it in to refregrater.
      I was checking the cake by every two hour and was changing w tissue papers when needed.
      Though i have to compromise on lil bit on designing but atleast 80% of the cakes and colors are safe. Atleast my cake was presentable.
      I shifted it in to ac car with full ac on, and safely travel to the delievery place. Cake was placed in front of the ac in car.
      Thx for article. Now i make it out that why that happen to my cake. I cover all figures on cake with tissue papers. Initially it was sweating a lot but by the time cake was stabilised.
      I learnt a lot from this.
      Once again thank u for the article.

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    3. Hi, Sorry to hear about what happened to your cake. India is like Singapore I guess in terms of humidity….. so you really gotta be very careful about storing your cake in the refrigerator and then taking it out. I will suggest letting it "rest" in an air-conditioned room after taking the cake out of the fridge.

      Great to hear that your cake was majority intact.

      Happy baking there.

      nick - on behalf of veron
      celebrate-with-cake

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  3. fabulously photo shoot!
    So cute and I just have to make some!
    Such a Pretty Cake.

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  4. Hi, I would like to order a cake for my husband. He is a scuba diver. How can I contact you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,
      Please email us at enquiries@celebrate-with-cake.com with the date of your party (so that we do not start a discussion for a date we cannot commit), how many you require to serve (so that we can suggest a cake size to suit your party) and the design/theme that you like so that we can give you a design with a quote. We only handle order queries through email. Thank you very much for your understanding.

      Nick - on behalf of Veron
      celebrate-with-cake

      _ _ _

      Delete
  5. Hi,
    I just experienced the same thing today when i made a SMBC cake for my customer.. All was going well and cake was pretty.. Just like how i had them in mind until it's collection time.. The icing bleeds! And i felt like crying.. Although after advising my customer to put it in e fridge or cool place, i still feel very disappointed in myself.. Gosh! I hate that feeling.. But after reading ur post, i felt better.. Just like u said, we cannot blame the heaven for e rain.. There's only so much we can do.. It's not something that we want it to happen.. Thank u for this post.. I felt a little better now..

    ReplyDelete

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