I am trying to work on my piping. What is a good recipe for royal icing for piping scrollwork etc. And what is the best size tip to use. I was trying to use a 1 or 2 but can't even get the icing out the tip!
One trick I learned to make it easier to get the royal out the smaller tips, strain the icing through a new pair of pantyhose. I use one of the large couplers and wrap the hose around the coupler and screw on the ring part then start squeezing. It helps to remove all the sugar crystals and makes it smoother and easier to pipe. It is messy though, so be prepared!
Also, make sure your consistency is right, if it is too stiff (which it sounds like it might be), it will be too hard to pipe.
I never pipe with royal. I add more water to my butter cream to make it more creamy and use a 2 or 3 tip depending on what I am piping.
Generally, I take an egg white and mix approx 8 to 10oz of powdered sugar into it by hand until it is the piping consistency that I am looking for.
I usually use a range of tips (0 through 2), and strain my icing before piping with it. To strain it, take a tall glass, stretch a new knee-hi over the top and scoop some royal icing onto/into it. Take the knee hi off the glass and put it into your piping bag. Then holding the kneehi and piping bag between your index finger and thumb, pull the knee hi out. As the icing is forced through the knee hi it will be strained. If your Royal icing is too stiff, you won't be able to strain it and it will be hard to pipe with it also.
An alternative is to stretch a piece of knee hi over your coupler before putting your tip and coupler ring on your bag. Your icing will be strained as you pipe.