ALMOND SWIRL BISCUITS
Swirled biscuits are a common menu item in cafes. Rarely featuring on the actual printed menu, they are typically kept on the counter (usually in a large glass biscuit barrel) to serve as a last minute impulse buy for those dropping in to get a quick coffee. The picture below includes three different samples from three different cafes within our local area in Sydney.
We wanted to take this biscuit to the next level, by giving it a heavily glazed and hyper-real make over. The following recipe offers the additional benefit of being gluten free and we have achieved a high gloss glaze through substitution of animal-based gelatine with agar agar.
This recipe requires the biscuit mix to be made, and left overnight. The best result is achieved when a piping bag or biscuit/cookie machine is used to create a classic biscuit swirl-shape. The ridges across the top of the biscuit create a beautiful golden brown pattern.
3 cups almond meal (finely ground, no nut pieces)
1 & three quarter cups icing sugar
2 egg whites
Glace cherries or whole almonds for decoration
Half cup water
2 dessertspoons sugar
2 teaspoons agar agar
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix with hands until well combined. Cover cooking tray with baking paper, and then pipe biscuits into desired shape directly onto tray. Decorate each biscuit with either a whole almond or a glace cherry. Cover with tea towel and leave on tray overnight.
Preheat oven to 200C. Bake until golden brown (this is usually about 10 minutes, but check biscuits occasionally as sometimes the cooking time is significantly less than this).
When biscuits are cool, make the glazed topping. In a saucepan, mix agar agar, water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar and agar agar are completely dissolved. Bring to boil, after the mix has foamed nicely across the entire surface remove from heat and cool a little. Brush every biscuit with the sugary glaze.