Originally Posted by boonenati
Sweet4tooth, are you using pure icing sugar?? Or a mixture that contains cornflour/cornstarch? This could be giving you the chalky taste. The grainy texture would come from you not having sifted the icing sugar properly, or sifting it with a sieve that is not fine enough.
Hope this helps
Nati, in Canada and the U.S., the powdered sugar all has some cornstarch or anti-clumping additive in it, to counter humidity or clumping factors.
Sometimes the issue is the type of sugar. Beet sugar tastes just as good as cane sugar but the processing is different. It normally has a different anti-clumping additive and in the processing at the manufacturing level, it appears that it is not put through as fine a sieve process. Therefore the sugar particles are usually not as fine.
To avoid the risk of grittiness, your best bet is to purchase Pure Cane Sugar that has been manufactured by being processed through a 10X mesh sieve grid. Also, where grittiness is an issue, re-sifting your powdered sugar through a very fine sieve, a few times may counter this problem.
Not all powdered sugar is put through as fine a mesh sieve grid so switching to one that has been put through a 10X will mean that your sugar particles are finer and therefore less gritty.
Another issue can be if you are adding regular salt to your recipe. Sometimes switching to a finer salt like popcorn salt and dissolving it in your liquid before adding it helps.
Also sometimes the addition of meringue powder can cause grittiness, again sifting it may help or adding it to your liquid may help.
Powdered sugar is very sensitive to humidity changes as is all sugar. This is one of the reasons why I sift all sugar before using it. I know many people do not believe in sifting, but I find it a good precaution.
Some people also believe that using high ratio shortening as opposed to Crisco shortening, better enables the shortening to absorb the powdered sugar and to result in a more smooth texture.