I did have good intentions when I said I was going to bake the technical challenges from the Great British Bake Off. I started well with the jaffa cakes, but it has taken me a few weeks to catch up with Mary’s Viennese whirls and the dampfnudel. I don’t think I’ll be attempting lacy pancakes any time soon. I can’t really see the point.
Anyway, Viennese whirls, here they are.
I really didn’t think they’d be too much trouble. A bit of jam making, a bit of piping. What could go wrong?
I started by boiling raspberries and jam sugar together. I didn’t have a thermometer to tell me when the mixture hit jam o’clock, so I followed the recipe and boiled it for four minutes. Then I poured it into a bowl and left it to cool. It might set. It might not. I had no idea.
Viennese whirl mixture
Next, I drew some circles on baking paper as templates and started on the biscuit mixture. I softened unsalted butter in the microwave. I left it a bit too long. It was definitely on the melting side of very soft when I took it out. I didn’t fancy starting again so I put it into the KitchenAid with some icing sugar, draped a tea towel over the top to avoid an icing sugar cloud and beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture was pale and fluffy. I added plain flour and cornflour and mixed again.
Now for the piping. Piping is not and, I don’t think ever will be, one of my baking strengths. I did invest in some disposable piping bags after my last piping disaster, but I still ended up with an overflow of biscuit mix that oozed over the top of the bag, down my arms and onto the kitchen table.
I had a terrible time piping my biscuits onto the templates. My piping nozzle was big enough, and I got stringy, stingy, looking blobs. The mixture was supposed to make twelve whirls – so twenty-four biscuits. I had an awful lot left over. Instead of beefing up my twenty-four biscuits, I made extra. I also whirled from the outside in. I’m not sure where I’d left my head. It certainly wasn’t in the kitchen. My Viennese whirls looked pitiful.
I baked them for 15 minutes at 170° fan. They came out looking very sad and thin.
Once they’d cooled I sandwiched my thousand and one biscuits (I didn’t have quite that many, but it did feel like it) with the raspberry jam and buttercream which I made with butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Was it worth it
I’d tried a couple of the biscuits before making the jam and buttercream sandwiches. They tasted overdone and had a sandy texture. I wasn’t looking forward to doing a final taste test. Perhaps this one would best be left to the children and husband.
You know what though? They were completely transformed by the filling. True, they were nowhere near the melt-in-the-mouth Viennese whirls that Mr Kipling makes, but the jam and buttercream masked the imperfections in the biscuits well enough. I may try making them again one day, but only when I’ve sorted out my piping problems.