I hope you are feeling in the mood for romance, as today I am going to share with you a recipe you can easily put together for Valentines Day. If you missed my last post, the 3rd in the Sunday Pudding series, all about Almond Cherry Cake, you can read it here.
Popular Valentines Day clichés include boxes of chocolates, heart shaped almost anything and bunches of flowers. Putting my own spin on these, I came up with a daisy biscuit bouquet, inspired by the brilliant Biscuiteers, rolling together the idea of sweet treats and flowers into one.
The Valentine’s Day we have come to know and love as a romantic celebration began in Victorian Times, when the traditions that we now associate with the ‘day of love’ came into being – giving cards, flowers and sweet treats to loved ones. Victorians believed that different flowers had different meanings. Daisies meant purity, innocence but also loyal love which is why they are perfect for sharing with the special people in your life. So, whoever you decide to give these to – whether a partner, lover or friend – you will be sure to wow them with a cheerful bunch of biscuit flowers.
I used the Biscuiteers own vanilla dough recipe for the biscuits. You can customize them with anything from spices to lemon zest – but make sure you add a dry ingredient that won’t change the texture of the dough or big chunks of chocolate or nuts that will make the dough difficult to roll out.
Being a royal icing novice, I was delighted to find Julie M Usher’s videos which are an icing masterclass. She makes the most intricate designs look simple with achievable techniques to try yourself – including making your own piping bag out of greaseproof paper! Here is the link to her videos if you want to see them for yourself.
Just before we get to the recipe, I want to say one word on Royal Icing. Traditional royal icing is made with egg whites, icing sugar and cream of tartar. As I couldn’t lay my hands on either pasteurized eggs or meringue powder that Julie suggested. So instead I found Royal Icing sugar, which is made with egg white powder. You mix it with water to make an icing that is the same consistency as if you had made it with fresh. Obviously nothing can beat the original, but it made icing the biscuits much simpler for me. If you want to have a look at what I used, click here.
To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of McFly’s Love is Easy which is the perfect song to fill hearts with romance on Valentine’s Day.
Listen to it here or on my Soundcloud profile!
Here is the recipe…
Daisy Biscuit Bouquet
Makes 16 – 20 biscuit flowers
For the biscuits
350g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
125g granulated sugar
125g butter, in cubes
125g golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
For the royal icing
500g Royal Icing sugar
Yellow gel food colour
A large mixing bowl
A wooden spoon
A medium or large daisy cutter
A fish slice
A wire rack
How to make the bake
- Sieve the plain and self-raising flours and mix them together in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix in well. Then, add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Once all the butter is combined evenly with the dough, make a well in the centre. Pour in the golden syrup, the vanilla extract, and the egg. Mix everything together until you have a nice ball of dough.
- Divide the dough into two and then roll one half into a square about 1 cm thick. These biscuits have to be able to get a skewer to stay in place so make sure that you make them thick. Take a medium/large flower daisy cutter and cut out as many flowers as you can before rerolling the dough.
- Take one cut out flower and then place on the baking tray and gently wiggle the skewer into the middle of the dough, with one hand on top of the biscuit so you can feel the skewer through the biscuit. When you have placed your skewers into all the cut out biscuits, place the first batch in the oven. Bake the biscuits at 170C for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Continue and do the same with the second batch. Transfer the biscuits carefully on to a wire rack to cool completely. When they have cooled, start on the icing.
- Gently whisk together 250g royal sugar icing in a large bowl with 40ml of cold water. Immediately the mix should thicken, but keep whisking until soft peaks are formed. Split the mix in two and then to one, add another tablespoon of icing sugar and mix together. Cover the other icing that you aren’t using with cling film to stop it drying out as it dries very fast. Put into your choice of piping bag and pipe around the edge of the petals and leave till it is dry to the touch.
- To the other half of the icing, add 1/2 tsp of water and mix and use a skewer to flood the petals one by one.
- When you have decorated each of the biscuits, put them in a very low oven (50’C) to dry out for 30 minutes so the icing doesn’t budge. Finally add a yellow centre to each of the daisy by adding yellow gel food colour to the remaining icing and piping on a circle of icing. Leave to dry before packaging up the biscuits to hand out to your loved ones as a token of your love.
Packaging and display
To display your biscuits in your choice of vase, wash it out thoroughly and then fill with table salt to about halfway up. Stick as many biscuits as you can into the salt. I found it most effective to balance the biscuits around the edge of the vase as they need a bit of extra support.
Or if you want to give your biscuits as a gift, an easy way to wrap them is in a sandwich bag. Put the biscuit in the bag, with the writing facing backwards, and then pull the extra plastic around the stem and tie with ribbon. Cut off the excess sandwich bag and you are left with a beautiful biscuit flower kept safe and protected.
Thank you for popping by my blog and I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s offering. If you decide to make my recipe, do tag me in any pictures on Instagram @englishsingingbaker #esbbakes as I would love to see how you get on.
Hope to see you next time but in the meantime,
Happy Tuneful Baking!
English Singing Baker x