Is there a way to tell if your icing is thin, medium or stiff consistency? I still can't quite figure this out.
Same here. I hope you get some good answers here.
I'm waiting too!
Think of it this way.
Your icing is in one of those big red plastic cups.
For stiff consistency a spatula will stand up straight and will not fall to the side of the cup.
For medium consistency the spatula will slowly fall to the side of the cupfrom the center.
For thin consistency the spatula will fall immediatly to the side of the cup, from center.
Serious_cakes has a video on Youtube about consistency:
After you work with icing a few times, you will just "get the feel" of it.
When it comes to icing consistency experience and practice will be your best help.
Usually I use a thin consistency for piping with smaller tips. But there are degrees of thin
consistency. A tip #1 will require a softer icing than a #3.
As for a medium consistency. This is my favorite consistency to ice a cake. It's is easy to spread yet thick enough to give a good cover. A too thin consistency in a crusting buttercream will give a translucent effect. What happens with this is that you can give many coats to the cake, and still you will see your cake underneath. Plus if you are trying to smooth your cake with Viva paper, the paper will stick to it.
A medium consistency is one that is not translucent on a cake and one that you can use the Viva technique without the paper sticking to it.
A stif consistency is a bit more harder. I rarely use this consistency. But works well for making a dam on a cake to hold the fillings in place.
This is my personal experience. And I will say, that opinions will change from person to person. Consistency will change accordingly to your hand strenght. Is a matter of preference.
Just keep in mind that, if the icing is not coming easily from the tip, you need to
soften the icing. If your flowers are melting, you need a stifer consistency. If your cake
looks moist, your icing is too thin( this is for crusting buttercream)
Hope this helps
Well said tonedna!