Royal icing is an easy-to-make icing used to decorate cakes, cookies and other sweet confections. It dries rock-hard and can therefore be used to create a smooth, ceramic-like finish or to mould sugary flowers and other decorations that you can use to adorn your sweet creations. Left alone, royal icing flowers will dry extraordinarily fast. Royal icing is, in fact, notorious for its fast dry-time. But, if you are in a hurry, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you speed along the drying process.
Follow your royal icing recipe carefully. If your measurements are not exact or if you do not beat the icing until it is thick enough, the consistency of the icing will be altered and the drying process may be prolonged.
Check expiration dates on food colourants and flavours. Adding an expired product to your royal icing may alter its texture and prolong or even derail the drying process.
Check the room temperature. Make your royal icing flowers in a cool room with good air circulation. If it is humid outside, run a dehumidifier in the room where you are preparing your flowers. Royal icing does not dry well when exposed to humidity and moisture.
Pipe your royal icing flowers onto sheets of waxed paper.
Remove the flowers from the waxed paper once they are dry enough to handle.
Place them directly onto an elevated baking rack. Place an electric fan 2 to 3 feet away from the flowers and set it on low speed until flowers are thoroughly dried. Or, place the flowers onto baking trays and heat them in your oven on the lowest possible temperature for 10 minutes.
Always allow your royal icing flowers to air-dry. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Place royal icing flowers in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place for an indefinite period of time. They will keep well as long as they are not exposed to condensation.
If you plan to eat your royal icing flowers, prepare a recipe that uses meringue powder instead of raw egg whites. Raw egg whites pose a salmonella risk.