This following information are the basic rules of Royal Icing, every teaching has their own hints and ideas on how to work with Royal Icing; these are a few hints. As with any information, attending a class is recommended to learn all the little tricks of the trade. For more information on upcoming classes at Confectionary Chalet’s Studio or classes being offered in your area, visit Kathleen’s Class Schedule and News & Event’s Pages.
Hints on Using Royal Icing
- All utensils and containers must be grease free and free of soap residue when making Royal Icing.
- When using Meringue powder, follow the recipe for the Brand of Meringue you are using. Some recipes can use any type of meringue if not specified which brand.
- Royal takes several minutes of beating with mixer to become desired consistency. The time will vary according to the type of mixer you use. When using a hand mixer, stop and allow your mixer to cool down when it begins to overheat. Cover the icing bowl with a damp cloth each time you stop to cool the mixer. You can burn up a hand mixer making Royal Icing.
- For small amounts of Royal Icing, you may prefer mixing by hand, rather than a mixer.
- Royal Icing is best when used immediately after making. It tends to break down loose its stiffness and droop with time. If icing doesn’t begin to hold shape, add extra powdered sugar and re-mix till it holds its shape. Royal made with Meringue powder will allow you to remix to its original consistency. Royal made with egg whites is more difficult to remix and will not hold its consistency as long.
- Royal Icing made with egg whites is stronger than then Royal Icing made with Meringue powder, unless using packaged brands with all egg white. Keep this in mind when making Royal Icing lace, butterflies or similar removable decorations.
- To give Royal Icing lace, extension work stretch or elasticity you may add a pinch of Gum Arabic powder, gum tragacanth or CMC Powder (found in a cake supply store) and a little glucose; if you add to much of the powers they will become extremely stiff and hard to squeeze.
- For extremely fine decorating tips, you may use a woman’s clean white stocking to squeeze Royal Icing through to eliminate clumps of sugar or frosting from clogging you decorating tips.
- Keep your Royal icing covered with a damp cloth at all times. Keep Royal Icing in a mixing bowl so you may re-mix during use; this will help bring back original back to original consistency and less air bubbles.
- Never keep a bag of royal icing in your hand continuously, more than 15 minutes, this will break down the icing and cause it to look bubbly, not as smooth. I prefer using parchment paper, the frosting will not break down as quickly
- Keep all decorating tips in a damp cloth when using or icing will dry hard in your decorating tips.
- Do not store Royal Icing in plastic containers. Plastic is porous and very difficult to degrease. Use glass or stainless steel to store Royal Icing when not in use.
- Store UN-used Royal icing in refrigerator. Place a damp paper towel or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the Royal icing and cover tightly with plastic wrap or jar lid. When removing royal from the refrigerator, return to room temperature before remixing.
- If your Royal icing is divided into several small colored batches, you may re-mix by hand using a wire mini-whip. Use immediately as it will not hold up for very long.
- Extra strong Royal icing with egg whites may store in the refrigerator for 1 week, although I prefer making fresh each time before doing run-outs. Extra strong Royal icing is used for Flow-in, Color Flow or Run out Sugar work. (Different names for brand names, the same technique).
- Meringue powder Royal icing will last up to one month in the refrigerator. If re-mixing after a long period of storage time; add 1-2 teaspoons (depending on how much frosting you are remixing of Meringue powder as remixing to bring back original consistency.