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Blue spots in the gray icing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was making a cake that has gray icing. I first started with americolor black, but it looked kind of purple. So I added some wilton black. I iced the cake and when I came back to it some time later there were blue spots mixed into the icing.

What went wrong?
post #2 of 27
Is there salt in your BC? If so, did you disolve it before you added it to your mix?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Nope, no salt.
post #4 of 27
hmmmm.... interesting. The last time I made gray icing I used wilton black and before it turned gray it appeared blue. I wonder if wilton colors don't mix well with americolors in high concentrations? Just a thought....
post #5 of 27
When I use Wilton black I always add in a small amount of premium cocoa powder. The icing stays black and does not change to purple or blue. I do this for fondant work and so far it has not changed color from black. It would probably work for grey icing too. I can't remember where I learned this from, possibly from my wilton instructor. You could try mixing a small amount of icing and let it sit for awhile to see if it works.
post #6 of 27
Hmmm, this is the first time I have heard of spots in gray but it happens in purple, pink, and sometimes blue.

I don't believe it is the salt, I believe it is actually the colors reacting to the chemicals in the water. A plus is that once the icing spots you can stir it and mix them in and they do not respot. That of course doesn't help once you have it on a cake.
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post #7 of 27
I've noticed this before. Since black is really just a combination of almost all the colors this can happen. I've seen it happen when the coloring is old and not quite smooth, refrigerated or has not been mixed in enough.

One trick is to mix the color into the icing, let it sit for several hours and then stir it really well again. Any undissolved colors will have had time to dissolve and will be mixed into the icing instead of showing up after it sits a while on the cake.

And yes, undissolved salt can do this too.
post #8 of 27
Thanks ladies! I knew someone would have an answer.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
KathyCC, do you let all your colors sit?

I have never had this happen before. I was thinking maybe it got sprayed with something once the cake was iced, but the icing that was left over in the bag had the same thing happen.

Again, this is a first for me. I know the chocolate icing can streaks in it if its not mixed correctly, but I have never seen icing develop spots before!
post #10 of 27
I usually mix all the colors that I will need at the start of my decorating. Then, when it is time to put them in the decorating bag, I stir them again.

The spots of color don't happen all the time. I had a container of Wilton purple that had spotting problems every time I used it. I decided it was old and got another container and the problems were gone.

Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Look closely at the top of this cake, above the "om" in my watermark. The white spots are what I think is undissolved salt. Now I put my salt in with the liquids not the dry so it has time to dissolve.
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1458010

Here is a cake with red dots in my pink icing.
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1322170

I'm always learning. icon_lol.gif
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
KathyCC - Are you using wilton colors? Because I used both my wilton black and my americolor black, I don't know which one to through out! What a pain!

Cute cakes by the way! Has anyone seen the wilton pillow pans? I was at my local cake shop yesterday and I say a set of three different sizes. It was really really tempting, but I was on a small budget and I needed boxes and boards. Maybe next time!
post #12 of 27
I do use Wilton colors most of the time. Is your Wilton black a little runny or is it more like a paste? Fresh Wilton black looks a little runny, shiny and smooth, a little thicker than syrup. If it gets old, it gets lumpy and thick. Those are the ones I've had trouble with spots.

No, I have not seen the pillow pans...going to look them up now. Sounds interesting!
post #13 of 27
I never thought about the icing colors being old, but then again I have students that have new kits and colors that have the spots happen.

It is weird because I can have several people in the class with purple (this is the color I see it most often with) and maybe only one or two have the spots, that is why I believe it is more a reaction with the water, but I can see the older colors doing it too.

Learn something new every day.
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post #14 of 27
Yes, TexasSugar, it could be how they are making the coloring. Maybe there are batches that have hard to dissolve "chunks" of color. I never thought of that either. I just always assumed I got an old bottle. They don't have dates on them so there is no way to know.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

A plus is that once the icing spots you can stir it and mix them in and they do not respot. That of course doesn't help once you have it on a cake.



I had this happen with a purple icing for a border and flowers...the night I applied it everything looked fine. The next day the icing was blotchy with 1/2 purple and 1/2 light blue. The following day, the icing the day after that it was all blue. The purple by itself was fine and the blue by itself was fine...but if I had needed to serve/deliver the cake on the day when it was purple and blue.....yikes!
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Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.
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"I did then what I knew then, when I knew better, I did better." Maya Angelou
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