What Is The Purpose Of The Cream Of Tartar In Antonia74S...

Baking By giraffe11 Updated 8 Jun 2009 , 9:13pm by bonniebakes

giraffe11 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 3:02pm
post #1 of 24

I have been using Antonia74's royal icing and I love the way it dries, the ease of working with it, and the fact that it doesn't get hard enough to chip a tooth! I don't like that I am bothered by a weird aftertaste when I eat the cookies.
I knew it was either the meringue powder or the cream of tartar, so I tasted both and the aftertaste-producing offender is definitely the cream of tartar. So.......I am wondering if anyone knows what the cream of tartar does in the recipe? Most royal recipes I have seen don't have the cream of tartar in them, but I really don't want a rock hard/chip the tooth icing. Any suggestions? Thanks, Heather

23 replies
sweetopia Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 24

The cream of tartar helps dry out the icing and helps the icing hold its' shape. I don't use it to decorate my cookies; only for my gingerbread houses. It helps keep those houses together!

HeidiCrumbs Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 7:02pm
post #3 of 24

I leave it out myself. I still don't like the taste of the MP though in the frosting.

cinderspritzer Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 8:05pm
post #4 of 24

I add about 1/8 C lemon juice to it right before it's done mixing, it neutralizes the meringue taste and the aftertaste of the cream of tartar without leaving a lemon taste or smell. Also, using light corn syrup to thin it instead of water enhances the taste a little and leaves them shinier as they dry. Neither one affects the RI's ability to harden either.


chilz822 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 9:11pm
post #5 of 24

nice. thanks!

enoid Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 9:21pm
post #6 of 24

1/8 of a cup? Seems like a lot to me.

Arriva Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 9:24pm
post #7 of 24

Glad I saw this post. Was going to try that recipe this weekend. Thanks.

cinderspritzer Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 9:26pm
post #8 of 24

It's a rough estimate. I just squeeze a bunch in there. It doesn't really affect the thickness of the icing, so I've never measured it. Then I thin it with light corn syrup.

ETA: let me rephrase that. I don't use enough for it to affect the thickness of the icing. it always seems like a lot, but it isn't. just until it neutralizes the meringue powder and the cream of tartar. you can tell if you've used enough because it stops smelling.... ''musty'', i guess, would be the best word.


HeidiCrumbs Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 1:29am
post #9 of 24

Cinderspritzer-I love your ideas on how to make the RI not taste so yucky! I am so excited to try it it's kind of sad, lol. The little things that get me going!! Do you use fresh or bottled lemon juice? I would like to try fresh but do you think it makes a difference? Also, I have been wanting to add corn syrup to Antonia's RI but have been afraid to ruin a whole batch if it didn't work. About how much corn syrup would you say it is that you add? And if you add the lemon juice do you still add the vanilla? Thanks!!

Oh, just wanted to add that when I made ARI the last few times I didn't add the cream of tartar and only put in 4 Tbsp instead of 5 Tbsp of MP. It didn't seem to make any difference, dried the same as always.

cinderspritzer Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:05am
post #10 of 24

I don't add vanilla. Or any other flavors aside from the lemon juice, which is just the bottled kind. I don't suppose it matters much if it's fresh or bottled- it's all lemon juice.

As for the corn syrup, I dunno. Just until it's thin enough to flood with, but still do outlining. I use one medium-thin consistency for everything. It gets really shiny as you add it. Prolly at least 3/4 C of corn syrup. Sounds like a lot but it's never affected the drying of the icing. Actually I think it makes the top dry hard but the inside is still kinda like a crusted BC.

HeidiCrumbs Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:23am
post #11 of 24

You don't even know how excited I am to try this! Really, it's pathetic. I may also try a half batch just in case. How you explain the icing with the CS is exactly the outcome I have been looking for but didn't really know how to get it. YEAH!

antonia74 Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 3:48am
post #12 of 24

When I created the recipe, my local supplier for meringue powder sold me a brand that has vanillin powder built right in....so the icing has a strong, yummy vanilla flavour to it. (www.mccalls.ca)

I didn't realize that all brands on the market don't have that already added. thumbsdown.gif

If you want to add flavour to your icing with my recipe, just add a few drops (maybe 1/2 tsp?) of non oil-based extract or vanilla.

As for the cream of tartar, it's a volumizer and stabilizer. It's used in the icing to help you whip up the egg whites and to keep them fluffy without collapsing. It doesn't affect the drying time.

HeidiCrumbs Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 4:12am
post #13 of 24

I have been adding 2 tsp of vanilla to the RI and it tastes better, and I don't mean to insult your recipe at all, but it's the Wilton MP that IMHO tastes like CRAP. I think it ruins the frosting, but I'm also used to buttercream frosting and I just made the switch recently and I'm not good with change, lol. As for leaving out the COT, I didn't notice any difference but I didn't realize that it had a rather important job in the icing. I don't want limp, oddly textured frosting. Thanks for all of the advice!

Alagoas Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 4:46pm
post #14 of 24

Thank you for explaining, Antonia! icon_smile.gif

cylstrial Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 12:47pm
post #15 of 24

Wow! I've just learned a bunch of stuff from this thread. First, I'm going to have to track down McCall's MP. Thanks Antonia!

KookieKris Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 12:50pm
post #16 of 24

Thanks for the tip on the MP with vanillin powder already in it!
Can't wait to try it as I too am not a huge fan of Wilton's MP flavoring! thumbs_up.gif

bakery_chick Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 12:56pm
post #17 of 24

I don't know what brand MP that I use as it is re-packaged by my local cake supply shop. I can tell you that I definitely don't use Wilton (too expensive). I have just recently started using Antonia's recipe and people love it. Personally I can't tasted anything but sugary goodness. Is it possible that Wilton brand MP may not taste very good.
I have added almond extract to the water I use to thin out the frosting. Very tasty as well.

KKC Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 12:57pm
post #18 of 24

I've looked at that recipe so many times (still haven't made it) and haven't once seen cream of tartar in it...wow..i think i need new glasses icon_cool.gif I've been so scared to try this recipe because of the issues i've had in the past with royal icing. How easy is it on a scale of 1-10??

bakery_chick Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 1:01pm
post #19 of 24

KKC it is so easy! Follow the directions and it comes out just fine. The time is important for sure, but I have made this on a rainy, stormy day and it still dried nice as can be!!

vickymacd Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 1:01pm
post #20 of 24

I personally don't care why it's in there, or how much used, I love this icing for cookies. It has never steered me wrong and everyone raves about it when I put it on my sugar cookies.
Thanks, Antonia74!

sweetopia Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 1:18pm
post #21 of 24

I sure didnt explain myself well (and probably still wont =) I guess what I was trying to say with the cream of tartar is that I find if I use more, it helps make my icing 'stronger/stiffer' in an egg based royal icing, and I add a lot more to my recipe when I'm making gingerbread houses, not necessarily that it dries faster. (I dont use the Antonia74 recipe for gingerbread houses - I use hers for flooding along with another fave recipe). I know the egg is a major component in the strength factor but more cream of tartar also seems to help. Maybe Im imagining it and Im just superstitious about how I bake... icon_lol.gif

ZlatkaT Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:25pm
post #22 of 24

The Merinque powder sold in Michaels contains cream of tatar, should I add extra tartar in Antonia74 RI?? I would like to try her recipe, but I am not sure what would extra cream of tartar do with ths recipe.

antonia74 Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 6:25pm
post #23 of 24

That's a good question. Why not try using it in the recipe as-is....and then try a batch without adding the additional cream of tartar in my recipe? Let us know any differences? icon_confused.gif

bonniebakes Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 9:13pm
post #24 of 24
Originally Posted by ZlatkaT

The Merinque powder sold in Michaels contains cream of tatar, should I add extra tartar in Antonia74 RI?? I would like to try her recipe, but I am not sure what would extra cream of tartar do with ths recipe.

I've always used the Wilton meringue powder and I do use the cream of tartar called for in the recipe also. I've never tried it without....hmmm...

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