GBBO Week 2: Biscuit Box Showstopper

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Gluten-free Lemon & Elderflower Shortbread Box with Raspberry and White Chocolate Biscuits

First things first, I don’t particularly thrive at biscuits. I like baking cake- I know cake, I can do cake. Biscuits, however, have never really been my bag… So, with it being biscuit week in the tent and having yet to have participated in the Great Blogger’s Bake Off 2015, I plucked up the courage and decided to face my biscuit fear. The best way to do that… The showstopper challenge of course! It took a lot of effort and patience- having a few mishaps along the way- but I did it! (And I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with it too!). To see other fab recipes and entries, visit: www.mummymishaps.co.uk 

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So, starting with the box…

Lemon & Elderflower Shortbread

400g Gluten-free Plain Flour

150g Caster Sugar

150g Butter (Cubed)

2 tbsp Golden Syrup

100ml Elderflower Cordial

Rind of 1 Lemon

A few (Approx 5) Boiled Sweets

Pre heat the oven to 220°C.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the cubed butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Heat the elderflower cordial, lemon rind and golden syrup in a small pan. Pour into the flour and butter mixture and add the sugar.
Continue to mix all the ingredients together with your hands until it comes together in a ball.
Remove and divide into two balls and place on a floured surface.

Butter a large baking tray.

Roll out the doughs one at a time and using a template/ruler, cut out the 4 walls (W 12cm x H 6 cm) and a lid (W 12cm x H 12 cm) of the box

With remaining dough, cut shapes to decorate the box (I used heart cookie cutters!)

Place all pieces on baking trays, and cut a 8cm x 8cm window from the lid

Cook for 8-10 minutes, until golden on the edges.

Whilst cooking, place the boiled sweets in a pestle and mortar or into a food processor and crush until a rough sand texture

With about 3- 4 minutes left on the timer, sprinkle the crushed sweets into the hole in the lid to make a stained glass effect

Cool on a rack before decorating.

Royal Icing

1 egg white

225g Icing Sugar

1 tsp Lemon Juice

For the icing, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy.

Using a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric mixer on slow speed, add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time.

Stir in the lemon juice and beat the icing until it is very stiff and white and stands up in peaks.

Cover the surface with a damp cloth if not using immediately.

Using a piping bag or palette knife, pipe or spread icing over each part of the box and decorate as desired (I used freeze dried raspberries and the extra heart biscuits!)

Pipe a line of icing onto the display board and stick the first biscuit wall to the board (I struggled to get the biscuit to stay upright so used mini cocktail sticks to secure it while the icing set)

Repeat this for the other sides of the box, piping icing along the wall edge in order to join the sides together

Place the lid on the top and ice any plain areas to give the box a neat effect

Leave to set for at least 4 hours

Tip: Leftover royal icing can be kept in the fridge for up to a week in a glass/stainless steel bowl and cling fling placed directly on top of the icing

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Biscuits

250g Gluten-free Plain Flour
200g Butter, cut into small cubes

100g Icing Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 Egg Yolks

60g White Chocolate

Raspberry Jam (Shop bought or home-made)

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
Place the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a thickness of about 0.5cm/¼in. Cut out shapes using a 4cm/1½in cutter.

Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden-brown and crisp. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Whilst the biscuits cool, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over boiling water

When the biscuits and the chocolate have cooled, spread a layer of white chocolate and a layer of jam onto half of the biscuits. Top with the other half of the biscuits and allow the filling to set (you can place them in the fridge to speed this up if you wish)

Decorate as desired

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If you can resist eating it all, place your jammy-choccy biscuits into your box and let people marvel at your creation! ENJOY 🙂

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‘Black Eyed Susan’ Blueberry, Elderflower and Sage Mini Marbled Cakes

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I’m a girl who enjoys a good cocktail from time to time. Earlier this year, Mum came to visit me up in Liverpool and together we discovered ‘Frederik’s’- a cute little bar on Hope Street. We managed to get rather tipsy sipping on their weird-and-wonderful cocktail concoctions, our personal favourite was the oddly titled ‘Black Eyed Susan’- a combination of Vodka, Blueberries, Elderflower and a hint of Sage. So, months on, I decided to re-create this cocktail as a cake- minus the splash of vodka and handsome barman.

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Note: This was a spontaneous experiment. I simply woke up this morning and leapt into it, improvising a recipe based on previous bakes and my own initiative, but I reckon they turned out pretty damn successful. If you fancy giving ‘Black Eyed Susan’ cakes a go and reckon they would benefit with a bit of tweaking here and there, please feel free to adapt the recipe (well, ‘guidelines’) below to your own preference. Oh, and do tell me how you chose make them 🙂

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The ‘guidelines’…

125g Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 eggs
125g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
3-4 tbsp Elderflower cordial
150g (approx) Blueberries
5-6 Sage leaves

50g Butter, softened
125g Icing Sugar
1 tbsp Elderflower cordial
Blueberries for decoration

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Grease and line a cake tin
In a small bowl, stir the flour and baking powder together and leave to the side for later
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time, alternating with a spoonful of the flour mixture
Sift and stir in the rest of the flour mixture
Split the cake mix into two bowls
In one bowl, add the elderflower cordial
Puree the blueberries and sage, sieve and add to the other bowl
Place spoonfuls of the mixtures into the cake tin and use a skewer to create a marbled effect
Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack

Meanwhile, make the buttercream:
Beat the butter, then add the icing sugar and elderflower cordial and beat again to create a smooth icing

Back to the cake…
Cut small rounds from the sponge (I used a round cookie cutter)
Pipe the icing onto the tops of the rounds and sandwich together
Decorate with a few blueberries

Et voilà! The ‘Black Eyed Susan’ cake is born!

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