This royal icing recipe is made with egg white and sifted pure icing sugar and is mainly used for making tube flowers, flood work, and finishing off the sides of cakes with embroidery, lace work and filigree.
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups (1lb) icing sugar (you may need extra icing sugar when mixing so these are approximate measures)
Strain the egg white through a dry muslin cloth. This will break up the egg white. Beat lightly with the lemon juice.
Example of how royal icing can be used.
Scrolls on top of cake made from royal icing.
Sift the icing sugar through a very fine sieve (if you don't have a fine sieve use a clean nylon stocking, a piece of organdy or similar material).
The sieve that you use for every day straining is not fine enough. It will not remove all the fine lumps and this will cause problems when piping.
Gradually add the icing sugar to the egg white mixture and mix to form a soft, creamy consistency similar to unwhipped cream.
Continue adding small quantities of icing sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Mix well and gently beating after each addition.
The icing should be smooth glossy and light, almost like a cold meringue in texture but not aerated. If you add the icing sugar too quickly the mixture will become dull and thick, which will be difficult to handle.
Stir in the glycerin until well mixed.
The correct consistency is reached when a sharp and smooth peak forms and holds its shape when the spoon is lifted out of the mixture. If the icing mixture is too soft, the peak will curl back. If you have used too much icing sugar, the peak will break of bluntly.
If you have made the mixture too stiff, dip a spatula with a small quantity of the icing mixture on it into a beaten egg white and mix this into the rest of the icing mixture. Repeat this process until the correct consistency is reached. By doing this you should not end up with an enormous bowl of mixed icing.
Royal icing will be snow white if it has been mixed correctly. To make it even brighter, dip the tip of the handle of a brush into blue coloring and mix this trace into the icing. Make sure you mix it well, if not mixed well it will be slightly cream in color.
Allow the icing to settle before using it. Cover the surface with a piece of damp plastic wrap and seal well, excluding all the air.
Stir the icing thoroughly before using, this will disperse the air bubbles. Then adjust the consistency if necessary by adding more sieved icing sugar.
Note Leave out the glycerine if you want to use it for run outs.