Chocolate and orange iced biscuits
For the biscuits
- 165g/5¾oz unsalted butter, softened
- 135g/5oz caster sugar
- 330g/11½oz plain flour, plus extra for kneading
- 75g/2½oz cornflour
- 6 tsp baking powder
- 75g/2½oz cocoa powder
- 5 tbsp golden syrup
- 4 large oranges, zest only
For the icing
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until just combined.
In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Mix well and add to the butter mixture. Stir in the golden syrup and orange zest. Mix until incorporated then, using your hands, knead gently until everything is fully combined. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to or 185C/165C Fan/Gas 4½ and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is about 5mm/¼in thick. Using a template, cut out shapes to resemble a bunch of flowers. Place on the prepared tray and place in the freezer for 10 minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes.
After chilling, bake the biscuits for approximately 17 minutes. Let the biscuits cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Add half the orange juice and mix on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes – the texture should be thick but runny enough to pipe, add extra juice if it’s too thick.
Spoon about a sixth of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small, plain nozzle. Pipe a line of icing right around the edge of the biscuits to form an outline, ensuring there are no gaps (this will be filled with thinner icing later using a ‘flooding’ technique). Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the icing to set. Any leftover icing can be returned to the main bowl.
Put half the remaining icing in a separate bowl and mix in enough orange juice to make a pourable consistency (it should be thin enough to slowly run off a teaspoon). To fill in the outline piped in the thicker icing, use a teaspoon to spoon the thin icing into the middle of the biscuit and gently nudge it towards the edges. Shake the biscuit gently to smooth the surface and ensure the icing completely fills the outline. Repeat with the remaining biscuits then set aside for 20-30 minutes, or until the icing is set.
To decorate, divide the remaining thicker icing between 4 bowls. Use gel colouring to make green, orange, pink and yellow icing. Spoon the coloured icings into piping bags fitted with small plain nozzles.
Decorate each biscuit by piping a small bouquet of flowers, using the green to make stalks and the other colours as flower heads. Set aside to dry before serving.
The biscuit dough is crumbly so it helps to make the template out of card. The template should be about 9cm/3½in tall and 5cm/2in wide, and roughly the shape of a lightbulb.