This make enough to ice a round 20 cm /8 inch cake or a square 18
cm / 7 inch cake
You will need:
3 egg whites
675g / 1 1/2 lbs icing sugar (powdered)
2-3 level teaspoons lemon juice
1- 1 1/2 teaspoons glycerine (If you leave this out the icing will be
very hard when dry)
Beat the egg whites till frothy. Now gradually beat in
about half of the icing sugar a little at a time using
a wooden spoon.(A mixer adds to many air bubbles).
Add the lemon juice and glycerine, then beat in the rest of the sugar.
Beat till really smooth and thick. If it is too runny add more
sugar as it will run off the cake otherwise! Thicker icing is needed
to be piped with an icing nozzle, for the cake top you need soft peaks.
Whether you ice the top or sides first is a matter of personal preference.You
will need a palette knife to apply it. You need something with a long,
flat blade. If you don't have a palette knife, I have found that
a long plastic ruler works as well. If you keep a jug of boiling water
at your side too, to dip the blade into now and then, this will help to make
the icing smooth. Try not to add much water though as this too can spoil
the icing.The best method is to roughly spread the icing on the top(or
sides)first then the other part, and finally draw the blade across in one
even stroke to finally smooth the surface.
An ordinary iced cake needs two coats of icing, allowing it to dry
in between. If it is not as smooth as you'd like on the top apply a
third final thinner coat.
An alternative is to not worry about getting a smooth surface, and instead
"roughing up" the surface by using the knife to pull out peaks all over.
this looks effective in scene type cakes, where you add small figures
of trees, snowmen or santas. If you cant buy them they can be modelled in
Leave the cake uncovered for at least 24 hours before decorating
in your chosen manner.