Friday, 17 March 2017

St Patrick's Day 2017: Royal Icing Biscuits, attempting a new technique

 Lá Féile Pháraic shona daoibh!
(Law Fay-luh Faw-rick hun-na yeev)

St Patrick's Day is upon us, and I coincidentally wanted to make some biscuits, so I thought I'd make some and ice them accordingly! But a little differently this time...

Usually when I do royal icing I do the usual pipe a dam around the edge of the biscuit and flood fill it using a small greaseproof piping bag. However, I was surfing on Pinterest, and found a pin where someone had done flood 'filled' biscuits by dipping the biscuits in flood consistency icing. So I thought I'd give it a try.

I baked some nice little shortbread biscuits by mixing 1½ ounces (40 grammes) of very soft butter, 3 ounces (85 grammes) of icing sugar, 4½ ounces (125 grammes) of plain flour, with a dash of vanilla essence by hand in a mixing bowl until it became a nice soft dough. I rolled it to about a quarter inch (5 millmetres) thick, and it made 12 biscuits, four of each of the three shapes I had chosen. I baked them at 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2) for I think about 25 minutes. To be completely honest, I was doing the washing up and not watching the clock, and judged the doneness by eye and by feel: they should be a very delicate golden brown and set just around the edges. This shortbread recipe works a treat as it doesn't lose its shape and stays nice and evenly coloured.

I made some royal icing (I cheated and bought a bag of instant) and divided it into two to colour one portion green, and leave the rest white. To dip the biscuits, I scooped a spoonful of the icing out onto a plate, and dipped the biscuit face down, and used a knife to remove any excess. I dipped two of each of the four shapes into the white, and two of each into the white.

I had also made some small cone piping bags using greasproof paper, and filled them with some green and some white icing. While the dipped biscuits were still wet, I piped on the designs, using the tip of a knife to do some marbling. Now, usually I would use a cocktail stick, but I didn't have any, so I used the tip of a sharp knife, like a paring knife.

VERDICT: Personally, I actually prefer the traditional pipe and flood method: the dipping method was messy, and the icing ran incorrectly and didn't settle properly. Some of the marbling lines stuck rather than melting back into the surface, which bothered me. Maybe I just need to practise this method, or just stick to my usual pipe and flood method.

No blogs on this day in previous years.

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