Monday, 16 February 2015

Earl Grey Salted Caramel & Neapolitan Iced Gems

I have a request for Earl grey and Neapolitan (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) iced gems that I made last year. Here they are :)

I thought why not add some salted caramel to add some oomph to the Earl grey gems so I experimented with it! The salted caramel flavour is mild so you may wish to add more if you prefer. But the Earl grey flavour is just nice and fragrant :).

I have included some photos to show the consistency of royal icing for iced gems for your reference as I realised I have not included any photos in my previous iced gems posts.

Earl grey salted caramel iced gems
Earl grey salted caramel
I used the salted caramel recipe from here so I will not type it out.

Freshly made salted caramel! My elder kid came home from school just in time to enjoy a spoonful!

Store any unused salted caramel in fridge or freezer.  Simply reheat before using again and thin with a bit of cream or milk if necessary. I made more than necessary for future macarons :). Can't wait to make Earl grey salted caramel macarons just to use up this batch of sweet treat!

Earl grey salted caramel biscuit base (makes about 65 biscuits)
20g Earl grey salted caramel
20g Earl grey milk tea (heat 35g milk with 1 earl grey tea bag. Steep for 5 min. Squeeze out)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
24g shortening

1. Mix salted caramel into hot milk and mix well. Add vanilla extract and set aside. You won't be using all of it.
2. Sift together plain flour and baking powder. Rub in shortening until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add in 28g of Earl grey salted caramel milk and knead until a ball of dough forms. Add more milk as necessary.
3. Roll the dough to thickness of 3mm and cut out 2cm circles with a cookie cutter. Place on baking tray lined with baking sheet.
4. Bake in preheated oven at 170°C fan mode for 13-15minutes or until browned. Rotate the tray halfway through baking. Cool for 5 minutes on baking tray before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Earl grey royal icing
112g icing sugar
8g meringue powder
24g earl grey tea (steep 2 tea bags in 40g hot water for 5 min. Squeeze out. Reserve one bag of leaves)
1 tea bag leaves

1. Sift together icing sugar and meringue powder. Gradually add Earl grey tea and whisk with a hand whisk or electric mixer.
2. Add in one tea bag's worth of tea leaves and whisk well. Make sure that the tea leaves are relatively dry. Continue whisking for 5-6 minutes until stiff peaks form. Please refer to photos of the strawberry icing have a better idea of the consistency.
3. Transfer icing to piping bag with star tip and pipe dollops of icing onto biscuit base. Pipe some extra icing onto baking sheet next to the iced biscuits. Dry in oven using fan mode at 60°C. When the icing can be easily lifted off the baking sheet and is completely hardened, biscuits are ready. Store the cooled biscuits in airtight container.

Neapolitan iced gems
Plain biscuit base
70g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
10g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
24g vegetable shortening
28g milk (or more as necessary)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Follow the above for steps to make the biscuit base. Sift salt and sugar with flour and baking powder.

Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate royal icing
56g x3 icing sugar
4g x3 meringue powder
10-12g x3 water
Strawberry: dissolve 1/3 tsp strawberry paste in 10-12g water
Vanilla: dissolve 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in 10-12 g water
Chocolate: sift 1 tsp of cocoa powder together with sugar

1. Sift together icing sugar and meringue powder (and cocoa powder for chocolate). Gradually add water and whisk until combined. It should like this:

Strawberry royal icing

2. Continue whisking for 5-6 minutes,  scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary with a spatula. Stiff peaks should form and look like this:

Opaque, stiff and glossy royal icing

Add water a few drops at a time if icing is too stiff and dry, add icing sugar if it is not stiff enough.

Wrap royal icing with cling wrap touching the icing like this if you are not transferring into piping bag yet to prevent icing from hardening.

3. Transfer into piping bags like this:

Transfer each flavour of icing into separate bags and then pipe them next to each other into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

4. Pipe the royal icing onto the biscuit base and dry in a similar way as the above.

All packed! 

You may refer to my previous Earl grey and Neapolitan gems posts for more details and photos of the baking process. I just highlighted what's new and the royal icing making process.

With love,
Phay Shing

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