Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Tea and Neapolitan Iced Gem Biscuits (updated Earl Grey Salted Caramel gems recipe)

It's been some time since I had a request for iced gems so I am glad to take a break from macarons to make these :). Earl Grey salted caramel, Neapolitan and Lavender flavours were requested.

You may find the recipe for Neapolitan iced gems from here and Lavendar iced gems from here. The old Earl Grey salted caramel gems recipe can be found together with the Neapolitan one. Ever since I discovered Earl Grey tea powder, I have been using it for a range of bakes but have yet to use it for iced gems. I decided to incorporate it here so I will just provide the updated recipe for this flavour. I use homemade salted caramel and the recipe can be found here.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Infusing hot milk with dried Lavender flowers. Yes I use the real stuff!

Top: fresh milk, Bottom left: lavendar infused milk, bottom right: Earl grey milk tea with salted caramel. All have vanilla extract added in.

The biscuit dough for the respective flavours.

I tried using an oval scalloped cookie cutter for some of the biscuit bases. I think I prefer simple 2cm round cookie cutter.

Icing Lavender gems! Remember to pipe some icing onto baking sheet to test for royal icing doneness during drying in the oven.

Neapolitan royal icing! Looks pretty from this angle coming out from the piping tip too!

I use a combination of Earl Grey tea powder and dried tea leaves from the teabag for the royal icing.

The icing firms up and lightens in colour after whipping. I used a spatula to whip by hand all 5 different flavours in this batch!

Icing Earl grey salted caramel gems!

Recipe for Earl Grey salted caramel biscuit
(Makes about 96 biscuits)
30g hot milk
1.25tsp Earl grey tea powder
25g salted caramel
1/4 tsp caramel essence/flavouring (optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
105g plain flour
1/16 tsp fine sea salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
36g vegetable shortening

1. Dissolve tea powder, salted caramel, caramel flavouring and vanilla in hot milk.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. Rub in shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour and shortening mix and knead into a ball of dough. You may not need all the milk. Once a ball of dough is formed without breaking apart, you can stop adding the milk.

5. Roll to 3-4mm thick and cut out circles with cookie cutter (I usually use a 2cm round cutter). Place the cut-out on baking tray lined with baking sheet.

6. Bake in preheated oven using the fan mode at 170°C for 13-15 minutes or until brown. Cool completely before icing.

Earl Grey caramel royal icing
112g icing sugar
8g meringue powder
20-24g hot water
1.5 tsp Earl grey tea powder
1 teabag worth of Earl grey tea leaves
1/2 tsp caramel essence
1/16 tsp salt

1. Sift icing sugar, meringue powder and salt together in a grease-free mixing bowl.

2. Dissolve tea powder in hot water. Add caramel essence (if you have) to the tea.

3. Add tea into the sugar mixture and use a whisk until well combined. Add the tea leaves from the tea bag and mix well. Use a whisk or spatula to whip by hand for about 6-7 minutes continuously until icing is stiff and able to hold a stiff peak. If that is too much muscle work for you, you may use the electric mixer and medium low speed for a few minutes.

4. Transfer royal icing into piping bag fitted with a star tip.

5. Pipe some icing onto the baking sheet as well for testing of doneness of the icing. Dry the iced biscuits in the oven at 60°C using the fan mode for an hour or until the royal icing is able to be lifted off the baking sheet easily and it's totally dry. Taste test a biscuit too to check that it's crisp. If it has turned a little soft due to the icing, dry the gems longer and taste test again.

6. Cool the dried biscuits completely before storing in airtight container.

With love,
Phay Shing

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