Monday, 27 October 2014

Earl Grey Iced Gems

My friend who is a fan of anything Earl Grey flavoured requested for iced gems with this flavour. I made earl grey iced gems a while ago but this time, I left them in their natural colours and used more teabags for a stronger bergamot fragrance :).

The recipe and steps are about the same as my previous earl grey gems post but I will put it here for your convenience.

Plain biscuit recipe
70g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
10g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
24g vegetable shortening
27g milk tea plus extra as necessary (infuse 2 earl grey tea bags into 50ml of hot milk for 5 minutes.  Squeeze tea bags to extract as much flavour as possible.)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Earl grey royal icing recipe*
140g icing sugar plus extra as necessary
10g meringue powder
2 tbs warm tea plus extra as necessary ( steep 2 earl grey teabags in 50ml of hot water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the teabags to extract as much tea as possible. Reserve one teabag.)
1 bag of earl grey tea leaves

* If you are unable to get hold of meringue powder, you may prepare royal icing using egg whites.  If you are concerned about using raw eggs, you may dry the iced biscuits in the oven at 90-100°C for half an hour to "cook" the egg whites as well as dry the icing.

1. Add vanilla extract to the milk. Set aside to cool if milk is hot.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan mode).
Line baking tray with baking sheet.

3. Mix all dry ingredients together and sift into a large bowl. (You may double the recipe since this is a small batch). Rub in the shortening with your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4. Gradually add in the milk until you can form a ball of dough. You won't need to use all 50ml of it. Roll it to thickness of about 3mm. Use a round cutter to cut out circles of about 2cm in diameter (or any size that you have).

5. Place the cut out dough on baking tray. They can be placed pretty close together as the dough will puff up and not expand much sideways. Press it down a little in the middle. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

6. Prepare the royal icing. Sift icing sugar and meringue powder into the mixing bowl.  Use an electric mixer to mix on low speed for a minute. Gradually add warm tea and increase the speed to medium high, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add tea leaves from one tea bag and continue mixing for a total of 5-6 minutes or until stiff peaks can hold and the mixture turns pale.

7. Transfer the royal icing into  piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the signature dollop of icing on each biscuit. Dry the iced biscuits in the oven at 70-80°C using the fan mode for half an hour or until the icing is dry. You may pipe extra icing onto the baking sheet beside the iced bicsuits on the same tray as a test to see if the icing is dry (as you can see, I tried to pipe some earl grey rosettes). If you can easily lift the icing off the baking sheet, it is dry. Let the biscuits cool completely before storing them in airtight container.

All snuggly packed!

So glad that my friend loved the biscuits! Feedback was the biscuit base is nice and crunchy and the icing is not too sweet. Earl grey fragrance is there without being overwhelming. But for earl grey fans, stronger earl grey flavour is always a welcome. If you would like to increase the earl grey flavour, add another teabag worth of tea leaves into the icing although the texture may be a bit more sandy.

Checkout a variation of these Earl grey gems with salted caramel!

With love,
Phay Shing

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