“What is the best way to thicken and stabilize frosting in hot climates?”
Florida’s hot, humid summers are a confectionary torture test. With 90 to 100 degree summer days, it’s enough to melt anybody’s buttercream. A Palm Beach bakery reached out for some inspiration on making a frosting that’s a pleasure to eat in the Florida heat.
For a better beach-weather buttercream, use a blend of 50% shortening and 50% butter. This will raise the melting point of the frosting so it can stand the heat outside your kitchen. This might be a viable option for strongly flavored frostings, but that large of a swap for shortening is going to noticeably change the flavor.
The flavor difference will be more pronounced in delicate flavors like a traditional American buttercream.
The added shortening is a good option depending on your current frosting recipe, but it’s far from perfect. Better to experiment with a small added ingredient that can have a larger impact.
Liquid soy lecithin (product link) can help hold the fat together and stabilize the frosting. Just a drizzle of liquid soy lecithin at 0.5% by weight of the fat in your recipe of your recipe while blending your butter/shortening.
Unlike building the frosting from a fat with a higher melting point, such as shortening, adding soy lecithin won’t affect the flavor. This let’s it be a suitable solution for most frosting recipes from the decadent to the delicate.
Thanks for your question!
Chef Scott Guerin
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