Iced Gem biscuits: 5 things about the nostalgic, colourful snack

SINGAPORE - Some of the gifts for babies born next year as part of the SG50Baby Jubilee Gift will be printed with a "Gem Baby" character, whose design is inspired by Gem biscuits. The small biscuits topped with pink, yellow, white or green icing have been a hit with children here for several generations. Here are 5 colourful facts about the joy pills.

1. They were not created in Singapore

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Called Iced Gem Biscuits, they were first made by Huntley and Palmer of Reading, Britain in the 1850s. That was just the biscuit bottom. The icing was added in 1910. According to NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown.com, the biscuits were an experiment with new biscuit technology.

2. They can be found in several countries

Gem biscuits are believed to be sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and Britain. They are made by Jacobs, McVitie's and Rich Garden and Khong Guan.

3. The colours of the toppings vary according to countries

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The ones in Singapore feature bright coloured toppings, while the ones overseas are either muted in colour, or fruit-flavoured. The flavours include lemon.

4. The recipe

The biscuit is usually made using plain flour, unsalted butter, egg, sugar, golden syrup and salt, and the icing is made using meringue powder, icing sugar and water.

5. They have an official Facebook page 

There is a Facebook page dedicated to Iced Gem biscuits that has more than 90,000 likes. It is the official page started by Ritz Food Corporation, a Philippine-owned company under which the Rich Garden and Khong Guan labels are.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg