Could It Have Been The Humidity In The Air Today??

Baking By JennT Updated 20 Mar 2006 , 6:17pm by Kos

JennT Posted 19 Mar 2006 , 11:04pm
post #1 of 12

I made a batch of the no-fail last night to decorate with the kids today. I used Antonia74's icing, like I've done ever since she posted her thumbs_up.gif Except today I had a horrible time with it...never had a problem before. It never would get as thick as it's supposed to while it was mixing...I let it go in the mixer for 15 minutes and still it was a bit on the thin side. I was afraid to let it go much longer. I'd added another 1/2 cup powdered sugar and it started to thicken up and eventually looked right. I turned the mixer off and got a few bowls and things together to mix up some different sat for maybe 5 minutes or so before I got back to it. When I started stirring it (since it had sat briefly) before pouring in the bowls, it was a little thinner consistency again!?? icon_confused.gif It was like a few tablespoons of water had been added to it, or something...does this make sense?? Like it thinned as it sat?! icon_confused.gificon_mad.gif

When I filled my bags, it was immediately running right out the shouldn't have done that right?? Unless I had thinned it, right?? But I hadn't. I went ahead and used it and it flooded perfectly...but it wouldn't hold the shape of the star or flower tips...a little while after the boys were done with them, I checked on them and the stars and flowers they'd done were just big I don't know...the only thing I can think of that was different today was the humidity was really high - it started raining about an hour later. It was also on the cool side, though...and I've had all my windows open and only used the screen doors today (left the regular doors open) that the house could air out on such a breezy day. Confused! lol Has anyone else experienced this or have any ideas what might have caused it? Good thing it was just for me and the kids to play with and not for an icon_rolleyes.gif

11 replies
Cake_Princess Posted 19 Mar 2006 , 11:26pm
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Humidity can cause that. Royal Icing is finicky that way.

golfgirl1227 Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 2:19am
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Humidity screws everything up, especially my hair!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_surprised.gif)

It's hard to get egg whites to whip up good when it's really humid, but if you add cream of tartar it helps. So I'm wondering if you could add a little bit more cream of tartar to the royal icing on especially humid days and that would help. Hmmmmmmm. Maybe you could post a question to Sarah Phillips on because she's like a food genius!


kaecakes Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 2:23am
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To me it sounds as if you had a grease residue somewhere.

SugarCreations Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 2:24am
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Yes the cream of tartar would help with the humidty. Being an acid it will retard moisture. Vinegar and lemon juice will also work but they are weaker than cream of tartar. Tartaric Acid is what is used in sugar work also cream of tartar is used.

golfgirl1227 Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 3:18am
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I KNEW someone on here would know! I love this site.

thyterrell Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 3:26am
post #7 of 12

I'll bet that there was a trace of grease somewhere. A friend of mine mixed up her royal icing one time and mixed it in a bowl she had previously used for popcorn. She had washed it by hand, but it still had enough residue on it that her royal icing just turned into a runny mess. I always wash all of my stuff in the dishwasher, and then take a paper towel dipped in a little bit of vinegar and clean everything, tips included. I only store royal icing in pyrex bowls with lids. Even the tiniest bit of grease will ruin it. You also can't put it in a vinyl piping bag that previously had buttercream icing in it.

golfgirl1227 Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 6:02am
post #8 of 12

Or it could be grease residue...................hehe!!!

Or maybe a combo!

I pour some vinegar in my clean KA bowl, throw in the mixer attachments and a spatula and whatever tips, etc. I'll be using. Then I fill with hot water and just let it sit for awhile. Then I rinse it all and dry it- and it's good to go.

JennT Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 7:05am
post #9 of 12

Thanks for all the replies! icon_smile.gif

It most likely was not grease I used the same bowl I always do for KA stainless steel mixer bowl...and it had soaked in hot water/soap overnight, was washed in the dishwasher...and then because I planned on making royal with it, I wiped it all down with vinegar - including my paddle. Minus the vinegar, that's how I always clean the bowl/attachments. And I've even made royal before and forgotten to wipe everything down with vinegar beforehand and not had this problem. As for the tips - I always run them through the dishwasher, then soak in vinegar a little bit after every use...just in case the next time I use one of them is with royal. And I always use disposable plastic bags when working with royal to avoid the possibility of any grease residue in the bag. So that pretty much rules the grease option But it was doing what it did in the bowl...and I knew my bowl was extra clean, so that's what lead me to wonder if it was the humidity. I bet if I hadn't opened up my windows and doors to let in the fresh air that it would've been fine. I literally could feel the dampness in the air, so I bet that was it...just wonder why it never occurred to me until AFTER I'd made the icing?! lol icon_rolleyes.gif

Lesson learned: If you live in the crazy humid South...put your house on lock-down before making royal icing!! lol icon_razz.gificon_lol.gif

Kos Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 1:03pm
post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by JennT

....Lesson learned: If you live in the crazy humid South...put your house on lock-down before making royal icing!! lol icon_razz.gificon_lol.gif

No kidding, eh? Not only that, but time is running out for using butter in buttercream! The melting season is near! icon_lol.gif


JennT Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 4:40pm
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I know!! lol icon_lol.gif I'm making IMBC on Thursday for what will likely be the last time until at least And even in November, I'll have to wait for a 'not so humid...little bit cooler' kind of day! lol icon_rolleyes.gif Guess that's what I get for living in the South AND between the beach and a river...I'm just outta luck! icon_rolleyes.gif

I've actually quoted (sort of) the Wicked Witch of the West many times down here in Dixieland....'It's melting! It's melting!!' lol Bad thing is that I was usually soooo angry and sad that I actually sounded like her! HA! icon_razz.gificon_lol.gif Sometimes I've wished I owned a refrigerated truck that I could take with me to all the parties my cakes have gone to...and set up the cake table IN the truck and make everyone come in there for a slice!! lol icon_razz.gif

Kos Posted 20 Mar 2006 , 6:17pm
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by JennT

... Sometimes I've wished I owned a refrigerated truck that I could take with me to all the parties my cakes have gone to...and set up the cake table IN the truck and make everyone come in there for a slice!! lol icon_razz.gif

Say, now that's an idea--rent the ice cream truck from your neighborhood! You could speed off to the next party with the cake safely cooled while listening to pleasant-but-warped music! (and a trail of kids running behind you icon_lol.gif )


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