Color Flow

Decorating By gracie07 Updated 15 Jul 2010 , 6:35pm by icer101

gracie07 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 12:50pm
post #1 of 17

Is there a difference b/w color flow and royal icing? Is one better than the other, and will the colors bleed onto the cake? How long does a color flow or royal icing image have to dry? I was watching a you tube video and it said it needs to dry for 5 days.......? I want to do a FBCT but I always mess up for some reason. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

16 replies
Cindy619 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 1:51pm
post #2 of 17

You can use color flow the same way you use royal icing. The main difference between the two is color flow dries with a shiny finish and tends to be more brittle. Royal icing dries with a matte finish. Drying time depends on your conditions and how thick you pipe the icing out. I always make them well in advance (4-5 days) to ensure that they are dry by the time I want to use my decorations.

Also, because shortening are their worst enemy, they will break down and bleed on a cake after some time. You could either wait until last minute to put them on a cake, or I've heard that you can use things such as mini marshmallows under the image to keep it from touching the actual cake icing.

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 2:16pm
post #3 of 17

They are similar but not the same. You can use either one for it. Wilton tells you that color flow dries harder and will have a bit of a shine to it. But hundreds of people (including me) have done the same thing with Royal icing with out any problems.

I always have meringue powder on hand so I can make royal at any time. I may not always have color flow on hand, so most of my pieces are made with royal icing.

It needs atleast 48-72 hours to dry. It will depend on the size of the piece and the weather. If it is humid it will take longer to dry. It is best if you can do it more than 72 hours ahead of time, to really give it time to dry it out. If it isn't completely dry it will not want to come off the backing in one piece.

You can "quick" dry them in the oven with just the light one but it is still going to need atleast 8-12 hours in the oven again depending on the size.

The drier they are, the less likely you will see bleeding issues. The shortening in the buttercream doesn't break them down. I've piped royal directly on a fondant cake that was rubbed down with shortening as well as piped on wax paper coated in shortening.

Moisture and royal/color flow don't get along. So the moisture of the icing can affect it but it isn't going to happen the instant you put it on the cake. Don't close the cake with the royal/color flow piece up in an air tight container, like a cake carrier, and don't put the cake in the fridge where you risk condensation when you bring it out.

Cindy619 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:37pm
post #4 of 17

I've personally never had an issue with royal bleeding on a cake, but I've also never tried to do large pic (instead of a fbct). I usually only do royal flowers and scrollwork, but after researching it in the past, I found that many people have had the bleeding issue with larger pieces. Of course, I'd probably end up breaking the piece before it even made it to the cake icon_wink.gif

I do have to respectfully disagree with TexasSugar - royal icing IS effected by shortening. I've seen many students not have their flowers set up because of this. Even Wilton directs you to make sure all utensils, equipment, storage bowls, etc are free of grease. I have no idea how you were able to pipe onto paper covered with grease and still have the pieces harden completely. I'm intrigued - do you think there are various versions of royal icing, some that are effected less than others? I know there isn't enough shortening on fondant to matter, but buttercream, I think would be a different story. Let me know, I'm always looking to learn new things!

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:59pm
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy619

I do have to respectfully disagree with TexasSugar - royal icing IS effected by shortening. I've seen many students not have their flowers set up because of this. Even Wilton directs you to make sure all utensils, equipment, storage bowls, etc are free of grease. I have no idea how you were able to pipe onto paper covered with grease and still have the pieces harden completely. I'm intrigued - do you think there are various versions of royal icing, some that are effected less than others? I know there isn't enough shortening on fondant to matter, but buttercream, I think would be a different story. Let me know, I'm always looking to learn new things!




It is very important that you have everything grease free when you make it because no it will not mix up correctly. Once made, that is a different story.

When I took Wilton Course 3 years ago, before they did the bow cake we piped royal icing hearts on wax paper on the back of the large flower formers. We were told to lightly grease the wax paper so they would come off easier.

When I did the cake I mentioned, there was a coat of Crisco, not just a small amount rubbed on and wiped off between the fondant and the royal and it still looks fine, hasnt melted or anything a year later. And some of that piping was black icing on pink fondant.

It is so stressed not to get any in the process that people are afraid to put it on cakes, but really if it couldnt go on cakes why would any of us ever make it and use it?

As far as students icing, there is a lot of things that factor into it. Mixing length will affect the workability of icing, plus if they are closed up in a container before they are completely dry can affect them. Sometimes I have to wonder what recipe they were using.

I use the plain Wilton recipe and havent had any issue with it melting from grease once it was made correctly.

Cindy619 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 17

Thanks for the info! Whenever I have put royal flowers onto cakes I find that the part of the flower in direct contact with the icing softens. I assumed this was a direct result of the shortening, but what your saying is that once they set they are no longer effected by shortening, therefore its the moisture of the icing that is softening them? Ha, I never knew. I'll have to test this...after you've had something ingrained in your head for so long, its hard to change - you know what they say, seeing is believing!

So I guess the people who have complained of having their pieces bleed onto their cakes due to shortening, actually probably committed a moisture no-no (refrigerating, etc.)?

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:33pm
post #7 of 17

I do fully think it is the moisture in the buttercream (after all all of them have some form of liquid in them) that is causing the softening.

Please try it out sometime and let me know your experince. icon_smile.gif I keep telling myself after I make a batch of royal for class I'll use it to do a royal icing myth busters with it, but then time always gets away from me.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 10:06pm
post #8 of 17

My take on this has always been that the no-grease issue with making RI is that grease prohibits the meringue from forming properly.

Once it's made, it's fine unless grease/oil is added directly to it during more mixing or while passing thru the piping bag. Piped onto a very fine coating of crisco, it's just not enough to impact the RI before it dries.

Once on a cake, I think it's a combination of the grease (in the icing) AND moisture (in the air) breaking down the dry sugar veneer on the RI.

If my RI decos absorb moisture, they bleed and develop holes as the sugar melts. When they absorb grease, they get dark splotches and become soft, but they don't bleed.

JMHO
Rae

gracie07 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:48pm
post #9 of 17

THanks everyone. I actually saw on you tube that someone used melted chocolate as the "glue" between fondant/BC and color flow decor because it doesn't break down the sugar like the grease from BC would. Does that make sense, has anyone tried it? I'm going to try it tomorrow.

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:07am
post #10 of 17

Yes, I've coated the back of RI/color flow pieces with chocolate and also with piping gel to prevent bleed and oil absorption. It works very well.

Rae

gracie07 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:01pm
post #11 of 17

Ok, I won't have time this go round for the color flow attempt icon_sad.gif but I will do something with it in a couple of weeks. Now, for anyone who lives in Texas, my cakes still get greasy and the icing just starts to look awful and bubble. I cannot find high ration short. anywhere near me, so I use the solid veg short from the grocery store - I use 1/2 butter (I just have to use some cuz icing with all short tastes gross), 1/2 shortening and I put meringue powder in it to try and hold up to the heat, but it just doesn't work. I use milk instead of water, but I don't know what else I can do without making the icing so thick that I can't spread it. Also, for a FBCT, how long before serving it should you put the transfer on? Again, as soon as I take it out of the fridge, it begins melting right away in this heat but I know I need time for the condensation to go away. I'm terrified to mess this cake up that I have to deliver this afternoon. Any tips would be great. Thanks for all the advice.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:37pm
post #12 of 17

Butter has a lower melting point than shortening, so it will cause your icing to be softer, sometimes harder to work with and melt quicker in heat. The MP does help with the stablity, but I think the butter may be part of your issue.

Also I don't put any cakes in the fridge because the second they come out of the fridge they get condensation, that will cause issues as well.

On the FBCT, once it comes out of the freezer you want to put it on the cake right away and peal the backing off as fast as you can. I mean literally those steps have to be done as quickly. The icing will start to thaw very quickly and there for stick to the wax paper, leaving you with a mess and probably a few choice words.

Once on the cake and thawed it because any other decoration, like your border or anything you would have piped on the cake. It really shouldn't melt. Sometimes if you used a dark outline it may bleed a little, but I fix that by viva-ing it and picking up any moisture and extra color off the transfer.

gracie07 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:43pm
post #13 of 17

Thanks. I noticed you're in east texas (Texas Sugar). Do you mind me asking what city? Also, do you use High Ratio shortening, if so, where do you find it? I'm dying to try it.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 6:57pm
post #14 of 17

I'm in Tyler.

I haven't used High Ratio Shortening. No local cake stores and I haven't ever gotten around to ordering any. I just use Crisco.

gracie07 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:04pm
post #15 of 17

Is there a specific recipe you use? How does your icing stand up to the heat? I stopped using Crisco because of the 0 trans fat - was told not to use Crisco anymore for that reason but I loved using the butter flavor for my icing. The icing just tastes better icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:22pm
post #16 of 17

I don't have alot of problems with the crisco. I use mostly the Wilton Class recipe, with the meringue powder in it.

I bought some dream whip to try IndyDebi's recipe. It get great reviews on here. Though who use it also haven't had issues with the Crisco.

I tried Walmart Brand once because people comment on how the store brands still have trans fat, and I hated it. It was the first time ever that I had that greasy coating feeling in my mouth. I never get that with crisco.

icer101 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:35pm
post #17 of 17

I have never stopped using crisco when making american b/c/ .I like some butter in mine too. So i use butter , crisco, whipping cream, 10x sugar, flavoring and salt.I guess by using butter and whipping cream, i am putting the fat back in. Mine always crusts great. I have not had any luck with indydebi's recipe. Its not to say i won,t try again.

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