Sunday, 4 September 2016

Viennese Whirls - gluten free (in celebration of GBBO Biscuit Week)


Last week was biscuit week on the Great British Bake Off. We saw a selection of disasters and also some beautiful triumphs in the show-stopper gingerbread story challenge, as well as some extremely well-iced and flavoured biscuits (some clearly way too soft for Paul's liking) in the signature bake.

Now ginger bread is something that I have already tackled...... I developed my own recipe suitable for house-building a couple of years ago. The gingerbread was delicious and perfectly spiced..... With Christmas coming up, you may find a good excuse to try it!


But it was the GBBO technical challenge..... to bake Viennese Whirls, which proved to be well...... quite challenging for some. It was clear that these little melt-in-the-mouth morsels filled with butter icing and jam are not as easy to make as Mr Kipling would have us believe.

So exactly how tricky would it be to make a gluten free version? I set out to test it!


My first attempt was a complete disaster..... I followed Mary Berry's recipe to the letter, but with a straight replacement of gluten free flour..... Not good! Although the batter looked good and piped perfectly, no sooner was it in the oven, than it spread like a beige weed across the bottom of the baking tray. I continued to bake it through anyway, and although a little oily, we agreed in GF HQ that once scooped into a bowl, the crumbs would taste great sprinkled on ice creams and maybe even mixed into crumble topping!

To be honest, I sort of guessed that Mary's recipe wouldn't work with weight for weight substitutions, but I almost needed to test it to work out what I might need to try next to de-glutenise it.


Back at the drawing board, I re-worked the recipe to reduce the butter slightly, and increase the cornflour content. I also added a drop of vanilla and a little extra sugar as the additional flour upset the flavour balance.

Seems like these changes did the trick! My second batch of Viennese Whirls GF-stylie held well and were robust enough to (with care) jam, ice and sandwich! Sure they are a little fragile, but I got the impression from the GBBO that fragile was not in itself a 'fail'. And hopefully Paul and Mary would be more than happy with my 'definition'!


Having had many a gluten-version of Viennese Whirls in my earlier life, I can be proud of my efforts..... I may have made the biscuits slightly larger than I intended and perhaps over-jammed and iced them (both problems which are easily rectified), but they sure do melt in the mouth and taste just as I remember them...... (although as I get older, my tooth appears to be losing some of its sweetness, and next time I make them, I may well forgo the jam and butter cream and just dip them in chocolate instead).

However you choose to embellish them, if you are gluten free, fear not..... you too can eat Viennese Biscuits!


I am sharing my gluten free Viennese Whirls with the following linkies :

Treat Petite - this month hosted by Kat over at The Baking Explorer (and Cakeyboi). This month 'anything goes' again (so long as your offering is cute and small) so hop over and join in!

Cook Blog Share.... This week with Hijacked by Twins


Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilkas Blog (and Marathons & Motivation)

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum






Given that this is a biscuit I grew up with, I am also sharing with Inheritance Recipes (this month with Coffee & Vanilla (and Pebble Soup)). It was great to be able to share one of my childhood favourites with Miss GF....

Free From Fridays with the very talented Emma at the Free From Farmhouse


#TheFoodCalendar with Charlottes Lively Kitchen. These would make a perfect sweet offering for a Macmillan Coffee Morning. What will you bake for yours on the 30th September?

Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma




Bake Off Bake Along with This Particular and Rhyme & Ribbons.


I am also Sharing them with Delicious Alchemy for their 2016 Gluten Free Magic Bake Off. If you bake gluten free, go check it out!


Viennese Whirls  (makes about 10 sandwiched biscuits)

Ingredients

Biscuits
240g unsalted butter - softened
65g icing sugar
225g plain GF flour mix (I used my own blend A from this post)
60g cornflour 
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter Icing filling
100g unsalted butter - softened
200g icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry/Raspberry or other jam

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Base line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and icing sugar (preferably using an electric whisk or food mixer) until well-blended, very pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and flours and continue to beat until the mixture has become a very smooth, pale paste.
  4. Using a large star nozzle, pipe the mixture into even-sized whirls on the trays, leaving a gap between them.
  5. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, turning the trays half-way through to ensure an even bake. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't burn.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays.
  7. Whilst the biscuits are cooling, make the icing-filling : Beat the butter and then gradually add the icing sugar and vanilla extract until you have a smooth, soft icing.
  8. Once the biscuits have cooled completely, use a palette knife to very carefully loosen the biscuits from the baking paper and then very gently (they will be quite fragile) lay half of them, swirled side down on a clean sheet of baking paper.
  9. Transfer a few spoons of jam into a bowl, and stir vigorously to loosen (if the jam is very thick, it may benefit from a few seconds in the microwave to warm slightly).
  10. Use a teaspoon to drop a small dollop of jam in the centre of each of the upturned biscuits and with the back of the spoon, very gently spread the jam towards the edges.
  11. Using a large star nozzle, pipe a swirl of butter icing on top of the jam of each biscuit and then very carefully take a second biscuit and place it on top to make a sandwich. Although you can very gently ease the top biscuit down, do not squeeze too hard or the biscuits may break.
  12. Serve with a hot cup of tea and enjoy. (They also taste great with some fresh raspberries on the side!)
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated

30 comments:

  1. They sound and look delicious Kate! Thank you for sharing with Inheritance Recipes. I must admit I have never had them... but after seeing this post I will definitely look for them in bakeries :)

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    1. Thanks Margot. You're welcome. You really must try and get hold of some. They come in whirl form, but the same biscuits (piped long) are also used on their own dipped in chocolate! They should (literally) melt in your mouth as you eat them!

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    2. I'm going to try them soon, thank you.
      For some reason I thought my comment did not show and commented again below, please ignore :)

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  2. They sound like a biscuit we have which is sometimes called Melting Moments - and they look superb - I love the swirly patterns on top

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    1. Aaaahhhh.... I always wondered what a melting moment was! Thanks for your kind comment..... I have to admit, I was quite chuffed that the swirl didn't 'melt' in the oven!! x

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  3. Oooh Kate these look and sound so good! I made Viennese Whirls for the first time after watching GBBO. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    1. Thanks Kirsty. You're welcome.... I will pop over and have a look at your Whirls too! There seems to be a whirly explosion this week in cyberspace! xx

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  4. oooh, these look so pretty and GF too, you've surpassed yourself yet again. Such a lovely colour too!

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    1. Thanks Dom. I have to admit, I am really rather pleased with these! x

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  5. Wow I'm so impressed with your whirls - you got perfect swirls! I tried baking some of these myself a few months ago and they spread into a complete crumbly flat mess in the oven and I never tried again. Seeing yours I've decided to give them another go - using your recipe. They look delicious!
    I remember we used to have ones piped into sticks and half dipped in chocolate once too.

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    1. Thanks Katie. After my first attempt which created a thin, flat Viennese puddle, I watched the biscuits anxiously through the glass of the oven door, waiting for them to collapse as well..... I was quite shocked when they held together AND still had swirls! I hope it wasn't beginners luck..... They are quite fragile, so you do need to handle with care, but they are absolutely divine and 'melt-in-the-mouth' totally!
      I remember the chocolate dipped ones too. I think I will have to make some more!

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  6. Wow Kate another stunning bake! You've totally nailed the GBBO technical challenge here - star baker award for sure! Thanks for linking up to #TreatPetite

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    1. Awww... Thanks Kat! I am pretty pleased with my efforts! x

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  7. Gosh they look a really good crumb/texture for gluten free. I dont follow a gluten free diet but my sister is coeliac so I shall pass this post/recipe on to her to try

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline. They tasted amazing. I hope your sister has success with them too x

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  8. My problem is the pipping. I am rubbish at it. But I love Viennese swirls so I might be tempted after all. Thank you for sharing with Inheritance Recipes

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    1. Thanks Solange. You're welcome. I am pretty limited on piping too...... but these were pretty simple (after a little practice)!

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  9. Oh yes Kate, these are positively beautiful. Making them twice is called recipe testing and as I think you should seriously be thinking of a GF baking book, it's good to get a bit of practice in. Well done.

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    1. Bless you Choclette! That is such a lovely comment! I always have the thought of a GF baking book festering at the back of my brain, but finding the time is near on impossible.... x

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  10. So impressed with your dedication to getting the recipe right, I would have been ready to give up after the first effort. These look absolutely perfect, you've piped them beautifully and they've really kept their definition. The sound absolutely yummy too, I love your idea of dipping them in melted chocolate :-)

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    1. Thanks Charlotte. I do tend to get the bit between my teeth sometimes and refuse to be beaten! Some recipes have literally taken months to get right and I have become obsessed..... fortunately this one was easier than it might have been (although that was more luck than judgement)!

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  11. These are absolutely beautiful! I had to check out your Gingerbread Houses as well, it is a favorite activity of mine with my kids... Your gingerbread recipe looks marvelous as well!!

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    1. Thank you Angela. The gingerbread was really good! I hope you enjoy it xx

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  12. They look absolutely gorgeous! xx

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  13. Expect more of the articles so impressed. is so outstanding, this community needs people like your enthusiasm
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  14. Worth sharing with the world. I love these little whirls, I had no idea it could be gluten free too. thank you for linking to Inheritance recipes

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  15. I don't think I have ever tasted Viennese whirls but yours look so amazing I need to try them asap!
    Thanks for sharing with Inheritance Recipes :)

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    1. Oh no Margot..... You must try some..... Viennese Whirls have a really distinct melt in the mouth texture which is quite unique! x

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