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Sifting??

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just read that Dawn sifts her sugar 5 times!! I am slacking off icon_smile.gif I didn't know you should sift the sugar at all...I'm guess I'm basically lazy, so I need to know if you all think it makes that much difference...he he!
post #2 of 25
MHO- I personally do not sift, I don't like to and my icing has turned out fine.
"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
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"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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post #3 of 25
What is the purpose behind sifting, especially with confectioners sugar? When I do sift, I do get a finer end result, but does it really matter?

What I do know about sifting is that it makes my hand tired. thumbsdown.gif

Lisa
post #4 of 25
Where I live, if I have an opened bag of sugar, it will get lumps in it because of the humidity, so I have to sift it, but if I'm using a whole, unopened bag then I, too, am too lazy to sift it!
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Aha, I never thought about humidity being a factor - mostly it's pretty dry where I am - maybe that's why nobody I know around here sifts...although I do remember my grandmother used to sift her flour and as a child, I USED TO think it was fun!
post #6 of 25
I use a battery powered sifter. It is slow, but really saves my aching hands! Another way to go is to use a sieve. I usually don't sift powdered sugar from an unopened bag, but once the bag is opened, lumps can form, so its better to sift than be sorry!

Sandi
post #7 of 25
I always sift. I do alot of small detail piping and there's nothing worse than a clogged tip when your doing lace work. It's a pain in the you know where especially when the cloud forms over you while sifting and there's sugar everywhere including your nose - but oh, that cake looks good! thumbs_up.gif
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Live well, love much, laugh often.
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post #8 of 25
I don't ever sift. I'm a bag squeezer icon_smile.gif . When I go to buy my powdered sugar, I squeeze the bag to make sure it's light and airy...not hard or lumpy. I buy it in two pound bags and use it all at one time so I don't have any leftovers which could lump-up.
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Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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post #9 of 25
A battery powered sifter ~ wow! I didn't know they made them. Where did you get it?

Deb
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Hope your day is a piece of cake!
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post #10 of 25
I sift. Nearly always, not if I am in a hurry and it isn't a special decorated cake, but the rest of the time.
Part of the reason I sift is due to the possiblity of lumps as the corn starch in the icing sugar doesn't always do its job.
The main reason, however, is that the finer the icing sugar, the easier it is to incorporate it into the shortening and butter. High ratio shortening and really fine sifted sugar is the best way of getting the smoothest icing possible. It really makes a difference, not so much in taste, but in texture. The shortening is such that it can absorb the sugar much better.
However since I use Crisco and butter, I take that extra step of sifting the sugar and I do find a difference in how it turns out.
I also sift it before I measure it out, which means that you are using less sugar, because it isn't packed. My recipe is designed for this.
Where it could be really important, is in any type of a cooked or heated icing. In these icings, any lumps will not dissolve, leaving you with little lumps of white.
Some sugars are more susceptible to lumps. ones that are not sieved as finely, beet sugar which is more susceptible to grit due to the processing.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #11 of 25
You know--a cheater way to sift is to put the sugar in a large bowl and using a whisk--whisk it. Martha Stewart taught me this. This and how to fold sheets--she rocks!

Anyway--I always sift everything using this method and have had no problems whatsoever. It's quicker and easier on the hands.

Lis
post #12 of 25
Hey kiddo, it works very well to get rid of any lumps doesn't it? But it will not change the size of the particles of the sugar so for that purpose, it does't work.
The sifters with the turny thing on top work a lot easier than the squeeze handle ones, those are killers. Or using a spoon to press it through or shaking it, a fine sieve works too.
I like Martha's method to get rid of the huge lumps that some cakemixes, like Betty Crocker White, have.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

Hey kiddo, it works very well to get rid of any lumps doesn't it? But it will not change the size of the particles of the sugar so for that purpose, it does't work.
The sifters with the turny thing on top work a lot easier than the squeeze handle ones, those are killers. Or using a spoon to press it through or shaking it, a fine sieve works too.
I like Martha's method to get rid of the huge lumps that some cakemixes, like Betty Crocker White, have.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes



True--I just SO hate all the "sugar dust" all over the kitchen! LOL! I have wood floors in the kitchen (something I would NOT recommend, btw) and it just seems to stick. I have a huge sieve and it just gets everywhere.

My mom has one of those handle turny thing ones--I used to LOVE to sift her sugar as a kid. Hmmm, maybe that's why she had me do it? I would bet that my 5 year old would love it--maybe I'll give it a whirl (pun intended!)

I have one of the squeeze ones and absolutely HATE it--it just kills my hands and I end up just dumping the sugar into the bowl anyway. I really should garage sale it.

Question, though. Because you sift before you measure, is your icing less sweet? I'm still fooling with my bc icing and am trying to figure out how to make it a bit less sweet.
post #14 of 25
Haha, yes those cranky ones should be outlawed!
Well, actually the only way I know of making icing taste less sweet is to use butter in the mixture and I think the fact I use salted butter, well the salt makes it less sweet. I find that the all shortening recipe tastes sweeter to me.
Actually by presifting it before measuring, I end up using less sugar, I use 5 cups of sifted before you measure with the 1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup Crisco and I use 1.5 tsp. vanilla and 2 tbsp. pf unwhipped whipping cream, then whole milk to thin it out. I have used as much as 6 cups, but generally it is easier to decorate with the 5 cups, for most people. I guess it amounts to me using close to 4-4.5 if it wasn't re-sifted. For roses, I usually make up the all shortening one. But since I have a tendancy to only do fondant roses, I rarely do this. You can use this icing for roses though, it is just sometimes easier for folks to do the other recipe for them.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #15 of 25
I never sift unless I have lumps in the sugar. But like Melissa said.. in La. we have a lot of humidity so the sugar is usually lumpy. If it's no lumpy I usually just dump the sugar in my mixing bowl & use the whisk attachement & turn it on low. Just in case. I have one kitchen aid but I have bought 4 other bowls for it!! So I can get away with putting it in a bowl to mix.
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