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Seven Minute Icing

Mwalls's picture

Seven Minute Icing (post #64271)


I made some "7 minute" icing today for a layered lemon cake.  The recipe instructions called for the icing ingredients to be put into the mixing bowl and placed over a pan with an inch of simmering water in it and then to heat the icing to 160 degrees.  I put the ingredients into my metal kitchenaid mixing bowl, and put it over a pan with an inch of water simmering.  Here is the problem.  Even after I turned the heat up all the way and the water was boiling the temperature of the ingredients in the mixing bowl never exceeded 130 degrees.  I finally had to put the icing ingredients in a pan directly on the stove to get them to 160 degrees.  The icing turned out fine then.  Before, at only 130 degrees, the icing never formed. 

My question is to the method of cooking.  Since I was able to do the icing directly on the heat (with constant stirring), I wonder why the recipe call for it to be done in a double-boiler fashion.  Was it concern for the icing burning??