How to make flexible royal icing

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Royal icing is a mainstay for decorating cakes and desserts. With a matt, hard finish and the ability to retain almost any colour vividly, this icing is a favourite of many bakers. However, once it dries, it becomes immobile and very solid. Decorators have to work quickly to ensure their icing does not begin to wrinkle or solidify before they are finished decorating their cake. The ability to create a flexible royal icing allows the baker more time while decorating a dessert.

Place the gum paste powder in the large bowl.

Pour the water into the bowl.

Place the beaters of the hand mixer in the bowl and beat the water and gum paste together on high speed for five to seven minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Check whether the icing is at the desired consistency -- runny for flooding and stiff for piping -- and add more water or powder if needed and beat for another three minutes.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface and pipe, form or flood the icing into the desired decorative shapes on the paper. Leave it to set on the paper for eight hours until using it to decorate the dessert. If just covering a cake evenly with icing, spoon it directly onto the cake.

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