Made a post, and lost it...
Essentially the skinny is this: I need to get the royal icing decorations for my wedding cake done over this next week. I've never worked with royal icing before, and I find the idea as intimidating as hell. Please help?
How long do I have to work with it before it dries?
Can I save the leftovers, since some of the work requires me to do this in stages?
Is there an easy way to clean my tips afterwards if the stuff dries on?
Can I add glycerin to help with the petal edges, and will that hurt how the royal dries?
Thank you... all of you are great.
I am not sure about the glycerine. The one thing to remember is to make sure that all the surfaces and tips that you are working with are very clean and grease free. Grease will cause your frosting to break down. It normally takes about 24 hours for something to dry. You shouldnt be scared of it, its not that much different then working with other frosing.
You can save the unused protions for later. Just make sure that it is sealed and not put in the fridge. Clean your tips the same as you would with buttercream. The icing doesnt dry that fast, but will start to set when you put on the surface you are working with. When you have icing in a bowl that you are not using and make sure a damp towel is put over the bowl to preven it from drying out.
Hi Illy, I can answer a few of your questions...when you are working with the royal icing, keep whatever you are not using "covered" or it will dry out. I don't know exactly how quickly, but it doesn't take long. Left over royal icing will the keep a very long time if put in an airtight container and left in the fridge. Cleaning the "tips" is actually easier with royal than w/buttercream because you don'thave all the grease. Just wash with hot soapy water and your done! Hoep this helps! I'm sure someone else will answer the rest of your questions!
First, it seems like you've got two contrasting answers about storing the leftover royal. One says to regrigerate it and the other says not to. Personally, I never refrigerate it. If you are using meringue powder (and not fresh egg whites) there is no need to refrigerate it as far as spoilage goes. (Tip--when using royal icing that has been sitting overnight, I take a whisk to it to stiffen it up a bit. When it is left for a while, it starts to separate)
Otherwise, don't be afraid! It pipes a lot like buttercream and is not difficult to work with at all. I favor working with royal icing over buttercream any day!
I am not sure about adding glycerin; I have never tried it. I do have something to add regarding the frosting drying. I have found that it helps to cover your frosting bags that containg the royal icing that you are not using at the moment with a damp cloth or towel. This seems to help me to prevent the royal icing that is in the tips of the other bags from drying while I am using a different bag.
If you are working with more than one color at a time put the tip ends of your bags into a damp muslin or cotton towel to keep the tips from drying out. I have one of those plastic organizer caddies that I cut sponges to size & keep in the bottom so I can just put the bag, tip end down, in the damp sponge, but a towel works just as well.
Once you finished piping your royal icing flowers, you can dip your fingers in some corn starch and kinda adjust the edges of the petals.