Royal icing is by far one of the most incredibly versatile cake decorating mediums in the baking world. Composed of confectioner’s sugar and egg whites, it plays an important role in cake decorations.
With royal icing, you can not only cover your cakes, but can cover some crunchy cookies too; remember the winter sugar cookies iced beautifully with snowy white royal icing? It doesn’t stop there; you can pipe it, pour it and can also be used for stenciling designs; it comes in different consistencies. Pipe out letters & numbers with it, make pretty & delicate flowers, use as glue in building edible shapes & forms such as gingerbread houses; one of the main reasons why it is known as the cement of the pastry world. You name it and royal icing can do pretty much everything to make your baked goodies look good.
When used to cover cakes, due to its firm nature after setting, royal icing helps keep the cake moist and unaffected by the environment for a longer period. Traditionally it is made with icing sugar, egg whites or meringue powder and water if needed for various consistencies, to bring in the firmness of the icing.
If you look back into the history, you will find that there are cakes that had stayed moist for almost a century because of the hard royal icing covering given to it. This is an amazing fact to know, which makes us feel royal icing is an unsung hero in the world of cake decorations.
In some or the other way, we have all seen and tasted royal icing. We also know that it has been around for a while now, but have you ever wondered why it is called Royal icing? Well, in the earlier days when royal icing came into vogue refined sugar was extremely expensive, and only the upper crust of the society could afford it. Also, it was Queen Victoria who opted for a cake with snow white icing for her wedding, where royal icing was used for the purpose. In fact, after Queen Victoria’s wedding, most of the British Royal wedding cakes were decorated with royal icing. Thus, the name Royal was given to this versatile icing.
Royal icing is humble with minimal ingredients and no fuss to work with. It might not be as stylish as fondant or gum paste, but if it can guarantee the quality and moistness of cake even after 100 years, then it surely is a true cake warrior.
Now, after all the above-given facts, if you are intrigued about royal icing then you should get your hands on learning the art of icing cakes royally.