My grandmother use to bake our birthday cakes. The icing was "crunchy" and the filling had a gritty texture. I remember she would use a candy thermometer when melting the sugar. The humidity level had to be low. If it was too humid she couldn't bake the cake. Also I remember her using her mixer and the egg whites would be stiff.
The icing wasn't too sweet but was hard. It made a shell on the cake.The shell was thin.It was about a 1/16th to an 1/8th thick. It was a soft crunch it you ate a piece of the icing. I wasn't able to get the recipe from my grandmother and she passed away in 2006. I have tried the royal icing without success. Does anyone have any ideas what kind of icing this is? We always thought it was the best cake and she only made it on our birthday.