I thought this fits the event theme of "Colour God's world" well as I colour these little treats with items from God's creation. These treats are also flavoured naturally, unlike Khong Guan types that are vanilla flavoured only. As Victoria of Victoria Bakes can attest, these iced gems taste really close to what you get commercially except that you can tell it's homemade with the rustic biscuit base. These biscuits were served along with Pandan kaya gula melaka flower pot cupcakes and Christian themed Easter macarons.
I have made naturally coloured iced gems before. You may check out my orange iced gems and mixed berry iced gems. I strongly recommend you to refer to my original old school iced gems biscuits post for more notes on what you have to take note of when making these little treats.
Pink: raspberry puree
Orange: concentrated orange juice
Yellow: concentrated lemon juice
Green: Pandan juice
Blue: lychee puree coloured with blue pea flower
Purple: blackberry and blueberry puree with blue pea flower
The orange and yellow colours needed some help to get a stronger hue so I added a few drops of natural liquid food colouring from Queen's.
Biscuit recipe (makes about 100 biscuits cut out with 2cm round cookie cutter)
105g plain flour
15g icing sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
36g vegetable shortening (you may replace with unsalted butter if you prefer buttery flavour but original iced gems is not buttery)
42g fresh milk (may not use up all of it)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Sift the first 4 items together. Preheat oven to 170°C fan mode.
2. Rub in shortening until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add vanilla to milk. Gradually add milk to mixture until a dough is formed. You may not need all of the milk.
4. Roll dough to about 3mm thick. Use a 2cm round cutter to cut out circles and place on baking tray lined with baking paper.
5. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown, rotating tray halfway through baking. Cool completely before icing or storing in airtight container.
Freshly baked! Looking rustic!
190g icing sugar
14g meringue powder
1.25 tsp of juice or puree for each colour.
Press fresh or frozen thawed raspberry through sieve
Concentrated orange juice:
Squeeze orange juice and let it sit in fridge for a couple of days with paper towel covering. This allows water to evaporate from the juice. Add a few drops of orange emulco.
Concentrated lemon juice:
Boil juice of a large lemon for a few minutes with its zest using low heat. Sieve the juice. Add a few drops of lemon paste
Blend and sieve Pandan leaves with some water. Let the liquid settle in fridge for a few days. Use the dark green liquid settled at bottom
Lychee puree with blue pea flower:
Blend and sieve some canned lychees. Soak some blue pea flowers in puree overnight in fridge. Remove flowers and squeeze out puree from flowers
Blackberry and blueberry puree:
Same preparation as raspberry. You may want to mix in a little blue lychee puree and raspberry puree to liven up the purple hue.
Note: orange zest can't be used in royal icing due to the oil in the zest. The icing won't be able to harden.
1. Sift together icing sugar and meringue powder. Divide into six equal portions.
2. Add 1.25 tsp of puree or juice into each portion. Use a hand whisk to whisk continuously for 6 minutes. Stiff peaks should form. This will give your arm a good workout! You may use electric mixer for this if you prefer but it's optional.
3. Transfer icing into piping bags fitted with a star tip. Pipe small dollops onto biscuits and some on baking sheet.
4. Dry in oven with fan on at 60°C for a few hours or until icing is dry. Take a piece of icing on the baking sheet and bite into it. If it is dried all the way to the center, it should be done. Do taste test the iced biscuits as well. If they are not crispy, dry for a longer time in the oven.
Piping icing with star tip
I had plenty of extra icing as I used about 1.5x the recipe I typed here.
Thank God that these were very well received! This is the last post for my series on high tea bakes for the theme "Colour God's world". Hope these colourful and meaningful bakes have delighted you as much as it had delighted the recipients!
With lots of love,