Today is all about Edible Christmas Ornaments. Let me introduce to you the lovely Bhaven from Biscuit Village who is sharing their very own Royal Icing Recipe with you today. If you haven’t visited their site before, you simply MUST! If you thought biscuits were boring, think again – at Biscuit Village you can get Greeting Card Biscuits (how cool is that?!), Thank You Biscuits, for Him Biscuits… anything biscuity that your heart may (or may not know) it desires. What is even lovelier, is that Bhaven shares some of their tip top biscuit and icing recipes as well as “How to”. So. Sit back. Get your cup of tea and imagine dunking those scrummy festive biscuits. Over to Bhaven.
Hi, I’m Bhaven and I run Biscuit Village, the boutique biscuit bakery and we love to share our passion for biscuits and design with one and all and are thrilled to be collaborating with Red Ted Art to bring you this web-tutorial on one of our favourite topics and to share with you our very own Royal Icing Recipe.
I am always being asked the question as to how we decorate our Biscuits at the Biscuit Village. I’ve been icing for many years now and I must say there certainly is an art or skill to some of the more complex designs I produce but that said icing itself can be incredibly simple and rewarding. It can also be a fun creative process to enjoy on a solitary afternoon with a nice cup of tea or something to enjoy with your children, friends and family. It certainly is art and possibly the “tastiest” art in the world!
Biscuit recipes can be sourced from numerous locations like the internet or various cook-books, you can even ice on your Grandmothers age-old family recipe as long as the surface is smooth and fairly even. Here is a simple traditional British biscuit recipe that I love to bake with children when at home or with friends as it is simple and produces a no-nonsense biscuit with a smooth enough surface for icing. Professionally I add Honey and Golden Syrup to my biscuit recipe to create a harder smoother surface that’s more durable.
BISCUIT RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
- 175g/6oz Plain Flour
100g/4oz Butter or Margarine
50g/2oz Caster Sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300°F Gas 2
- Cream the butter or margarine and caster sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
- Stir in the flour and once mixed knead the dough together until it forms a ball, add a sprinkle of flour if the dough is at all sticky.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 4-6mm thick.
- Cut out the dough using your chosen cutter.
- Place the biscuits on a floured baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Wait 20-30 minutes for the biscuits to cool down and then the fun begins! You can commence icing your very own design.
For Royal Icing we will need:
- Piping bags – These can be shop bought from specialist baking retailers and some high street supermarkets.
- 2 small bowls and teaspoons
- A Cocktail Stick or pin/safety pin
- A Small Spatula
We will need to produce 2 batches of icing, one for the lines and one for the flooding. The icing texture for flooding is runnier which is achieved by adding a few more teaspoons of water. This is explained below,
- Egg white (fresh or dried egg white powder), Icing sugar, Water, Food colouring, now for a festive treat we want to use the main colours of Christmas but the choice is yours.
- You can also buy royal icing mix where you just add water, it’s entirely up to you.
- Mix 8g egg white powder and 60ml water until fully mixed and the texture is smooth. (If you prefer to use fresh egg whites take 2 medium egg whites and mix moderately. Do not add water to this.) Now add 400g icing sugar, you can use an electric mixer but ensure you start slowly and build up to a healthy speed. Once the icing sugar has melted into the liquid you can speed up the mixer (approx 3min). If you’re using a wooden spoon, beat/mix for longer.
- Move your required amount into a small bowl. Add a tiny amount of colouring using a cocktail stick and stir. add more to achieve your choice of colour but note that darker colours involve more colouring also its important to note that icing darkens further upon drying. Move all the coloured icing in to a piping bag. Now your line icing is ready to use.
- For flood icing, make the colour same way as you did for line icing then add around 1-2 teaspoons more of water to your mix, do this 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the icing is more like runny custard. Icing consistency can change quickly so be sure to do this slowly and ensure it does not become too thin. Move this flood icing to a squeeze bottle or just use teaspoons to spread on a biscuit.
- You can store your icing in the fridge for a few days in an air tight container to keep it fresh.
Biscuit Village Tip : If you’re using fresh egg white, add 1 tsp of lemon juice when you beat the ingredients. It’ll make the icing sugar a little bit whiter.)
Lets get icing!
I like to draw an outline on my biscuits first then flood the biscuit with runny icing. This will produce a smooth appearance on the surface. We’ve chosen a Christmas Bauble as it will give you the chance to be creative and the results can always vary as baubles don’t really follow any particular style. It’s the perfect shape to begin with.
1) Scoop/empty some of the icing into a piping bag.
2) Snip the end of the icing bag, we want to make this incision very small so we can ice our outlines with a thin line.
3) Hold the bag around 1-2 cm above the biscuit so you can manoeuvre around the biscuit without breaking your lines.
4) Start piping lightly and let the icing land on the biscuit, now draw your outline. First around the entire edging of the biscuit, staying millimetres into the biscuit.
5) Once you have completed the circuit and lined the edge, you can draw your central lines across the middle.
6) Wait 10 minutes for the icing to dry. Now, choosing your desired colour you want to begin flooding the sections. Flooding is when you apply runnier icing to fill the small area you have created within the biscuit. Flooding will be easier if you can snip a little more of the tip of the piping bag to allow more icing to emerge with one squeeze. Touch the edges of the lines with the icing to completely fill the gaps. It is important not to over-flood the area or icing will drip over the line and onto the side of the biscuit.
7) If there are any air bubbles in the icing use a cocktail stick to perforate them.
8) Here is a lovely decorating tip that I use at Biscuit Village. While the icing is still wet, pipe short amounts of another colour icing as dots and leave them. This will dry in line with the background colour making a lovely dotted effect.
9) Another idea is to sprinkle glitter onto the wet icing and leave. Once dry shake off the excess glitter. It makes for a lovely sparkly design.
10) I’d recommend waiting 2-4 hours for the icing to dry before adding anymore decoration. Once dried you can add a layer or two of decoration. Perhaps small wavy lines or dots, crosses, stars, in short anything you want. For this decoration, it’s best to use the line-icing mix we made earlier. This will be stronger and able to stand alone on the smooth surface. The flooding-icing will flood your area again and run its own course.
You have just made your very own iced biscuit. What we have done today is just the tip of the iceberg. The world is your oyster, the biscuit is your canvass and the icing your paint of choice. Be creative and have fun, that’s the most important thing.
Here are some more ideas:
For more ideas and designs visit my online bakery at www.biscuitvillage.com or join us at one of our workshops. Please leave any questions in the comments area and we will try and answer them for you or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you enjoyed our tutorial and will give our royal icing recipe a go!