- 250 gram (8 ounces) butter
- 2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cup (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup (75g) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 cup (120g) ground almonds
- 2 (quantities) royal icing (page 220) pink, blue and yellow food colourings
- 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice
- 50 gram (1½ ounce) packet pearlized blush sugar pearls
- 1 1/2 cup (240g) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar approximately
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1Have butter at room temperature.
- 2To make almond biscuits, beat chopped butter, rind, sugar and egg yolks in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in sifted flours, cornflour and ground almonds in two batches.
- 3Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth; divide in half. Roll both pieces of dough, separately, between sheets of baking paper into 3mm (⅛-inch) thickness; refrigerate 30 minutes.
- 4Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Line oven trays with baking paper.
- 5Using the largest cutter, cut 18 rounds from dough, place on oven trays. Using both medium and small cutters, cut 12 rounds of each from dough, re-rolling scraps as necessary, place on oven trays. Bake biscuits about 15 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool on trays.
- 6To make royal icing, sift icing sugar through a fine sieve. Lightly beat the egg white into a small bowl until mixture is just broken up (do not whip into peaks). Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Using a wooden spoon mix in the lemon juice.
- 7Divide royal icing equally between three small bowls, tint pale pink, blue and lemon. Cover surface of icing with plastic wrap to keep airtight.
- 8Decide how many biscuits are needed of the same colour. Spread biscuits out on a flat surface ready for piping.
- 9Use one colour of royal icing at a time: Half-fill one of the piping bags with icing. Pipe an unbroken border of icing around outside edge of the biscuits, stand until set. Wrap piping bag in plastic wrap to keep airtight. Repeat with remaining colours.
- 10Using one colour at a time, add a drop or two of lemon juice to the remaining icing in bowl – the icing should be the consistency of pouring cream. Spoon icing into another paper piping bag, snip the tip from the bag. Pipe icing inside the same-coloured border to “flood” the tops of the biscuits. Stand overnight to set. Repeat with remaining batches of royal icing and biscuits.
- 11To make wedding cakes: Stack 3 large biscuits on top of each other, followed by 2 medium and 2 small biscuits, joining each biscuit with a dab of royal icing.
- 12Use the reserved icing in piping bags (the normal royal icing, not the runny icing) to decorate the wedding cake biscuits with loops, one layer at a time. Using tweezers, position pearls before the icing sets.
these delicate biscuits can be coloured to suit your theme; they look lovely in one colour, or layered using different colours, however, it is quicker and easier to ice the biscuits in the same colour. equipment 6.5cm (2½-inch) round cutter 5cm (2-inch) round cutter 3.5cm (1¼-inch) round cutter 6 paper piping bags (page 221) tweezers To ensure the loops are evenly spaced, pipe small dots of royal icing around the biscuits as a guide, if you like. The biscuits can be finished a week ahead; store them in a single layer, covered, at room temperature. They’re not hard to make, but they do require a good dose of patience. The biscuits look pretty stacked on a tiered stemmed cake plate or cupcake stand. The ‘pearlized blush sugar pearls’ are small edible pearls, and are available from cake decorating suppliers. These biscuits use a technique known as ‘flooding’ or ‘runout’; this is when an outline is filled with runny icing. Here the biscuits are outlined with royal icing and, when that is dry, they’re ‘flooded’ with thinned royal icing, which becomes smooth and shiny when set. The biscuits are quite fragile once they’ve been decorated with the royal icing loops and pearls, so treat them gently. Lay biscuits out on a flat surface ready for piping. Divide royal icing between 3 small bowls. Tint icing pink, blue and lemon. Using one colour at a time, pipe a border of royal icing in an unbroken line around the outside edge of the biscuits; allow to dry. Stir a drop or two of lemon juice into the royal icing to make it the consistency of pouring cream. Place into the piping bag. Using sharp scissors, snip the tip from the piping bag. Flood the icing into the centre of the biscuits within the piped border. Stack 3 large, 2 medium, then 2 small biscuits on top of each other, joining each layer with a little royal icing to secure. Working with one stack of biscuits at a time; pipe loops around biscuits. Using tweezers, position pearls on icing before it sets.
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