icing, troubleshooting
To keep icings stable, make it in small batches.

Many variables outside of formulation exist when trying to keep your icings and glazes consistent and stable. Kirk O’Donnell offers a few tips for making sure your icings and glazes remain as stable and flavorful as they can.

Melting and Glaze Breakdown

For icing that melts or has too thin a consistency, and glazes that breakdown or are too runny, try the following for a quick fix.

  • Increase stabilizer – Most stabilizers come in a system with more than one ingredient. The system usually consists of one or more gums as the basic ingredient with a combination of other materials.
  • Decrease the amount of water in your formula and apply the icing or glaze at a higher temperature.
  • Increase the amount of granulated sugar in your mixture.

Chipping and Flaking

Chipping and flaking represent the other side of melting and breakdown. The key will be to find the right fix existing somewhere between the above suggestions and these.

  • Decrease stabilizer
  • Decrease granulated sugar
  • Reduce mixing

Do’s and Dont's of Icings and Glazes

  • Scale ingredients accurately
  • Maintain glaze at 115°-125°F
  • Keep glaze covered
  • Make small batches

To thin glaze, never use water. Instead use “simple syrup.” Simple syrup is a mixture of one part water, one part glucose corn syrup and one part granulated sugar. Blend and bring to a boil, then remove from the stove.

Thinning an icing or glaze with water will result in a dull surface appearance.