Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let’s Talk About Black Icing

Black icing can be one of the tricky colors to get a pretty dark color with.

Yesterday I talked about how to get bold, deep colors:

1.  Start with a thicker icing than you will need.
2.  Add a good amount of color.  You are looking for a dark gray color at this point.
3.  Let the icing sit for an hour or two.

The next thing that I feel helps is when it come to black is that I always color small amounts of it.  I have yet to cover a whole cake in black and often only use black for accents so I will color ½ of a cup or so.



(Again, I don’t have great pictures here, but I am hoping they will let you see the differences in the shades.)

Here we have the gray color I started with.


I was only able to let the icing sit for 30 minutes.  You would really want to let it set an hour or more, but I was doing this last minute as a prep for my demo.  I know bad example of me, when I am suggesting to plan and color ahead.

In the Bold and Brighter colors posts, I did get my blue, green and purple to shades I was happy with so I didn’t have to do this next step. 

If the color you need is not dark enough after hour plus, then you will add more color to it.  Again it is best if you can let it sit for a while before use.


After two additions of color I got my black pretty close to where I needed it to be so I bagged it and got it ready to use.


Here are a few other tips about black icing...

Start with chocolate icing if possible, especially if you are covering large surfaces with it.  When starting with a brown icing, rather than a white icing, you will need less black coloring.  Also the chocolate can help mask the slightly bitter taste you can get with really deep colors.

I have also noticed that sometimes with darker icing colors you will find they separate a little.  You will get a colored liquid with a curdled white mixture, oddly, this almost always happens after I get it in the bag. 

Starting with the thicker icing will help keep it from separating as bad, since you have less liquid in there before adding in all the extra ‘liquid’ from the color.  But sometimes you still have the issue.  My fix for this is to add about a teaspoon of cornstarch to about a 1/2 cup of icing.  You can always add more if you feel you need to, but this will help thicken the icing back up and will help come back together and not be separated.

Something to remember with all dark colors, they can stain teeth, tongues, and mouths.  This may be fun for kids running around at a party, but not so great for guests at a wedding.

Freeze any leftovers!  Often I only need black for a few little details so I can use left over icing for that.


Alot of these tips can also be used to make red icing.  I didn't really mention red in this post because I do have a red icing experiment planned for the near future.  Keep your eyes out for it.

Next Post:  Friday, September 30 - Bag Prep Tip
I will also share pictures of what I used my bright and bold icings on.
 

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