So, week 2 of the Great British Bake Off was BISCUIT WEEK (remember I said I’m attempting to bake along with them?). The basic challenge called for 24 identical biscuits of your choice. Well, seeing as I’d made cookies not that long ago on here, I decided to skip this one (I have the right to pick and choose!)
The technical task however, called for something I’d never made and wasn’t even sure I liked: Viennese Whirls. When I think of them, I’m reminded of biscuit boxes you get at Christmas – not the good ones with a nice, solid chocolate digestive inside. No, Viennese Whirls to me are prissy biscuits, that come sitting in their own little doilies, coated in far too much sugar. I’m not even sure these fussy creations were VWs but the image has stuck.
But… I’ve committed myself to this ridiculousness and so bake them I did. Kind of…
I chose to follow this recipe of Mary Berry’s, the actual one they were given in the GBBO tent on the day. My first thought was, ‘It looks pretty easy.’ My second was that there was no way I was making my own jam when I had a perfectly good jar of Hartley’s preserve, waiting to be cracked open!
Anywho, once everything was weighed out accordingly, the mixing began. Bearing in mind I knew I needed to pipe this stuff out of a bag, I was a little dubious when it looked like this:
That wasn’t getting squeezed out of anywhere! Normally, I would have just added water to thin it but as one of the ingredients was cornflour, I wasn’t so sure. Have you ever just played with cornflour? Amazing substance – mix with some water and dollop it on the table. It will ooze like a liquid but pick some up and you can roll it into a ball. Fascinating.
Google told me that adding liquid would indeed help to thin the mixture and suggested milk. A few lashings of the white stuff later (sorry this is not more precise but you really have to gauge it by eye / feel), I was convinced it was runny enough and filled the piping bag.
Seriously, what a shambles – at the risk of sounding vulgar, it was as if my piping bag was constipated!! And the splodges? They were what I scooped out of the bag and chucked on after flattening out (when I’d had enough of squeezing) – I was so glad I hadn’t bothered making that jam…
However, I didn’t want to waste the ‘effort’ I’d put in, so decided to bake them anyway. After all, if this was the real challenge, I’d have to present something and they could always be dunked in a cup of tea. But I wasn’t prepared to waste further ingredients and make the buttercream, just in case – I’d forced to eat the bowl of it then, wouldn’t I?
Well, after 20 minutes in the oven (5 mins longer than the recipe calls for), they looked okay. A quick nibble said they were actually quite tasty, so I proceeded to crack open that jam jar and spread it around. Small, irregular but nice and sweet. The biscuits, not me…
So poo-hoo to you Mary Berry, I don’t care if you’d put in last place! We can’t all be perfectly formed: my whirls might be ugly but it’s what’s inside that counts (and the jam was nice, yes I know I didn’t make it…).
Body positivity, life / biscuit metaphor. Boom! Viennese Whirl drop… (Which is nowhere near as satisfying as a mic drop, because, you know… crumbs and such.)
Next week is BREAD WEEK. How much faith do you have that I can pull that one off?!
I leave you with my whirls and this waltz (because they’re Viennese too…): A show I loved as a child but never knew was by Roald Dahl until now (seems appropriate as it would have been his 100th birthday). My baking adventures are tales of the unexpected after all!
Image Credits: My own plus bbc.co.uk (I’m sure you can tell which is which!)