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Old 01-07-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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Problems with Royal Icing

Hello All,
I am having problems with my Royal Icing. After i apply the icing to a cake, clear skicky fluid comes out it. I assume this has something to do with the egg whites in it. I don't really follow a recipe when i make it... i just add caster sugar or powdered sugar until i get stiff peaks. I have noticed a recipe that states that the sugar should be dissolved in some water and then added as a surup. Do you think this would help?
My mother suggested that it could be the humidity affecting it as we live in Sydney, but the icing still goes bad even if i leave it in the fridge.
Please help.

Thanks, Bethsy :)

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Old 01-07-2007, 11:03 PM   #2
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Bethsy, as far as I know, when you apply royal icing, it should come out clear at first when applied to your cake and then dry as a white icing. Here in the states we use powdered sugar (the same as your caster sugar), so I think the results should be the same.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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humidity is a factor, especially in the fridge. If you refrigerated it, that is instant moisture exposure, and will ruin the icing.

Is the item completely cooled before icing? Carry over heat can make the icing run too.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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Hey Amber,
Royal Icing is just basically uncooked meringue to the best of my knowledge (it has the same basic ingredients). It starts out clear with the egg whites and then as you beat it and add the sugar, it turns white and into peaks. You can then add colour at your own discretion.
The clear fluid comes out after the icing has set. It is very sticky and changes colour depending on what colour you have made the icing.
In the past when i made Lemon Meringue Pie i had the same problem with the cooked meringue on top. Afterwhile all this fluid appears....
I am sure it has something to do with the eggs.... anyone have an effective Royal Icing recipe that i could try?
Bethsy.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:21 PM   #5
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Hey Tattrat,
It's not that the icing itself falls off and runs.... it's some by-product that comes out of it.
Yes the cakes are cool/cold when it's applied. Surely though there has to be a better way. I am in Australia so it's relatively humid here but how does the rest of the world cope? Don't they use this icing for weddings? Couldn't have a leaking wedding cake! Thanks all.
Bethsy.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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well, I know you Aussies are in the peak of summer, and I know that at home( in Bermuda) royal icing is hardly ever used and they use rolled fondant, like much of the east coast here in the states. I know that the icing has it's place, but the times I have had issues, it is a result of humidity, whites to sugar ratio, or perhaps extra water in the whites. Sounds like the frosting is weeping perhaps. I dunno that it is humidity or the whites, but it is not the sugar, but it must be something.

I know if you use the search function, I know we have had a few discussions about royal icing, might want to take a look see. Here is a quick link:
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...earchid=420705
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:28 AM   #7
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Ah-ha! Found the thread! Never mind about steering me here, Bethsy!

Royal icing definitely is just powdered (confectioner's) sugar and egg white, although you can add a drop or two of water or lemon juice if needed. I think it's seldom if ever used to actually ice a cake because it dries ROCK hard and would actually require a saw or hammer to get through it! It is, however, used for piped decorations where it's very suitable.

The only thing that I know which will break down royal icing is grease. Mind you, even though I know this well in theory, I have managed to forget (once only!) and pipe onto a butter-based icing (royal icing piped decorations are ONLY suitable for placement on fondant which is grease-free). Within an hour or so thereafter, the piped designs started to break down. Thank heavens it was for a group of 12-year-olds who were more hungry than critical!

As for "effective" recipes, they wouldn't be any different than what you already have since royal icing is simply the sugar and the egg white. However, you appear to be starting with the egg white (a whole egg?) then adding sugar which surprises me a bit, only because relatively little egg white is needed overall to get the right consistency -- less than a single egg white for a pretty hefty amount of icing -- so I question your method a bit. Try starting with the sugar in your mixer bowl and adding very small amounts of egg white (beaten whites make this possible, otherwise it just holds together in that blobby way egg whites have ...) in stages, beating between stages. I'm going to take a guess here that just maybe you were trying to get a different consistency than is actually appropriate for royal icing (i.e. spreadable) and may therefore have added too much egg white for the amount of sugar. The result may "weep" as you've described ...

The recipe you're referring to where the sugar is added as a syrup is for Italian meringue, not royal icing. It's a GEORGEOUS icing -- nice sheen, pipeable, stable -- but it's not for beginners because it can be tricky.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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Royal Icing is rarely, if ever, used as a wedding cake covering. It has an unfortunate habit of setting like rock in our climate.

Use rolled fondant [also called plastic icing, sugarpaste or soft rolled icing]

For experimentation, have a play with Orchard White Icing which comes in a 500g pack from supermarkets and cake decorating suppliers.]

As for Royal Icing:
1. Use a recipe; you are not getting the proportions or technique correct
2. use Pure Icing Sugar - caster sugar is not the correct crystalline structure for Royal icing: Icing Sugar Mixture has cornflour added, and it is not for Royal Icing
3. what are you using under the Royal Icing - marzipan is traditional.
4. do not place Royal Icing in the fridge - there is not need. A clear skicky fluid indicates that it is breaking down due to refridgeration condensation/moisture.


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