How to make royal icing
So you've seen all those gorgeous cupcakes decorated with royal icing, and hundreds of yummie cookie ideas topped off with royal icing, but still don't know the secret to royal icing. Here's how to make the best royal icing...
whites of 3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
In large bowl, beat the egg whites with the vanilla until frothy.
Slowly add the icing sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated and mixture looks shiny. Make sure to scrape down the sides as you mix.
Turn up the speed to high and beat until the mixture forms nice stiff peaks, about 5 to 6 minutes.
At this stage If you want coloured icing, you can separate into individual bowls and add a few drops of food colouring. If the mixture gets too thin, add a bit more icing sugar. If it seems a little thick, you can add a tiny bit of water until you obtain the right consistency.
Now you are ready to pour your icing into a piping bag or squeeze bottle. You will need a piping bag and nozzle or squeeze bottle for every colour you are working with. Once icing is in bottle, invert bottle upside down inside of a tall drinking glass. In order to keep the tip from drying out, tear a little piece of paper towel, moisten it with water and place in bottom of glass. This will help with a clean, steady flow of icing out of the bottle.
Good to know:
Try the 10 second test...
Getting the consistency right is important. You don't want royal icing that is too runny. But how do you know when to add more icing sugar or water to get the right consistency?
A simple trick is to test the mixture to see if it passes the "10 second test".
Use a knife and run it across the surface of the icing to about a centimetre deep. Now count 10 seconds. If the icing closes the gap at about the 10 second mark your icing is perfect.
Under 8 seconds you can add a little more icing sugar - just a tad and try the test again. If the gap takes longer to close up, add a small amount of water.
Keep it under wraps...
Keep the icing covered at all times, as it dries out quickly. Pop a tea towel over the bowl, or make sure the nozzle on the piping bag is covered.
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