Toolbox Talk: Meringue Powder

 

This post is all about my introduction to meringue powder, one of the subjects that initially spurred the idea for this Toolbox Talk column, as you can read here. Questions about meringue powder come up regularly on Cookie Connection, perhaps because there seem to be many differences among brands and methods of mixing it. So, in addition to addressing my own curiosity (I make royal icing with fresh egg whites), I hope to answer some of the questions that have arisen on the site, or, at the very least, encourage us all to jointly address our different experiences with this ingredient.

 Meringue Powder

Meringue powder is used as a substitute for fresh egg whites in meringues and royal icing, but is also added to buttercream to stabilize it. It is a very fine, off-white powder made from dried and powdered egg whites mixed most often with varying amounts of icing sugar (aka powdered sugar), regular sugar, corn flour (aka cornstarch), cream of tartar, and other additives to improve flavor and shelf life. It is all of these additives that set meringue powder apart from pure dried egg whites. As the egg whites in it are dehydrated, meringue powder eliminates the risk of contaminating icing with salmonella and possibly making people sick.

Meringue powder is most often bought online or in cake decorating supply stores, under a wide range of brand names, as I'll discuss further below. I have come across only one instance of someone making her own meringue powder (second to last comment in the link above, by Food Wacky on February 18, 2014), but I haven’t tried it myself (yet). 

 How Meringue Powder is Used

In the context of cookie decorating, meringue powder is just one of the possible starting points for making royal icing. Some people make royal icing with fresh whites and icing sugar, as I do. Others use pasteurized whites, either from the bottle or in the shell, and icing sugar, as does Cookie Connection host Julia Usher. (Pasteurized whites, though still liquid, are heat-treated to temperatures that kill salmonella.) Still others use readymade royal icing mixes that just need the addition of water to be good to go.

But, according to a recent (and very non-scientific) survey conducted by Julia on several social media platforms, meringue powder seems to be the primary way that most cookiers go about making royal icing. Of the 106 people who responded to her half day-long survey (which you can find embedded directly below), about 93 percent use meringue powder. It seems that most people surveyed choose meringue powder to avoid the risk of salmonella contamination and for the convenience. (Several meringue powder brands are available in the United States, whereas pasteurized whites can be harder to find.)

As mentioned at the outset of this post, there are many variations on how to make royal icing with meringue powder. Some decorators mix the powder with more icing sugar and then add water, and others whip the powder with some water and let it sit for a bit before adding it to the icing sugar. And, as you can see from this Cookie Connection forum post, the "right" ratio of meringue powder to icing sugar is also debatable.

Meringue Powder Around the World

South Africa/Australia/United Kingdom: From reading comments on the net, I have the impression that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, American brands (Wilton) is available in most places. But not in South Africa! We have Bakels Actiwhite, which, in the two cake supply shops I tried, gets re-packed from bulk bags into smaller packets of 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Actiwhite is also readily available in Australia, and I read that it is referred to as Meri-White in the United Kingdom. (More on brand availability in other countries below.)

Big bag MP Actiwhite in Bulk Packaging

small bag MP Private Label "Actiwhite" Repackaged in Smaller Quantity

United States: Here, cookiers have more brands at their fingertips than I do in South Africa, and others do in most other parts of the world. In Julia's survey, no less than 10 different brands were used by decorators in the United States (US). Wilton led the pack with 35 percent of US respondents using it, and CK Products came in second place with 26 percent of mentions. Other brands mentioned more than once were Lorann, Henry & Henry, Cake Supplies on Sale, and Creative Cookier (a new formulation developed by Cookie Connection member Ginny Levack, which garnered rave reviews, especially for flavor and sheen, from those in her Facebook group). Reasons most often cited for using Wilton were convenience and price. It is widely available in US chain craft stores (Michaels and Hobby Lobby), smaller mom-and-pop cake supply shops, and online.

Elsewhere in the world: Indeed, Wilton seems ubiquitous, confirming my earlier suspicions! Even among cookiers outside of the US, Wilton was the dominant meringue powder brand in Julia's survey. It is used by 48 percent of the non-US respondents, primarily those living in Japan, Taiwan, Portugal, and New Zealand, who mentioned that it was easy to find (and affordable) online. The next most commonly used brands were CK Products (by cookiers in Canada and Portugal), Ledevit (by cookiers in Argentina), and Pavlova Magic (by cookiers in New Zealand). However, not one of these brands was mentioned by more than 7 percent of non-US respondents - further proof of Wilton's worldwide domination! 

An Experiment

For this post, I didn’t actually do an experiment per se. I just made royal icing with Actiwhite in three different ways and recorded how the icing behaved. [EDITOR'S NOTE: That's experiment enough for me! ]

First, I used a relatively high ratio of meringue powder to icing sugar - specifically, 106 grams (10 tablespoons) powder to 907 grams (2 pounds) sugar - as I had read in the recent Sweet Sharing transcript with Amber Spiegel that a higher ratio delays the crusting of icing so there is more time to do wet-on-wet work. I also didn't hydrate the meringue powder first. [EDITOR'S NOTE: I am still baffled by Amber's result, as I would have expected that a higher proportion of protein from the egg whites would have accelerated crusting and drying . . . but I digress.]

Second, I made royal icing, again without hydrating the meringue powder first, with a lower ratio of meringue powder to sugar - specifically 53 grams (5 tablespoons) powder to 907 grams (2 pounds) sugar - following Sweet Sugarbelle's recipe without the flavouring.

And last, I made royal icing using Tea, Cake & Create's recipe, which calls for about the same ratio of meringue powder to sugar as does Sugarbelle's recipe (i.e., 5 tablespoons powder to 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, sugar). But, this time, I mixed the meringue powder with water first and left it to hydrate for some time.

The royal icing in these pictures is the second variation, though I got very similar results with all three variations.

The first thing I noticed is that I needed much more water than the recipes specified to get the icing to flood consistency. Then, the gel colouring, especially the darker colours, did not mix into the icing very well at all. It was as if the colouring did not completely dissolve, as small solid particles remained (as if I had mixed in powder colouring). And it did not change when I stirred the icing later in the week. 

MP - blue and greenActiwhite Icing With Colour Specks

MP speckled icing
Closer View of Actiwhite Icing With Colour Specks

As a point of contrast, the following photo shows how well the same gel colouring distributes in my normal fresh egg white-based icing made with 2 egg whites to 400 grams (14 ounces) of icing sugar.

Egg whites - green and blue
Fresh Egg White-Based Icing - No Specks!

Also, the Actiwhite icing felt very grainy and blocked piping bag tips.

MP grainy icing Actiwhite Icing Even Looks Grainy!

Again, as a point of contrast, my usual fresh egg white-based icing is much smoother.

egg white - even blueNo Grittiness to My Fresh Egg White Icing!

Furthermore, the Actiwhite icing looked and felt a lot more fluffy and airy compared to fresh egg white-based royal icing; it rather reminded me of mousse. It also maintained that consistency over several days without separating. I wonder if the cream of tartar in the mix is responsible for that? [EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see Liesbet's earlier Toolbox Talk all about the stabilizing effects of cream of tartar.]

Piping with this icing was different as well: the icing felt a lot stiffer when piping, but at the same time, it remained "runnier" for a longer period and, on multiple occasions, ran off the cookies. For the first time, I had cookies that dried with a wrinkle effect from being in the dehydrator. The Actiwhite icing didn’t crust fast enough to withstand the air movement created by the dehydrator's fan.

MP wrinkle effect
Wrinkled Actiwhite Icing After Dehydrating

Last, I'd like to comment on drying time and butter bleed. The drying time for Actiwhite icing was about double that of fresh egg white-based royal icing. I found this out the hard way . . . I usually heat-seal my biscuits the evening after I have finished decorating them, and they are fine. But, this time, the popcorn in my set of movie cookies got squashed by the weight of the cookies on top (which I only saw when the birthday girl unpacked them). I then iced some more biscuits to pay proper attention to the actual drying time, and I discovered that, whereas the fresh egg icing is usually hard after 24 hours, the Actiwhite icing was markedly softer at the same time and needed another 24 hours to dry completely. In some instances, it did not set hard at all!

Also, the cookies suffered a lot of butter bleed. I have had butter bleed before, but it has never been as bad as on these cookies! 

MP soft icing
Butter Bleed with Actiwhite Icing

I tried these recipes with Actiwhite over a 6 week-period in several cookie sets, so I don’t think the weather (humidity) could have been the cause of these last two results.

All in all, I have found it difficult and frustrating to work with meringue powder and got results I was not happy with. I will keep the meringue powder I have left in the cupboard as an emergency solution for now, but I will go back to fresh egg whites for my next decorating session. [EDITOR'S NOTE: If it's any consolation, Liesbet, you are not the only one to have been frustrated with your particular meringue powder. Look here!]

Please let me know your experiences with meringue powder in the comments below. And please help build Cookie Connection's own database of information about meringue powder by completing Julia's survey here. Thanks!

Liesbet Schietecatte, born in Belgium but permanently living in South Africa since 2005, accidentally found her way into cookie decorating in 2012. Grabbing moments in between her career as an archaeologist and being a mommy and a wife, Liesbet bakes Belgian biscuits like speculoos in the tradition of her grandmother’s family who were bakers for several generations, but she gets the most creative satisfaction from decorating with royal icing. She bakes and decorates for occasional orders and at times for a crafters' market, but mostly for the enjoyment and challenge of trying out new things. To honour her family's baking legacy, Liesbet uses the family name to give a home to her baking pictures on Facebook: Stock’s – Belgian Artisan Bakes.  

Photo credit: Liesbet Schietecatte

NoteToolbox Talk is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Liesbet Schietecatte that explores similarities and differences in cookie tools and ingredients from all over the world. Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Liesbet's past Cookie Connection posts here.

 

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Interesting post. I'm wondering if you had a chance to test out Amber's hypothesis that a higher meringue powder ratio delays drying time? Did you see that your variation #1 took longer to dry than #2 or #3? Again, I'm just baffled as to why this would be the case, so I'm super curious to hear what you found. Thanks again for your hard work and research that went into this post.

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

I didn't understand the reference above to "from Patty Mac". Who or what is "Patty Mac"? Did you mean "PavMagic"?

Very interesting article. I don't use fresh egg whites for fear of salmonella and I'm sure that's just something in my head!! I found it especially interesting reading your comment about how adding more meringue powder would take longer to dry. I will have to go read Amber's info now.

I use a meringue powder buttercream on my cookies. It's similar to the recipe over on KarensCookies site, but I use a lot less shortening. Yes, I said shortening   Everyone always says not to get any kind of oil/grease near the royal icing, but it appears that once you get your egg whites to stiff peaks, it's ok to add the shortening. My icing looks like royal, it crusts, is stackable, but is soft to the bite.

Here's a video tutorial from KarensCookies site showing how she makes hers.

https://www.karenscookies.net/...g-Icing_ep_94-1.html

Thank you so much for sharing.

Very interesting... I do think that using fresh eggwhites is best, but it sounds like in your MP trials, you made your icing too thin.  All of the problems you described in your meringue powder experiments tend to occur when your royal icing is too watery.

Bakerloo Station posted:

Very interesting... I do think that using fresh eggwhites is best, but it sounds like in your MP trials, you made your icing too thin.  All of the problems you described in your meringue powder experiments tend to occur when your royal icing is too watery.

I don't think the color specks and grittiness relate to adding too much water, but I was thinking too that the ripple and butter bleed did. I'm thinking though, based on what Liesbet said, that the icing was just way too poofy and thick to flood with it any other way?? Perhaps this meringue powder has more corn starch in it than other brands in the US, which would make it more absorptive and spongy?

Robin H@Sweet Hart Bake Shop posted:

I use the cartons of pasteurized egg whites. They are easily found in every grocery store in the US. I find the taste of meringue powder to have a slight chemical taste to it, not the clean taste of the whites and powdered sugar.  

I agree; I don't like the taste of most meringue powder. You do what I do - or I use fresh whites if just for demo projects that won't be eaten.

Julia M. Usher posted:

Interesting post. I'm wondering if you had a chance to test out Amber's hypothesis that a higher meringue powder ratio delays drying time? Did you see that your variation #1 took longer to dry than #2 or #3? Again, I'm just baffled as to why this would be the case, so I'm super curious to hear what you found. Thanks again for your hard work and research that went into this post.

I should have tried some pull through hearts in each variation!

But even with the extra MP the icing didn't set completely hard after 2 days of drying

Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

Thanks for your input Kat! Have you also tried Actiwhite as well, or is PavMagic the same brand under another name?

Robin H@Sweet Hart Bake Shop posted:

I use the cartons of pasteurized egg whites. They are easily found in every grocery store in the US. I find the taste of meringue powder to have a slight chemical taste to it, not the clean taste of the whites and powdered sugar.  

I agree with your comment about the chemical taste in MP. I've never tried it with egg whites due to fear of getting sick. But after reading more about it, I may give it a try just to see the difference. Are you able to keep leftover icing at all?  I'll need to look for a recipe now

Thanks for another great post, it was a pleasure reading!

I have tried three different ways of making icing, with fresh egg whites, meringue powder, and powdered egg whites.

My meringue powder (Wilton, nothing else available here) didn't leave any color issues, the icing was soft but stable, easy to work with. But I didn't like all the chemicals in it and artificial vanilla flavor. And I surely didn't like the price. It is about 8 € for 113g.

So I switched to powdered egg whites. The results are just as good as with meringue powder, no chemical taste, half the price.

Joanie posted:

Very interesting article. I don't use fresh egg whites for fear of salmonella and I'm sure that's just something in my head!! I found it especially interesting reading your comment about how adding more meringue powder would take longer to dry. I will have to go read Amber's info now.

I use a meringue powder buttercream on my cookies. It's similar to the recipe over on KarensCookies site, but I use a lot less shortening. Yes, I said shortening   Everyone always says not to get any kind of oil/grease near the royal icing, but it appears that once you get your egg whites to stiff peaks, it's ok to add the shortening. My icing looks like royal, it crusts, is stackable, but is soft to the bite.

Here's a video tutorial from KarensCookies site showing how she makes hers.

https://www.karenscookies.net/...g-Icing_ep_94-1.html

Thank you so much for sharing.

Thanks for that, I will have to check the tutorial!

I am curious: if you bump your icing by mistake, will it dent?

Joanie posted:
Robin H@Sweet Hart Bake Shop posted:

I use the cartons of pasteurized egg whites. They are easily found in every grocery store in the US. I find the taste of meringue powder to have a slight chemical taste to it, not the clean taste of the whites and powdered sugar.  

I agree with your comment about the chemical taste in MP. I've never tried it with egg whites due to fear of getting sick. But after reading more about it, I may give it a try just to see the difference. Are you able to keep leftover icing at all?  I'll need to look for a recipe now

I have no trouble saving the icing. I can let it sit out for a day or 2, longer it can be stored in the fridge or freezer. The high sugar content keeps it from going bad.  

Liesbet posted:
Joanie posted:

Very interesting article. I don't use fresh egg whites for fear of salmonella and I'm sure that's just something in my head!! I found it especially interesting reading your comment about how adding more meringue powder would take longer to dry. I will have to go read Amber's info now.

I use a meringue powder buttercream on my cookies. It's similar to the recipe over on KarensCookies site, but I use a lot less shortening. Yes, I said shortening   Everyone always says not to get any kind of oil/grease near the royal icing, but it appears that once you get your egg whites to stiff peaks, it's ok to add the shortening. My icing looks like royal, it crusts, is stackable, but is soft to the bite.

Here's a video tutorial from KarensCookies site showing how she makes hers.

https://www.karenscookies.net/...g-Icing_ep_94-1.html

Thank you so much for sharing.

Thanks for that, I will have to check the tutorial!

I am curious: if you bump your icing by mistake, will it dent?

Once it's dry it won't dent. Maybe if you squeeze it hard!! I've stacked them on top of each other and when I plate them onto a platter I lean them against each other with no problems. For a 6-cup powdered sugar recipe I only use about 2 TBLSP of shortening ... Karen uses a lot more.

Julia M. Usher posted:
Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

I didn't understand the reference above to "from Patty Mac". Who or what is "Patty Mac"? Did you mean "PavMagic"?

Sorry, Patty Mac is a Sydney based cookier, who came over to New Zealand to meet with a few of us cookiers here. She showed how easy it was to make royal using the PavMagic royal.

Liesbet posted:
Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

Thanks for your input Kat! Have you also tried Actiwhite as well, or is PavMagic the same brand under another name?

You have made me want to investigate that Liesbet!

Hi Liesbet,  I tried using Wilton meringue powder, but I did not like the end result of the icing, found it was airy and soft after it was dry, and I didn't like the after taste of the icing.  I use egg whites and royal icing sugar, I love how the icing sets hard and shiny.  I do have some issues, one I can not keep the icing out on the counter for more then an hour before it becomes too "runny" from the room temperature. This is an easy fix, I just keep the icing in the fridge, until I need to use it. The second is with butter bleed on very humid or wet days, (here in central Ontario,Canada our weather changes  daily) Unfortunately I have tried ALL the helpful hints to reduce the bleed, some days it works, some it doesn't.  All in all, I love working with egg whites and royal icing,  I have no fears of salmonella, my grandparents were bakers in their day and never once did they poison anyone.  Thank you for writing this article, I found it interesting.

 

Julia M. Usher posted:
Bakerloo Station posted:

Very interesting... I do think that using fresh eggwhites is best, but it sounds like in your MP trials, you made your icing too thin.  All of the problems you described in your meringue powder experiments tend to occur when your royal icing is too watery.

I don't think the color specks and grittiness relate to adding too much water, but I was thinking too that the ripple and butter bleed did. I'm thinking though, based on what Liesbet said, that the icing was just way too poofy and thick to flood with it any other way?? Perhaps this meringue powder has more corn starch in it than other brands in the US, which would make it more absorptive and spongy?

thanks for taking the time to comment Christine! I did have to use a lot of water to thin the icing down, but with the consistency it had with the recipe quantities of ingredients, I wouldn't have been able to get a smooth surface.

I have some of the icing in the freezer, I will try it out without adding the water and report back.

 

Julia, how could one find out how much corn starch there is mixed in (apart from asking the manufacturer, but I doubt they will tell), or do a comparative test between different MPs?

Joanie posted:
Robin H@Sweet Hart Bake Shop posted:

I use the cartons of pasteurized egg whites. They are easily found in every grocery store in the US. I find the taste of meringue powder to have a slight chemical taste to it, not the clean taste of the whites and powdered sugar.  

I agree with your comment about the chemical taste in MP. I've never tried it with egg whites due to fear of getting sick. But after reading more about it, I may give it a try just to see the difference. Are you able to keep leftover icing at all?  I'll need to look for a recipe now

haai Joanie,  I keep my icing out of the fridge for 2 weeks without any problem!

Joanie posted:
Liesbet posted:
Joanie posted:

Very interesting article. I don't use fresh egg whites for fear of salmonella and I'm sure that's just something in my head!! I found it especially interesting reading your comment about how adding more meringue powder would take longer to dry. I will have to go read Amber's info now.

I use a meringue powder buttercream on my cookies. It's similar to the recipe over on KarensCookies site, but I use a lot less shortening. Yes, I said shortening   Everyone always says not to get any kind of oil/grease near the royal icing, but it appears that once you get your egg whites to stiff peaks, it's ok to add the shortening. My icing looks like royal, it crusts, is stackable, but is soft to the bite.

Here's a video tutorial from KarensCookies site showing how she makes hers.

https://www.karenscookies.net/...g-Icing_ep_94-1.html

Thank you so much for sharing.

Thanks for that, I will have to check the tutorial!

I am curious: if you bump your icing by mistake, will it dent?

Once it's dry it won't dent. Maybe if you squeeze it hard!! I've stacked them on top of each other and when I plate them onto a platter I lean them against each other with no problems. For a 6-cup powdered sugar recipe I only use about 2 TBLSP of shortening ... Karen uses a lot more.

that sounds interesting, I must give it a try!

Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:
Liesbet posted:
Kat Rutledge-Ibicci posted:

Hi Liesbet, I too Always made Royal with fresh egg whites, but after Belle of Bellissimo urged me to try using the PavMagic and I saw how easy it was to make a Meringue based royal, from Patty Mac, I have shifted to that as it will be easier to teach in classes, without having the need to buy in additional things like Acetic Acid, Corn Syrup and Glycerine. And most certainly take away that worry about fresh egg whites and Salmonella as I would have no control over what others use. It has certainly been interesting to watch and note the differences - especially things like drying times, consistency and colouring. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your investigations with us. It's always good to know what is out there and how others fare. I would too be interested like Julia about the possibility of delaying drying time. 

Thanks for your input Kat! Have you also tried Actiwhite as well, or is PavMagic the same brand under another name?

You have made me want to investigate that Liesbet!

Please do when you find the time Kat, and let us know!

Tanja Sangster posted:

Hi Liesbet,  I tried using Wilton meringue powder, but I did not like the end result of the icing, found it was airy and soft after it was dry, and I didn't like the after taste of the icing.  I use egg whites and royal icing sugar, I love how the icing sets hard and shiny.  I do have some issues, one I can not keep the icing out on the counter for more then an hour before it becomes too "runny" from the room temperature. This is an easy fix, I just keep the icing in the fridge, until I need to use it. The second is with butter bleed on very humid or wet days, (here in central Ontario,Canada our weather changes  daily) Unfortunately I have tried ALL the helpful hints to reduce the bleed, some days it works, some it doesn't.  All in all, I love working with egg whites and royal icing,  I have no fears of salmonella, my grandparents were bakers in their day and never once did they poison anyone.  Thank you for writing this article, I found it interesting.

 

Thank you for your feedback Tanja.

I also find that the icing splits easily and has to be stirred. My biggest issue with that is that it introduces air bubbles

Thank you for the very interesting article Liesbet!
When I stayed in Australia I used Actiwhite and CSR pure icing sugar for royal icing and it was always grainy. I thought it was because of sugar, but it might be because of Actiwhite...
At home in Japan I use egg white powder which doesn't contain anything but egg white and I'm always happy with it.

 

Lisbet, thank you for your research and responses on this topic.  What a ton of work.  

I wonder if hydrating the meringue powder would make a difference in icing consistency and solve the speckled color issue?  

RI must be a confectionary enigma. It would be ideal if there was a tried and true formula, but often even when using the same recipe the results are variable. 

I agree with many of the comments. Granted, I've not used more than one meringue powder, the taste really is wretched, and I've not used RI mix. Carton egg whites work best for me, they're cost effective and give good results.  Buttercream RI sounds intriguing.  

Experimentation is fascinating even if costly.  However, since I'm not selling cookies yet.....

Thank you for Toolbox Talk.

Pip 

 

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