By James Maddock
When I want to make a really posh cake that requires decoration and a wow factor I use Royal icing. What sets Royal icing apart from other icings like water icing or fondant icing is that Royal icing will set hard. This makes it the best option for a highly decorated Christmas cake for example as it will hold its shape in peaks and swirls and also secure small figures and decorations firmly on the cake. You can pipe it and the rosettes etc. will hold their shape. It's also very easy to make, just requiring sugar, egg whites, some lemon juice and glycerine. The lemon juice cuts through the extreme sweetness of the icing sugar and the glycerine prevents the icing from becoming too hard.
- 12oz icing sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon glycerine
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add the glycerine and lemon juice.
- Whisk the egg white slightly so that it pours more easily and then add gradually to the other ingredients, stirring at the same time. You are looking for the ingredients to come togetherto form a smooth, workable icing. You may not need to use all the egg whites to achieve this.
- The royal icing is now ready to use. If you are using it on top of marzipan (almond icing) you must make sure that the marzipan is thoroughly dried out - this can take a week or longer.
- When applying the royal icing use a flat, blunt bladed knife or spatula/palette knife.
- Dip the knife into a jug of hot water to enable you to keep the icing smooth.
- This is the process you would use for decorating a Christmas cake - cover the top and the sides of the cake with the royal icing.
- Decorate with Christmas cake decorations or let your imagination run wild.
Prep Time: minutes
Cook Time: minutes