Too big to dunk
We came to the rescue for a client last week after they had been let down at the ‘midnight hour’ by one of our competitors. No names mentioned.
The job in itself seemed simple enough, 12 letter biscuits. They were to match the typography of the logo for a brand new TV programme soon to be released called ‘Tried & tested’. The only snag was their size. They wanted them BIG…
This always makes me nervous. The bigger the biscuit, the bigger the break.
So after a couple of hours of evening emailing with the client, I rose the next morning with a spring in my step, eager to start. The process of biscuit projects normally starts with sketching designs, by hand or on the Apple Mac, and this was no different. The individual letter biscuits were to match the logo. I had been emailed the logo, worked out a size – the largest letters were to measure about 7″-8″ in height, so I printed them all out. Cardboard templates were then created for each letter, and then cut from very cold gingerbread (in fact, slabs straight from the freezer. Always easier to work with when you are using sharp knives. Gives you a much cleaner edge and holds the template shape much better.)
The cut out biscuits were put into the freezer again. (Cooking straight from frozen, means that the biscuits do not spread.) After about 20 mins, they were placed onto baking sheets and cooked. Longer than normal, because of there size, in fact about three times longer, and then left to cool completely.
The biscuits were to be hand piped with royal icing. (See my recipe for royal icing at the end of this post.) Outlined first, to match the logo print outs and then ‘flooded’, all in white, to stand out against the gingerbread background.
I was so pleased with how they looked. They were big and beautiful.
Normally, biscuits are the only thing I would send through the post without fear of breaking, unlike cakes, unless that is if you want the ‘Eton Mess’ cake look, but these were precious goods. It was going to have to be a same day courier from Dorset up to Northamptonshire. That was…. until I was kindly invited up to Northamptonshire onto the set to watch the filming, which included my letter biscuit part.
And what a day!
With huge thanks to the producer and director Andrew Mellon and his team, with presenter, Joanna Simon, on the set of ‘Tried & tested’.
Royal Icing Recipe
500g Icing Sugar
12g Meri white mixed with
60ml of water and
10ml lemon juice
Extra lemon juice to add if necessary whilst mixing.
Put the icing sugar in the bowl of free standing mixer and add the meri white mixture. Add a few more squeezes of lemon juice and then mix on low speed until combined. Then turn up to high speed (one down from the highest) and beat with a paddle attachment (not the whisk attachment) for 5 mins. It should be thick and glossy and stand up in peaks. Do not over beat. Transfer to an airtight container. I find it is best used on the same day.