Hopefully by now you now have a delicious batch of base cookies to work with so I’m going to talk abut getting to grips with the icing part.
Cookie icing is a lot, lot easier when your consistencies are spot on. The more you practice the more you’ll find what suits your work. Basically ou’ll need a thick piping icing and a thinner ‘flood icing’ for filling in outlines. Too thin and runny a ‘flood icing’ and it will mean ‘man overboard’ as the icing spills over the nice neat icing wall you’ve created. Too thick and you may find that it is setting before you even manage to get your icing where you want it..
Photos are not the idea medium to differentiate between consistencies so I did make a little video to show the ‘wet-on-wet’ technique which I will put on my next post.
Here we go, let’s start with a recipe..
I adjust my proportions as required..here is a ‘base recipe’ that’s easy because you use a standard 1kg bag of icing sugar so you don’t need to measure that out.
It uses meringue powder as opposed to raw egg whites so you know you salmonella risk free..if you want the fresh egg white recipe it’s here
Put 170-180ml water into your mixer.
Add 2tbsp of meringue powder and your 1kg packet of icing sugar which has been sieved.
Beat 5 minutes..simple!
I use a plastic spatula to scrape the icing down to make sure the ingredients are properly mixed.
I liken the consistency this should be to toothpaste. If your icing is very stiff you need to add a little more water otherwise it will break off very easily when piping. Always remember to add the water from a very small container..it’s way too easy to add too much!
The other thing I keep in mind is that there can be a slight change in consistency once you add the food colour so keep that to a minimum by sticking with gel colours rather than liquid colouring.
If your piping icing is too floppy it won’t make a strong border for the softer icing you will flood in and any fine details will look sloppy so add a little more icing sugar to counteract that.
Now you are ready to colour your icing..
Split the icing in to two or three bowls (or as many as colours you wish to make) then add your gel in tiny amounts to one bowl till you get the desired shade. Cover the bowls you are not using with damp cloths to prevent the icing from drying out.
If you decide to use black or red in your colour scheme don’t forget to check out my previous post
Put a couple of spoonfuls of icing into the piping bag while holding it open with one hand keeping the rest back to make ‘flood’ icing.
|I am struggling to fill and photograph at the same time!|
Thin out the remaining thick coloured icing till it pours like custard.
Pour into an icing bottle..
|Again, not easy to take a photo at the same time!|
And repeat until you have all your colours..I went for three shades of pink
Make sure you keep the icing tips slightly damp to prevent the icing drying out and blocking them. Either use specific icing bag holders or pop the tip into a cup with a damp piece of kitchen roll inside the base…
|Even if you are not a professional baker food hygiene gloves are great for preventing colour gel stained hands!|
Ideally you should use your coloured icing on the day it is made as the colour will separate out.
My next tutorial will show you exactly how to attain your professional looking finish.
Happy days all!