Swirly, twirly fun!
Hello there, it’s week 2 of the Bake off and it is Biscuit Week. This week, I tried my hand at Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirls. I don’t think I can remember the last time I ever ate one of these, but I always remember it tasting a little like shortbread with jam in it. Not that this helped with any of the bake, as it really isn't the same, and my piping skills are once again under scrutiny. As you can see in the picture, I did manage a swirl, but I felt I could have done better.
The recipe comes from the BBC website and is the same one used in the bake off, but with all the bits in. As far as technical goes, its all about that swirl really.
The jam was the easy part, by now I have made jam many times. It all started when I made some jam filled cupcakes for a horror themed bake inspired by a picture my friend Vicki made. You should go check out her art, it really is amazing. Click here.
After making jam, you now need to make some stencils for a guide for your swirls on some greaseproof. Seems simple, but somehow, I managed to make a weird bunch of circles. Onwards and upwards!
The biscuit itself is a blend of butter, icing sugar, plain flour and corn flour. Those who are vegan can substitute the butter for a mix of half soy butter/half vegetable shortening. This means its still fatty enough to bake properly. Or so I have found in my vegan bakes.
Pop your mix into the piping bag and here is where I need guidance. My piping skills are very slap dash, but I seem to get there in the end. Though my swirls could have been more… swirly I think. I wanted them to be fatter and higher, figuring that the heat would make them spread, so the closer the swirls, the less spread out they would be. I managed it sometimes, but consistency is key for a star baker quality I feel.
My biscuits came out roughly the same width all round, so sandwiching them together was fine.
Buttercream was straight forward, again for vegans, half verge shortening/ half soy butter substitute (eg 100g butter= 50g shortening 50g soy butter) does the trick for silky fluffy buttercream that doesn't look curdled and keeps it’s shape.
Be careful when sandwiching them together, not to push too hard. Push in the middle or you will end up with a casualty. Also, keep an eye on them in the oven; as the 13-15 minutes Mary suggests, was going to be a burner for me.
All in all, a fun bake, a delicious result. But where would you place me?
Here’s to biscuit week, roll on bread week (ba da boom!)