Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dusting Pouches

 A dusting pouch is one of the most essential tools needed for successfully and accurately piping royal icing figures and flowers. Dusting pouches are nothing more than a circle of porous fabric with a drawstring. 
 Open the pouch wide, and pour in a heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar. 
 Add a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch. 
 I like to mix them up a bit with the handle of the tablespoon; using the spoon itself tends to flick the contents of the pouch right back out. 
Pull the strings tight, and tie the knot as close to the pouch as you can. Store the dusting pouch in a baggie or sealed plastic container so it won’t inadvertently dust all of your supplies. 
 Here’s an example of the sort of thing for which a dusting pouch comes in handy. When piping a figure like the rubber duck, you’ll need to pipe a ball shape for the head. Oftentimes, I find it difficult to pipe a ball directly onto another royal icing shape, especially if the first shape hasn’t thoroughly dried. If, when you pull the tip away, a peak like this remains…
 …touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and gently tap the peak into the desired ball shape. If your fingertip is amply dusted, the icing will not stick to it. Royal icing can be manipulated with dusted fingertips in all sorts of ways; the tips of petals can be pinched to a point, edges of leaves can be refined…
 …and the bills of penny-sized rubber duckies can be rounded from an unsightly peak to a natural curve. Keep a dusting pouch filled and handy at all times; you’ll always find yourself reaching for it when you’re piping with royal icing.

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