An afternoon baking Viennese whirls
Friday, 25 October 2013
When an email comes through inviting you to an afternoon of biscuit making what can you do but accept! Despite half term having only just begun I abandoned Andrew and the boys for an afternoon with the promise of a box of biscuits on my return. My biscuit making attempts in the past have been pretty basic. I may have 'The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits' on my shelf, but so far Reuben has a distant memory of making Halloween biscuits last year, and his other favourites are 'Fig and Fudge' biscuits from the 'I Can Cook' CBeebies cookbook (which we have made...a lot!) Seven of us attended the bake off hosted by Glynis, a fellow expat and experienced baker who has her own cake business here in France. We each chose a biscuit recipe and I picked the Viennese whirl. Little did I know that this was one of the more challenging recipes, with a cooked buttercream and use of a piping bag. I could have chosen chocolate bourbons, ginger nuts, iced rings, custard creams, or jammy dodgers. The Viennese whirl happened to be the sheet in front of me and one of Andrew's favourite biscuits so I thought I'd give it a go!
I was advised to start by making my cooked buttercream. This involved heating milk and flour to create a thick roux like mixture, and then leaving it to cool whilst I made my biscuits. Mixing the ingredients together was straightforward but having to use a piping bag with a stripe of pink gel was a challenge. The mixture was thick and my biscuits ended up all slightly different sizes, but the pink stripe made them look very pretty, even when uncooked. Whilst my biscuits were baking and cooling I finished off the buttercream by creaming together butter, sugar and vanilla, and then mixing together with the cooled 'roux'. The result was a very very creamy filling which although required a little extra work was well worth it. Assembling the two halves with jam and buttercream was a little fiddly, especially as the whirls were so delicate a few cracked on top.
I may be biased here as they were my biscuits but they tasted devine! So creamy and the biscuit just melted in your mouth. We all got to taste each others with tea and coffee on the side, and take a box home. Reuben and Jacob were straight in there with the jammy dodgers and iced rings. Andrew immediately put the Viennese whirls in a separate box, for later!
What have you been baking this week?
There are lots of Viennese whirl recipes online and here is a good cooked buttercream recipe