I love the weather right now. It’s sunny, and glorious. I may be pretty sleep-deprived, but the sun seems to make up for all of work’s ills. Who cares about all that, when I have the sun on my back, and a tin full of the most gloriously calorifically delicious biscuits known to mankind?
I would say they were a total doddle to make, but the piping took a while for me to get my hands round. On my first try, the dough was too far too stiff to be piped out. I squeezed the bag so hard that the nozzle popped out!
Luckily the dough is pretty forgiving. Even after being squeezed, and battered, and knocked about multiple times, it still holds its shape in the oven, and more importantly, produces a beautifully short crumbly texture.
I figured out on the second batch that really, you need your butter to be meltingly soft. Like that stage where it’s almost going to collapse into a puddle soft. What I did was measure my butter out into a mixing bowl, then sit that bowl in a tub of hot water until the butter had started to melt around the edges. Then I whipped the bowl out, dried it with a teatowel, and beat in the remaining ingredients. It really worked a treat.
All the other recipes suggest you get around 20 whirls out of the mixture. I must have piped my biscuits really big though, because I only got 10 whoppers! Aren’t they pretty though? Despite having a total of 10 giant viennese whirls packed in the tin, they got polished off pretty smartly too – two days, three mouths, and they were all gone.
Makes 5 big whirls
For the biscuits:
- 125g very soft salted butter
- 25g icing sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 125g plain flour
For the filling:
- 50g butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 40g jam
Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Prepare a non-stick baking tray. If the butter is not already very soft, a good trick is to put the bowl into a tub of hot water, and sit it there until the butter has melted around the edges.
In a separate bowl, sieve the icing sugar, cornflour and plain flour together. Gradually beat the other ingredients into the softened butter until combined to form a very, very soft dough. If it still seems too stiff to pipe, beat in a teaspoon of milk.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle. Pipe whirls of dough onto the baking tray. Aim for around 10 whirls. Bake the biscuits in the oven for around 15-17 minutes until lightly golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
Next heat the jam in a saucepan until boiling, then sieve to remove the seeds. Pop the jam in the fridge to cool completely until thick. Make the buttercream by beating the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy, then beating in the vanilla extract. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle.
Assemble the whirls. Take one biscuit, and pipe a circle of buttercream. Put a small dollop of jam in the centre of the buttercream circle, then sandwich with a second biscuit. Repeat with the remaining biscuits.