I make very elaborate cakes using a wide variety of techniques but have ALWAYS stayed away from royal icing. Can't tell you why, it's kinda like my fear of mice! It makes no logical sense, that's just the way it is.
So my question to you, can I just mix up a small batch of royal by hand or do you have to lug out a mixer every time you need a bit of royal for glue or whatever. How do you do it? Thanks so much!
I am sorry that I can't answer your quiestion, but I'm really looking forward to see some answers. I would like to make small batches just to use as "glue", but I wasn't sure how to achieve this!
I do mine with a hand mixer. I don't like to break out big ben for a small batch either. It last forever tooo. (using meringue powder). I made up some weeks ago and kept it air tight and am still using it. Still tastes great.
For small batches I sometimes use a prepackaged mixture to which you just add water (it has powdered sugar and meringue powder in it)...you can beat it by hand in whatever quantity you need to use. Colour it too as you would any icing.
I do however prefer making mine from scratch, and again you can make small quantities so long as you get your meringue powder of egg white proportions okay. The key is to re-beat it (by hand is fine) before you use it if you've left it sitting in a bowl or in a piping bag for longer than 20 minutes or so.
When you start piping with RI, two tips are to make sure your powders are sifted through fine mesh, and also make it stiff so your piping is well-defined, especially when you first start. It is not as forgiving as buttercream
When I studied at Baking Trade School, we started making royal icing in a ceramic mug. A small bit of egg white, add some powdered sugar, beat like mad with a metal spoon for a few mins until consistency is right.
You can add a drop of lemon juice or acid at the end then mix in.
Very easy and fast.
Can I use an immersion blender (stick blender, not a whisk attachment) instead? Seems quick and easy ... I can't believe I was so afraid! What do you think about the blender? I then rinse it under water, seems like a good idea...what do you think?
I just made some yesterday for the first time. I wasn't exactly afraid of making it, it just didn't taste good to me so I didn't bother But it rinses right out of the mixing bowl and off of the paddle, just like meringue cookies do.
Your little blender would probably work fine. If you're using it as glue then I don't think it needs to get as stiff as the batch I made did when I beat it for a while.
I just use my hand mixer. Sometimes mine is too thick and with a spoon I mix in just a little bit of water. Like a splash at a time.
lol, i just made a batch in 5 minutes there! i use royal icing for glue on every cake. i just use one egg white, a couple of drops of lemon juice and then just add icing sugar and beat with a spoon until you get the consistency you want. i dont even sieve the sugar thats how quick and easy it is!!
A good tip is to be sure that everything is *grease free* before you begin......the bowl, utensils, mixer etc. Also I store mine in a glass jar as opposed to plastic that may have a trace of grease on it which would cause the RI to break down.
I've made really small batches (the powdered meringue) in a bowl and beat it with a whip or fork. It does work for small jobs.