I have never used it. I'm familiar with a lot of cake decorating, I've just never ventured into Royal Icing. I have a friend who is planning a Frozen themed birthday party and while I was looking at the fun party ideas I was just compelled to make a cake with some snowflakes. I made up some RI via the Wilton recipe. It was so hard there was no way to pipe it. I added water and water and water until I got a pipe-able consistency. I read to beat on MED speed if using a stand mixer. I did kick my KitchenAid up on high to pull in al that icing from the sides and beat out the icing that built up inside the wisk attachment. That was my first thought as to why it didn't turn out right. I have since read about adding too much air causes improper constancies. My real issue here is the peaks I'm getting when piping. I piped out some snowflakes and just general shapes to get the feel for RI on some wax paper and there is a peak every place I stopped piping. This caused all my shapes to look like I was piping out toothpaste or something. I tried smoothing them out with my finger but I know there is an easier way. How thick of a consistency would you recommend for piping things like snowflakes or letters etc...?
OK so as an old hand at royal icing the first thing is that you are probably mixing at too high a speed. It is a long (a very long) process and it would take a good 20 minutes at low speed on my Kenwood. I don't know what the Wilton recipe is but here in the UK I would use one heaped teaspoon of Meriwhite (powdered albumen) and mix that with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Beat that slowly until all the powder has gone and it starts to take on a bubble - you don't want too many of those but you do need some. Then start to add your icing sugar - gradually - very small amounts at a time. This will need about half a pound of icing sugar - however I don't weigh it any more I just add it. I don't sift either but you should maybe do that if you are not used to it. The consistency at the end of 20 minutes or even more should be that of stiff whipped cream. You should be able to put a knife in and it will just hang there in soft peaks. If it is tough to get a beater in, then you have maybe been too impatient and added it all at once. I would use a '0' tube for this - if I needed a '00' tube, I would add a small amount of the Merriwhite mix to thin it - but only a drop at a time.
I hope this helps you!
Edited - sorry I meant to say this consistency will go through a '0' tube - not using this size for the decorations you display. For those I would use a '1' or a '2' - sorry not sure of the sizes where you are.
So thankful for your reply! I don't make cakes as a business I just make them for family and friends because it's fun. Mine definitely didn't take 20 minutes!! The Wilton recipe says 7-10 min on MED speed I believe. I bought extra supplies so I will make a new batch tonight and give it another try for sure. If I can master this it opens up new possibilities! I have just never messed with RI. I can do fondant and buttercreams and lots of other frostings/icings. I am excited to try again to see if I can get it to come out right. I think I ended up adding 4-5 additional TBS of water to mine before I got it to come out of the piping tip. I knew it couldn't be right. Again, Thanks so much!!
You are welcome! By the way - you can keep your icing for a few days in a Tupperware bowl with an airtight lid - alternatively, if you are working with an open bowl, put a clean damp cloth over the top - this will stop crusty bits from forming. If you get crusty bits - don't try to add them to the mix - they will only block your tubes, so to speak! :) Also - if you are doing fine work, take a tablespoonful at a time and "paddle" it on a flat surface (I personally use a white tile - the type you use on your kitchen walls - to work the icing so that there are no bubbles or tiny grainy bits.
I am a hobby baker too but I learnt this in 1980 and probably the only other tip I can give you is.....make lots of what you need as there will be casualties!
I plan to make a new batch tonight. I will post an update later!