hey CC! I have been decorating cakes for about 2 years now for friends and family.....all of a sudden i am noticing that my icing coloring is seperating from the icing in the bag. the longer it sits the more seperated it becomes. I am not sure what I am doing differently. This has happened on the last several cakes I have done. Maybe it is the shortening I am using? I currently have a meats and vegetable shortening.....It is Walmarts generic brand. I think I have always used this...maybe I have used only vegetable in the past? I really honestly cant remember! Any other ideas on why it is seperating? Thanks!
Is your shortening 0 transfat? There are lots of threads here about 0 transfat shortening creating similar problems with icing. (I don't know about shortening that is not 100% vegetable shortening though, I don't know anyone who uses that kind.) Even if you get 100% vegetable shortening, you might want to consider finding one that has transfats in it, or check out indydebi's icing recipe with added Dream Whip powder to stabilize.
Of course if you prefer to keep transfats out of your diet you can consult some threads here about other ways people might cope with the problem. I normally make meringue buttercreams so I can't help in that arena but I just wanted to throw the above idea out there since I've read about it quite a lot!
Are you adding juice or water as opposed to milk or cream? That is the only thing I can think of - but I really dont think that should make a difference.
This issue has been discussed, and I think that several comments were made that it could perhaps be something in your water.. chemicals, minerals, etc that causes it. Try using bottled water, or milk, and see if that helps.. Good luck..
ummm. would my water change? I am going to check into the shortening thing before I work on the water. I havent changed my water, but yes I do use water and not milk. I am beginning to think that my husband picked up meat fat shortening instead of all vegetable shortening and this is the problem. IDK. If that doesnt work, then I will challenge the water issue. I apologize if I am asking a question that has already been discussed. I will search the forums better! ha! thanks. BTW, the shortening doesnt say 0 transfat....FYI! thanks for all your help!
I tend to have hot hands, and I've noticed that the darker colors do this when they get too warm. Could that be it?
water in your buttercream must be the problem then. It may look pretty in the bowl, but by the time you are piping decorations the icing has separated. Have you ever tried to stir Crisco into water, or noticed how resistant to water it is when you are washing dishes? Water and fats don't mix without being emulsified, which is not happening when you make buttercream.
That is my guess. I may be wrong, I didn't go to culinary school or anything.