I love beautiful biscuits and cakes, while a good sponge or biscuit base is essential, I think that sometimes the finishing touches can make all the difference- transforming an ordinary looking cake or basic biscuit into a work of delicious art. It's a true ambition of mine to learn more about icing manipulation - I'd love to be able to sculpt royal icing some day and truly understand the science and art behind this creative process.
I baked and decorated these biscuits for my friend's birthday, I used ready to roll white fondant icing from ASDA as a base (although I intend to learn how to make fondant icing from scratch some day). You can buy ready-coloured fondant icing, but it tends to be woefully expensive - a much more thrifty approach is to add the colour yourself using a powdered colour tint, this way you can work the colour into the icing gradually to achieve a specific shade. I used blossom tints by sugarflair, which I found at the brilliant Angel Food Bakery in Brighton, a quick web search however has revealed that with a little planning ahead you can buy these colourings at half the price at the Cakes Cookies and Crafts Shop - so it's worth stocking up on key colours before projects, I certainly will be now I know how much I can save!
To colour the icing I pulled off a chunk of fondant icing from the main block and worked it in my hands until it softened, then I sprinkled a little of the colour onto the icing, folding it in and almost kneading the icing until the colour distributed evenly. I dusted the surface with icing sugar and rolled the fondant icing out, before cutting out shapes with plunger cutters.
A while ago I ordered this bumper pack of plunger cutters from Amazon, the pack contains ten sets of plunger cutters, including hearts, flowers, leaves, stars and butterflies in sets of different sizes - excellently priced at £18.75, especially as some of these sets individually can be around £10 on the high street (I've paid £4 for a single plunger cutter before).
Plunger cutters are great for achieving impressive looking detail without advanced sugarcraft skills
I decided to go for a fairly traditional flower and leaf design, glueing the shapes onto the cookie with writing icing. I wrapped the left over icing in cling film and then a food bag- and stored it in my baking cupboard. I've kept fondant icing for a few months before - as long as it's well wrapped and kept in a dry place it should keep well for a while, you'll just need to work it quite a lot to soften it up before use.
Are you a fondant icing pro with awesome tips? What have you used fondant icing for before?