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Royal Icing is excellent for making flowers and other decorations that can be kept in an air-tight container for an indefinite period of time. It is also very sensitive. So always start with absolutely clean utensils. If necessary, use vinegar in the last rinse . The other important thing to know is that you need to beat for the 10 mins or until it is light, fluffy & matt, not shiny. LILY'S TIP........The best test for good royal icing is if it comes out of a bag with PME tip #1 with ease (make sure it's not runny). It has to hold it's shape.
When a recipe calls for grated "almond paste", break the tube of paste into pieces, put into the microwave to soften the paste & cream with butter & sugar. I think it's really messy to grate the tube of almond paste.
Use "potato ricer" and you'll get smooth puree of bananas every time, no more lumps. I discovered it one day, when I could'nt find my "potato masher" which I've always used. Now I only go for the former.