From James McNair's Cakes (Canada, UK), by James
If the eggs in your area cause concern about
problems with salmonella, use meringue powder in
this recipe. This stiff icing is generally used for
adding decorative touches to cakes. The thinner
version works well as a decorative glaze for
gingerbread or other dense cakes.
1 Tbsp meringue powder (available from
cake-decorating supply stores), or 1 egg white, at room
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if necessary to remove lumps
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (if using as a glaze)
Food coloring (optional)
If using meringue powder, in a bowl, combine the
meringue powder and 2 Tbsp water, stir well,
and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the egg white or soaked
meringue powder and sugar and beat with a hand
mixer at low speed until blended.
If using as a glaze, add the lemon juice, increase the
mixer speed to high, and beat until creamy and
shiny, about 2 minutes. Add enough food coloring (if
using) to achieve desired color. Quickly pour or
spoon the glaze over the cake.
If using for decorations or writing, increase the mixer
speed to high and beat until stiff, very shiny peaks
form when the beater is lifted, about 6 minutes. Add
enough food coloring (if using) to achieve desired
color, or divide the icing among small bowls and tint
with various colors as desired. Spoon some of the
icing into a pastry bag and use immediately for
decorating or writing; cover bowl(s) of remaining
icing with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.
Yield: makes about 3/4 cup.
Fluffy White Frosting & variations (brown sugar, citrus, coconut, coffee, nut, peppermint)