Friday 16 January 2015

Orange Iced Gems (and update on blackberry gems)

Now that Chinese New Year is approaching and Mandarin oranges are in abundance, why not try to make some orange iced gems :).

These were made from regular oranges but it can be substituted with mandarin oranges. Someone requested for orange and black/blueberry iced gems so I made an assortment of gems!

All prettily naturally coloured! 

Before I share the recipe for orange iced gems, I will provide a quick update on the blackberry gems. As you can see from my previous attempt, the blackberry gems were pale purple in colour and have more of a pinkish tinge. I had to add a teeny toothpick dip of blue to get it to look a bit more purple. My second attempt here is a much deeper and vibrant purple. I added a few dried blue pea flowers to the black/blueberry puree (about 1.5tbs puree), mashed them in and leave to steep for half an hour before straining. Very pleased with the result and it's all natural!

Feel free to double, triple or quardruple the recipe as this is a small batch.

Ingredients (makes about 30 gems):
Biscuit base
35g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
5g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest (I used 1 tsp and find it's a bit too much. Remember not to grate the white part of the skin or the biscuit will be bitter.)
12g vegetable shortening
14g milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract (or orange essence/emulco if you wish)

Orange royal icing
56g icing sugar
4g meringue powder
8g fresh orange juice (Use more or less as required to get stiff peaks. Remember to add a bit at a time.)
2 drops of orange emulco (added to orange juice)

Please refer to my fresh berry gems post for the steps with slight modifications....

Add orange zest after rubbing in the shortening. Mix well before adding in the milk.

Stamping out circles!

Freshly baked!

Freshly iced!

A close-up view of freshly iced biscuits! Remember to pipe some icing on baking sheet as a gauge of whether the icing on biscuits are dry.

I must confess that I had two failed batches of orange royal icing before I succeeded. The first time I tried adding orange zest, knowing that I might fail as orange peel contains oil. Oil and royal icing are not good friends. The icing will not dry if there's any trace of oil. I had trouble getting the right consistency on my second attempt and reduced the amount of juice as compared to other flavours for my third (successful) attempt. For some reason orange royal icing needs a lot less juice to have the right consistency.

I am having fun experimenting with different flavors of iced gems :). Keep a lookout for new flavours in my future posts!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. ok.. the lavender ones makes me wanna eat.. the orange ones r seriously getting me up n out of my chair... now i really feel like making a jar full of these!!

    loving this recipe and thankful u r sharing with us at best recipes Phay Shing

    1. Thanks Victoria :) go and make some! Iced gems are considered easy compared to other bakes like chiffon, macarons and bread! I am really inspired by your lovely bakes! Thanks once again for your invitation to share at Best Recipes!

  2. Waaa...very nice, I love to eat these little gems but when I was a kid, I only like the gems and throw away the biscuits...where to get meringue powder by the way?

    1. Thanks Jeannie :)
      I got the meringue powder from Phoon Huat.

    2. Hi Victoria. ....what can I replace the vege shortening with if I don't have that item? Pls advice

    3. Hi Michelle,
      You may replace with unsalted butter :). The biscuit will have a buttery flavour too in this case.
      Phay Shing