Making and using royal icing is perhaps the most essential skill in cake decorating, but a lot easier than you might think. If you do find it daunting, you can always buy a ready-to-mix version from a supermarket. This recipe makes a lot, but these quantities are easier to mix.
Makes about 1.2 kg
25g merriwhite (dried egg white powder)
1kg icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice
Kitchen Aid / electric mixer
sealable plastic container
1. Mix the merriwhite with 150ml water and pass through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.
2. Place the icing sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer, add about three-quarters of the merriwhite mixture and the lemon juice, and start mixing on low speed.
3. Once the sugar and the merriwhite are well combined, check the consistency. If the sides of the bowl still look dry and crumbly, add some more merriwhite until the icing looks almost smooth but not wet.
4. Keep mixing for about 4-5 minutes, until it has reached stiff-peak consistency.
5. Spoon into a plastic container, cover with a clean damp j-cloth and the lid. Store at room temperature.
Royal Icing Consistencies
Simply thin down your basic royal icing with water, a little bit at a time, mixing with a palette knife, until you have the right consistency. Keep your icing covered with cling film or a damp cloth when not using it, to stop it from drying out.
Stiff-peak consistency: for piping sugar flowers and leaves
Soft-peak consistency: for piping lines, dots and borders
Runny consistency: for filling in the centres of spaces