Archive for January, 2013

Egg, gluten and dairy free wedding cookies

Monday, January 28th, 2013

I was asked how to decorate cookies with flooded icing without using egg. You can get the same effect, shinier in fact by using fondant icing.

I don’t mean sugarpaste. I mean bakers fondant which is made from sugar and glucose syrup. This can be bought in block form which is how bakers use it, you can buy it from the supermarket as ‘fondant sugar’ which you mix with water before using or you can buy real fruit fondant powder from Squires Kitchen.

The three cookies on the left were decorated with block fondant. The three cookies on the right are decorated with powdered fondant sugar. My photography is not brilliant but I hope you can see that both give a good finish.

Both block form and powdered fondant sugar will give a smooth shiny finish which is as shinier than flooded royal icing – and you don’t need a heat lamp to dry the icing.

Tips – Prepare your fondant sugar in a glass bowl and stir with a metal spoon. Plastic bowls can hold onto any grease previously held in the bowl and this will affect the shine of your fondant.

Pipe the outline of your shape with sugarpaste ‘let down’ with cooled boiled water. I add 1ml to 20g sugarpaste but this doesn’t have to be exact. Use this to fill a piping bag fitted with a number 2 nozzle.

To prepare your fondant sugar – stir in water a few drops at a time until it is a thick pourable consistency. Colour with liquid or paste food colouring.

To prepare block bakers fondant – place your fondant in a glass bowl, pour a small amount of water over the top. Place into a microwave on a low heat, stir after every 30 seconds until it is the required consistency. It should be just warm. You can add a little water to adjust the consistency. Do not overheat as this will effect the shine and constant overheating will cause the fondant to become grainy. Colour with liquid or paste food colouring.

Both sugars dry hard and you can pipe on top. This method can also be used to make free standing ‘run out decorations – you can either draw your pattern the wrong way round onto a piece of silicon baking paper, turn upside down so the pencil marks are underneath, or place a piece of clear cellophane on top of your design and pipe your design onto this. Pipe the shape outline with let down sugarpaste in a piping bag fitted with a number 2 nozzle. Fill in the shape with the fondant icing in a piping bag. Leave to dry before carefully running a very thin thin palette knife underneath to loosen from the paper.

This recipe makes about 12 x 3inch heart shaped biscuits.

 Ingredients
70g caster sugar
150g dairy free margarine
100g gluten free plain flour
100g maize flour or cornflour
1 x 500g pack fondant sugar (available from your supermarket)
Small amount sugarpaste, coloured as required
paste or liquid food colouring
any extra decoration

Equipment
1 large baking tray
cookie cutters
rolling pin
small paper piping bags
number 2 piping nozzle
small cranked palette knife

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4.

Mix the sugar together with the dairy free margarine until combined.

Mix in the gluten free flour and maize flour and bring together to form a dough.

Dust your worktop with gluten free flour. Roll out the dough ¼ inch thick and stamp out shapes using biscuit cutters.

Place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper lightly brushed with oil.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes and leave on the baking tray to cool.

Let down your coloured sugarpaste with cooled, boiled water. Paddle with a small cranked palette knife to remove any lumps and air bubbles.Fill a paper piping bag fitted with a number 2 piping nozzle.

Pipe any outlines on your cookie with the let down sugarpaste.

Prepare and colour your fondant sugar until it is a thick pouring consistency. Fill a paper piping bag with this. It does not need a nozzle.

Snip the very tip of your piping bag off with a pair of scissors and pipe the fondant onto your cookie within the outline. Start piping, keep the point of your piping bag in the piped fondant to ‘guide’ the fondant where you want it to go. Try not to overfill. Leave in place to dry. Decorate as required.

Once dry the fondant can be piped on top.

Leftover mincemeat?- Gluten and dairy free mincemeat shortbread

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Unusually this year I had a jar of mincemeat leftover after Christmas. I also needed to make something for lunch boxes this week.

I fancied a mincemeat bakewell tart but there is a no nuts policy at school so decided to make mincemeat shortbread.

Recipe

Ingredients
1 large jar of gluten free mincemeat. (If you haven’t got enough mincemeat, you could mix it with stewed apple or pear)
375g dairy free margarine
180g caster sugar
250g gluten free plain flour
250g maize flour or cornflour

for the Shortbread

Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4.

Mix the sugar together with the dairy free margarine until combined.

Mix in the gluten free flour and maize flour and bring together to form a dough.

Line an 8in x 8in brownie tin with greaseproof paper, grease with sunflower oil or dairy free margarine if needed. I used an 8in x 12 in tin and spread the shortbread out to 8 inches. It didn’t spread any further when cooking so you can use a bigger tin.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the tin.

Bake for 15 minutes, leave to cool. I would always recomend part baking the base if using a domestic oven.

Cover with the mincemeat.

Place the remaining dough onto a piece of parchment paper which is bigger than the brownie tin.

Roll out onto the parchment until it is the same size as the brownie tin and of an equal thickness.

Get somebody to help you. Each hold two corners of the parchment and turn over onto the mincemeat.

Manoeuvre into the right place, rub over the parchment with your hand to stick the shortbread to the mincemeat, then peel off the paper.

Mark into portions and sprinkle caster sugar over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool before slicing into portions.