Royal Icing…How to make it
Its way harder than you think, and chances are the first time you make royal icing you will screw it up. Royal Icing needs to be coaxed, coddled, and finessed. Its like dealing with a high maintenance girlfriend the first time you make it. But once you get it right, you will always (for the most part) be successful in the future.
A few things to know:
Royal icing is highly suseptable to grease. Don’t let any greasy-anything near it. In fact I suggest making royal in metal, and glass bowls only. Plastic is a difficult surface to remove oils from (chemically oil and plastic are very similiar–therefore they bond together, and are difficult to separate).
There are alot of ways to make royal icing all of them include beating the mixture for a decent amount of time (7-12 minutes). Egg whites which are present in every royal icing reciepe, are interesting for their ability to bond with air particles and increase their volume. And though its totally possible to over mix both egg whites and just about anything else you bake (except for gluten free cake–more on this later) you must adequatey beat this egg white-containing mixture in order for it to arrive at the proper consistency.
Here are some royal icing recipes. All work. You may like some better than others. Some could potentially break your beaters…
Royal Icing The Old-fashioned way:
2 egg whites*
1 TBSP lemon juice
3 cups of powdered sugar
Combine lemon juice and egg whites and mix using egg beaters or counter top mixer. Egg whites should have some foam present but still be liquidy.
Add sugar and continue beating. The frosting will first look like the paste that weird kid in kindergarten ate. Continue mixing and you will notice the frosting is ready when it appears dry and crisp.
*Egg whites can be appear in various forms. Straight from the chicken, or you can used Egg Beater’s egg white which are flash pasturized (pasturized without cooking) which kills any chance of salmonela.
*Dried egg whites (available in the baking aisle) also work well. The powder should be reconstituted with water according to the directions on the canister (usually 2 tbsps). Once combined with water egg whites should be strained of all lumps–and believe me there are always lumps.
Royal Icing can also be made with Meringue Powder. Wilton is the only company I know offers this product, and it is available in craft stores and online. Meringue Powder is a combination of dried egg whites, cream of tartar and a few other stablizing ingredients. Merignue powder isn’t as smelly as dried egg whites and can also be used as an egg replacer in many recipes.
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 TBSP Meringue Powder
1/2 cup water
Combine sugar and meringue powder in mixing bowl with a hand mixer or counter top mixer. Slowly add water. I recommend beginning with 1/3 cup water and increase by 2 Tbsp if needed. For a stiff consistency refrain from adding more that 1/2 cup (8 tbsp), unless your hand mixer is really struggling. Wilton also recommends adding Meringue powder to butter cream frosting. A great list of frosting reciepes from Swiss Meringue to Chocolate Buttercream is included inside the canister.
Also heres’s a big tip: Should you not want to have you counter tops, shelves and various kitchen spaces covered with a thin but noticeable layer of confectioner’s sugar and be using a super-awesome- fantastic Kitchenaid Mixer then try this:
Hide your pretty kitchenaid underneath a damp dish towel. All those sugar particles with remain at bay, even if it makes your mixer look a little sad.
Entry Filed under: Royal Icing