Pesky air bubbles in icing - They can leave tiny bumps on the surface of your smooth flood icing, contribute to craters forming in small spaces, and can ‘poof’ out of your piping tip, or disrupt a line of icing you’re piping. All in all, they can be annoying.
In my quest to figure out what was causing craters in my icing, I stumbled upon a solution to help get rid of air bubbles in icing. And do you know where I learned it?
At the dentist.
Yes, even the dentist and the hygienist are not spared from hearing all about cookie decorating from me. I have tried to keep my sweet cookie talk for only you, and have definitely improved, but this conversation with the dentist and hygienist was over a year ago. That’s how long it took for me to share this tip with you… But in my defense, I was testing and testing to see how things worked.
I had already hit up the science teachers at our school, who by the way are some brilliant people, but had no expertise in the area of craters in icing or similar scientific mysteries. I wonder what they thought when I approached them with the issue. Lol. Scratch that, I think I know what they thought.
Anyways, the dentist. I was at the dentist’s office and I asked the hygienist, while she was cleaning my teeth, how they made the moulds for teeth, because I was thinking that air bubbles in teeth moulds are definitely not an option, or left to chance. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: Ahhh, Raahheh, I waaa hhinging aout aaahh uuuhhuhh in maa iiching hha cookiess nn uuunggering how che gaa riiii aa ee.
Rachel the Hygienist: Are you okay?
Rachel (pausing her cleaning): What were you saying?
Me: Um, well, I was just wondering how you make moulds for teeth without air bubbles getting in the mould?
And she explained. She’s a very nice lady.
And before you think I’m too crazy, or that the hygienist and dentist were probably whispering later how strange I was, the dentist came by later to check my teeth, and he really got into the conversation too. Apparently they don’t get to talk about making moulds to others much. My dentist even went so far as to get some mould examples and a dental vibrator (you’ll see in a second!), to show me.
Removing Air from Icing
Soo, I’ll just keep the explanation brief (like this post so far – haha), and share with you that one of the main ways to avoid air pockets, is to vibrate the mould mixture in a bowl sitting on a dental vibrator. I of course, immediately wanted to go home and order one off of Amazon to use for my royal icing, but the price held me back. At the time, I couldn’t find any under $250.00! Kind of expensive for an experiment. The good news I found out while writing this post, is that there are cheaper ones available now. Yay! Mine’s on the way in the mail.
Now, it doesn’t mean that I’ll be using it for every batch of icing I make – it’ll be for more intricate cookies with small areas to flood or for when I’m using tiny piping tips. I can’t wait to try it out! Rachel even mentioned that you could put just your icing sugar (powdered sugar), in the bowl and vibrate the air out, and/or put your finished royal icing in the bowl to vibrate air out.
For the next new tip, I need to first explain a step I’ve already shared in this post here; Paddle your icing with a broad spatula. Paddling the icing means you’re doing a paddling motion on the icing, instead of a stirring motion. Even better than just explaining, here’s a little iPhone video clip of my dental hygienist demonstrating how she does it with the mixture used to make moulds for teeth (Which, by the way, is even further proof that she and my dentist didn’t think I had gone around the bend. The video, that is. ).
Removing Air from Icing Video
And the other new tip, so when you’re paddling the icing, use a silicone bowl! This is the one which I’ve been testing out for a year or so, and it really does seem to make a difference! Because the bowl is pliable, Rachel explained, while you’re paddling the icing, the give of the bowl really helps. As a side note from me, it’s really handy to be able to bend the bowl to pour your icing out as well.
My suggestion is to use the bowl when you’ve got an icing you know you’ll be ‘working’ a lot. For example, I had to experiment quite a bit to get the shade right for the mustard color icing for my princess Jasmine cookie.
Drop me line in comment section if you have any questions or comments and I’d love to hear from you – what are you tips for air bubbles and icing?
Have fun decorating!