As an avid baker it will come as no surprise that The Great British Bake Off is one of my all-time favourite TV shows. So much so that I declined a free drinks event with work just so I could be sat in front of the telly at 8pm last week for the start of Season 7! I really am obsessed. I haven’t hedged my bets on anyone to win just yet, but I love Benjamina already! And Val, she’s a legend!
So with the trailer for the second episode already on our screens I thought I’d whip up a treat to get us in the mood. Viennese whirls are one of my favourite biscuits to make, and after perfecting my recipe over the years I think I’ve got it down.
Crumbly, buttery and with a sharp tang of jam to cut through – it’s just the perfect teatime treat!
The key to good viennese whirls I think is the dough consistency. Too runny and your biscuits will be so crumbly you’ll struggle to spread the filling on. But too thick and your biscuits will have a claggy texture and won’t crumble nicely. Its a delicate balance.
To get to this ‘perfect’ consistency, you’ll need to add the right amount of milk. Now this is tricky as I can’t really give an exact amount aside from saying between 1 and 1.5tbsp’s. Because it all depends on the dough at the time. I made these a few months ago and was certain that 1.5tbsp’s was the perfect amount, but when I made these on Saturday I only needed 1tbsp. I know you’ll be thinking that its hardly a huge difference, but it honestly counts so much!!! Add a little at a time, giving the dough a mix and assess if you need more. You want the dough to be smooth but not thick enough that it won’t pipe easily.
I have been known to get the dough into the piping bag, start to pipe, realise its the wrong consistency and dump it all back into a bowl to try again. It happens!
I make the dough in a food processor, mainly because its just so much quicker! But mixing by hand in a bowl is perfectly fine too.
What I really love about viennese whirls is how quick and simple they are to make. You can fancy a whirl at lunchtime, and be enjoying one with a cuppa for afternoon tea!
Filling wise, its all about a simple vanilla buttercream and jam combo to me. I don’t even use an electric whisk for the buttercream. Just simple mixing with a wooden spoon. Basics at its best!
If you’re going to splurge on anything though, do it on the jam! Bonne Maman is a personal favourite, and it really makes the viennese whirls into such a treat!
So on with the recipe, and enjoy tucking into the viennese whirls whilst the bakers struggle on with biscuit week!
- 250 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 50 g icing sugar
- 250 g plain flour
- 50 g cornflour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1.5 tbsp milk depending on how runny/thick your dough is
- 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp raspberry jam
- For the biscuits: Preheat your oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper that you have drawn 14 circles on for guidelines. (I draw round a 6cm diameter cookie cutter for mine.)
- If using a food processor, blitz the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour and vanilla extract until smooth. You may need to push the mixture down a little. Or add all ingredients to a bowl and beat together by hand.
- Then add a little milk at a time until you reach a smooth piping consistency. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe circles onto the baking paper starting from the outside of the circle and working your way in.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are firm and pale golden brown.
- For the buttercream: While the biscuits are cooling, begin to make the filling by beating the butter in a bowl. Once soft, add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat again until smooth.
- To assemble: Spread the jam on the flat side of half of the biscuits once they are completely cool. Then spread or pipe the buttercream onto the flat side of the remaining biscuits. Sandwich the biscuits together, and sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.