Monday, 21 December 2015

Gingerbread Pandas (Wheat Free with a Dairy Free Option)

For my little sister (well, not so little now: she is eighteen after all), I indulged in her somewhat avid fascination with pandas and made her some gingerbread versions!

This was my first foray into dipping in thinned royal icing. I had considered dipping them completely in white chocolate, but I thought I'd give royal icing dipping a go instead; I felt that dipped fully in white chocolate, then dipped in certain places in dark chocolate, would be super chocolate overkill. Besides, the crunchy sugary coating in these ones makes me think of ice, which is appropriate.

To make the bears, I used this dough recipe, using golden syrup and adding a pinch or two of ground nutmeg. I then chilled it for about an hour before rolling out to about a quarter inch (3 millimetres) thickness and cutting out with a bear cutter. I baked them for about 10 minutes, until they were a little browned around the edges

I used some royal icing that I had made to ice the Christmas cake (these days, blasphemously, I use packs of instant royal icing because it's so much more convenient), and thinned it out with some cold water, a teaspoon at a time, until it resembled melted chocolate; a nice, running consistency. I dipped the front of the bears in the glaze, let the excess drip off while gently tapping the hand holding the biscuit off the side of the bowl, then put in on a wire rack. I cleaned up any uneven edges with a cocktail stick.

It took about an hour for the glaze to dry, and I then used melted dark chocolate to add details: dark legs, torso, ears, eye patches, and facial features. I used some royal icing at piping consistency to add eyes.

I was very pleased with how these little guys turned out! I hope my sister thinks they're as cute as I do...

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