Royal Icing Failure

Decorating By Kay_NL Updated 20 Mar 2008 , 2:00am by Kay_NL

Kay_NL Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 12:18pm
post #1 of 14

I must just be terrible at getting this stuff right!

I made it last week for my Wilton course (course 2, class 2) and it was too soft, but workable for the flowers that we were making. I blamed it on my mixer breaking and having to use an old hand mixer that could barely spin the stuff...

Then this week I have a brand new KA machine and thought my icing was super! I got to class and it felt super stiff, it was difficult to squeeze out of the bag, but then it turned to a puddle of a flower when it was resting on the wax paper. icon_sad.gif I almost cried when I got home knowing that I have to try yet again to make this icing properly and make all the flowers at home on my own time for the final cake. icon_cry.gif

I have no idea what went wrong with the most recent batch. I didn't think making it would be this difficult for me and I feel frustrated... Any tips or hints on how to make Royal that can form a beautiful rose??

13 replies
yh9080 Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 12:30pm
post #2 of 14

I think that your decorating tip had grease left from buttercream on it. Everything has to be totally grease free when working with royal icing.

When I make a rose, I always like for it to be super stiff. I think you are on the right track as far as making the icing is concerned. I wash my tips in Dawn detergent and rinse with really hot water. Washing bowls, spatulas, and even tips in the dishwasher will help too. Let me know how your next batch turns out.


Congrats on your new KA! They make beautiful royal icing!

Kay_NL Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 12:53pm
post #3 of 14

The tips that I used were never used before, I just washed them after taking them out of the package, and I used pachment bags...

I was figuring I should add more sugar, or I didn't beat enough, or I beat too much... I wasn't sure if there was a special KA way or time spent beating???

darcat Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:05pm
post #4 of 14

A little off subject but was wondering if you put RI flowers on BC icing with the flowers break down? Since you cant have an grease on the RI.

luddroth Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:05pm
post #5 of 14

What recipe are you using? Does it use meringue powder or egg whites? I've found the meringue powder royal to be pretty fool proof, but as noted above, be sure everything that touches the RI is grease free. If you're using eggwhites, and get even the tiniest bit of yolk in them, the icing can collapse.

Denae Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:06pm
post #6 of 14

the tips shouldn't have anything to do with it. what you beat it with and how long plays a huge factor in making royal. i use 3 tbl spoons meringue powder, 4 cups powdered sugar and 6 tablespoons warm water...i beat mine with a WHISK for about 6 min on speed 8 on my KA. and this always works for me. well, i hope this helps.

wendalynn11 Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:06pm
post #7 of 14

Great question darcat, I have always wondered that...

FromScratch Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:20pm
post #8 of 14

If you put RI on BC it will get darker and greasy looking. Not sure if it'll breakdown or not though.

I think the big problem for you was the parchement bag.. it allows the icing to dry out a bit. Also the amount of time you beat this icing is important as previously stated. What was your recipe? Maybe that will help us figure it out. I like Antonia74's royal icing recipe for one made with meringue powder and you can find it here in the recipe section. Good luck!!

Kay_NL Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 1:22pm
post #9 of 14

I used Wilton's recipe (3 T meringue, 4 c sugar, 5-6 T warm water).

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 8:31pm
post #10 of 14

Well, I'll weigh in and say that I think there was grease--somewhere--tip, spatula, storage container, beaters, bowl, etc. Grease is the only culprit I've ever had make stiff RI turn into a puddle after piping.

I often use Country Kitchen RI mix. I beat it for about 7 minutes until the shine is gone and I rinse anything and everything that comes into contact with the icing in vinegar+water before beginning the process of mixing and then piping. If I need to thin it, I add water by the drop and to thicken it, PS by the tsp.

Hope things are better next time.
Rae

kakeladi Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 9:09pm
post #11 of 14

<...it felt super stiff, it was difficult to squeeze out of the bag, but then it turned to a puddle of a flower when it was resting on the wax paper....>
Aaahhhhhh I know how you feel. You just didn't beat it long enough. Keep trying - it took me yrs to master RI icon_sad.gif

<...your decorating tip had grease left from buttercream...> <...I'll weigh in and say that I think there was grease--somewhere--tip, spatula, storage container, beaters, bowl, etc. Grease is the only culprit I've ever had make stiff RI turn into a puddle after piping...> >...rinse anything and everything that comes into contact with the icing in vinegar+water before beginning the process of mixing and then piping...>

Most of the above is MISinformationicon_sad.gif
Once properly made grease has little, if any effect on it. If you don't think so just look at the 'Buttercream for Air Drying flowers' recipe. It is simply royal icing w/Crisco added!
It's all in how long it was beaten. You must beat it until it looses it's shine....anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the mixer being used.
The warmer the water used, the less time it takesicon_smile.gif In my KA 3 minutes is enough; this will vary in other KA's as the wattage varies. Yes, KA mixers vary in 'strength' - wattage/size of the motor. A hand-held mixer definately needs 8-10 minutes. Once it is made DO NOT!!! ever cover w/a damp towelicon_sad.gif Place plastic wrap directly on the icing, then add foil to the bowl OR store in a glass jar.

<...put RI on BC it will get darker and greasy looking. Not sure if it'll breakdown ...>
Only thin flowers sometimes do this. Once they are dried thick flowers like lilies, roses etc will not. I've had some daisies and dropflowers absorb some grease and turn dark, others didn't.
You can always put something like a mini marshmallow or a dot if RI between the flower & b'cream if you are really worried about it.

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 9:18pm
post #12 of 14

[quote="kakeladi...> <...I'll weigh in and say that I think there was grease--somewhere--tip, spatula, storage container, beaters, bowl, etc. Grease is the only culprit I've ever had make stiff RI turn into a puddle after piping...> >...rinse anything and everything that comes into contact with the icing in vinegar+water before beginning the process of mixing and then piping...>

Most of the above is MISinformationicon_sad.gif
[/quote]

Well, I'm not sure how it's "MISinformation", if it's been my actual life experience................ icon_cool.gif and it was also info given to me in my first Wilton class 20 yrs. ago, repeated in my second class 4 yrs. ago, and re-inforced by Geraldine Randlesome and Toba Garrett in Australian stringwork classes, but if you say so..............I'll still stand by it and continue to rinse in vinegar water because it works for me icon_rolleyes.gif

Rae

luddroth Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 10:12pm
post #13 of 14

Agreed. Toba Garrett told her students to use metal spoons and spatulas -- never rubber or plastic -- because everything that touches the icing must be grease free. Julia Child's directions for meringue and royal always include the same advice -- and she recommends using vinegar on all bowls, beaters, etc before starting.

Kay_NL Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 2:00am
post #14 of 14

Okay, I came home today and the icing turned out beautiful! I made all the flowers for my course 2 final cake, plus many extras!

I am now convinced that the problem may have been the meringue powder I picked up for super cheap at the Bulk Barn. It is just stored there in a bin where you scoop it out into a bag, but at the time I was just starting course 1 and had to save money somewhere...

It doesn't even look similar to the Wilton, it is white with a sugary consistency while Wilton's is yellow and powdery...

Thank you so much to everybody for all the fantastic help! I love CC so much! icon_smile.gif

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