Tag Archives: Sweet

Viennese Whirls

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I absolutely love these crumbly, buttery biscuits, but I’ve never attempted to make them before. I’m not sure why, as they’re very easy to make, they take barely any time to cook and they look amazing (even if I do say so myself) Another advantage is they use ingredients you’re bound to have lying around, and if you don’t they’re so cheap to pick up. I have to admit that I didn’t make the jam myself, despite spending my super stocking up on preserves, but I will endeavour to next time. I also want to try out some variations- lemon curd and fresh cream would be great.

Viennese Whirls (adapted from The Hairy Bikers)

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:

  • 250g/9oz very soft butter
  • 50g/2oz icing sugar
  • 50g/2oz cornflour
  • 250g/9oz plain flour.
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 100g/3½oz soft butter
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract
  • 75g/3oz raspberry jam (the hairy bikers use seedless, but I couldn’t think of anything worse than seedless raspberry jam)

You will also need a piping bag and a large star nozzle. Also, to be prepared, line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper, on one side of this draw circle guidelines for your biscuits, I made mine pretty big and would make them smaller next time, probably around 3inch diameter.

Makes about 18 biscuits, but this depends on how big your circles are.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Put the butter and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl, using an electric whisk beat until fluffy. Then beat in the plain flour, cornflour and vanilla extract. Make sure you scrape the sides of your bowl down to ensure everything is properly mixed together.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe rosettes using the circles on the greaseproof paper as a guide.
  4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes until pale golden-brown, they shouldn’t be golden brown as this will mean the IMG_0908biscuits won’t be as light and crumbly as you want them to be. Leave to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat until all your mixture has been used.
  5. For the filling, put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and smooth. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Put the jam in a bowl and beat until smooth.
  6. Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of half of the biscuits and place jam-side up on the cooling rack. Pipe the buttercream icing onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich with the jam. I just piped around the outside of the biscuits, rather than covering the entirety of the biscuits as otherwise they are very sweet.

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Bye, bye Miss American Pie

 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and out of jealousy of my sister who spent Thanksgiving with our wonderful American family in California, I rolled out some pastry and baked a USA inspired cherry pie. It involves very little ingredients and if you’re feeling extremely lazy you could buy ready made pastry. The cherries are tinned (or in a jar, as mine were) Morello Cherries, preferably buy them in syrup, as this saves you making your own. Super quick and easy, its a great pudding (or dessert I should say, in the spirit of America) for a cold winters night. Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients;

 

For the filling;

2 jars of morello cherries in syrup (I got mine from student favourite Lidl. You need a lot of cherries as when they cook they reduce down, so these jars were 680g each, you could get away with 1kg of cherries, although this is a minimum)

75g caster sugar.

For the pastry;

250g/8 oz plain flour

pinch of salt

110g/4 oz unsalted butter, cubed

2tbsp icing sugar

enough water to bind.

1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash)

Method;

1) Place the cherries and the syrup in a deep saucepan. Mix in the caster sugar, bring to the boil, reduce the temperature and simmer for 30-40 mins, until the syrup has thickened enough to cover the back of a spoon. Once thickened, leave to cool.

2) Meanwhile, place the flour, icing sugar, and cubed butter in a bowl (or a food processor). Mix until they resemble breadcrumbs, pour in enough water to bind and make a dough. Flatten the dough into a disc and cover with cling film. Chill for a minimum of half an hour.

3) Once your pastry has chilled, preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Split your dough in half. Roll out one half to cover the base of a 22inch pie dish, so your pastry is about 3mm thick. Place inside the dish and, using a fork, prick holes on the bottom of the base, ensuring you do not pierce all the way through the pastry.

4) Roll out the remaining pastry to make the pie top, I decided on a stars and stripes effect, so I cut the pastry into thin strip and, using a cookie cutter, cut out four stars. You can do whatever you wish, or keep it simple with a plain lid.

5) Pour the cherry mixture and syrup into the base. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash around the edges of the pastry bottom, cover with your lid, lattice or chosen design. Using a fork, press down the side of the pastry to ensure the bottom and the top stick together, cut off the excess pastry and egg wash your lid.

6) Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.