Friday, May 27, 2011

Royal Icing

Royal icing is a pure white icing that many confectioners use to decorate cakes and cookies.  This type of icing dries smooth to hard depending on the amount of powdered sugar used.  This is ideal for piping works on cakes and also use to "glue" some other decorations on cookies.  The very popular use of this icing as glue is during the holiday season when making gingerbread houses.

There are a lot of variations of how to make this icing.  Some prefer to use meringue powder instead of egg whites.  I have tried meringue powder but I didn't quite like it, for me it tastes weird.  So here I am going to share to you a very easy way of making royal icing using egg whites.

Here's what you need:
3 egg whitesshould be at room temperature before beginning.
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, place the egg  whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar. Using the whisk attachment,  beat all together on low speed until combined.  You can use hand mixer if you don't have a stand mixer but note that it will take longer to get to the right consistency.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Restart the mixer and beat the mixture on medium speed until very thick,  shiny, stiff and white, about 7-10 minutes. 

Check the consistency to ensure that it is suitable for your  needs. If you require a stiffer icing, add a little more powdered sugar  at this point and mix again.

If you want to add color to your icing, add a  few drops of food coloring into the bowl and mix it for a few seconds  until evenly distributed.  This is now ready to use.
Royal icing dries hard and fast so once you have come to the desired consistency and have added some color be sure to use it immediately.  If not, icing must be stored in an air tight container.

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