Gluten free Viennese Whirls

Hold your breath, I’m going in!

It’s been a while since my last post; which almost feels like a confession! 

 

I’ve toyed with the idea of a summary of 2020, but I think most people probably want to see the back of last year and want to look forward to what the future may hold. I would though like to take a minute to thank all those who have purchased my gluten free cookbook (still available on this site if you haven’t bought yours yet!).  As I think I’ve said before; I don’t think I ever set out to write a cookbook.  It certainly took way longer than I thought; and I enjoyed every minute of it.  A huge learning curve and one I may write about in a subsequent post.  Its said everyone has a book in them, but do they have the time or inclination?

Do we have two books in us……?

I have not stopped creating recipes though; they may not becoming as thick and fast as to when I started this blog about 6 years ago, but the enthusiasm for recreating everyday bakes into gluten free alternatives is still there.  After all, I have something like 6 notebooks worth of recipes; some work, some need work and some won’t be tried again!  Now is certainly the time to look at revisiting some of the contents within those pages.

And so here is one of those recipes. Possibly not on top of everyone’s to bake list, but they are relatively easy to make and bake.  I really don’t like complicated.  Oh and to help a recent conversation, are they ‘swirls’ or ‘whirls’?  I’ve included 2 photos to give you a couple of ideas of how to finish your bake prior to cooking; larger biscuits dipped in chocolate or smaller ones; stuck together with jam and buttercream.  I’ll let you decide.  You could also flavour you base mix with lemon or orange rind or add in some cinnamon or similar spice.  Or just keep them plain and simple.

As with other recipe creations, swopping out ‘normal’ flour for gluten free flour does not always work.  The flour acts very differently.  Traditional Viennese biscuits have equal quantities of fat and flour, not here.  In fact this is the 4th iteration of this recipe and as I started to write this post, I changed the ratios again to get a firmer spiral once piped.  Needless to say swopping one for another, initially just gave me a tasty puddle of biscuit.  The sacrifices I make to create a tasty bake for you 🙂

Enough of the waffle.

190g soft butter

1/3rd teaspoon Xanthan Gum

180g Rice Flour

60g Cornflour

50g Icing Sugar

I used a stand mixer for this, but you can equally use and hand held electric whisk or beat by hand with a wooden spoon. You’ll need a piping bag and either a star nozzle or 1M nozzle to pipe with. Remember that the finished mix/paste will be quite stiff to pipe.  So your piping nozzle only needs to stick out of the bag a little bit – just enough for the nozzle to pipe out. Too far out and the mixture in the bag will be forced out along with the nozzle, as you need a little more pressure squeezing the bag to pipe than say, piping buttercream.

Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and prepare your piping bag. We’ll turn the oven on in a bit.

Place all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, bring the mix together first (so as not to create a dust cloud) before beating well for a minute or 2 to combine all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. 

Fill your piping bag with half the mixture. Too much in the bag and it’ll be difficult to pipe and you’ll possibly burst the piping bag.  It will also be easier to control the piping.  Dependant on how you want your finished biscuits, either pipe in small swirls around 4 – 5cm wide or larger ‘swishes’ if you want a larger biscuit. If a larger biscuit you should get around 15 biscuits, or c30 smaller ones.

Place the piped biscuits in the fridge to firm up, for around 30 minutes. Now you can pre-heat your oven to Gas 5/190c/170c fan.

Once ready, place the trays in the oven 1 at a time on the bottom shelf and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven to cool completely before even thinking of removing from the tray.  They will cool quite well without placing onto a cooling rack.

 

Once completely cool (best over night) – the biscuits will firm up – either dip in melted chocolate (c200g of your chosen chocolate) or sandwich with buttercream (50g soft butter/100g icing sugar), jam or curd or just eat them plain.

And I’ve just realised I’ve piped the jam and buttercream the same as the Jammie Dodgers. My last recipe on the blog…. 

Thank you too, to those who continue to support me through the purchase of my cookbook and to those who make a contribution to Cakes by Noah (via the blog), it’s all very much appreciated. X

 

A new normal

I’ll try and not make a habit of this; a blog post!

I know it’s been a while and I thank those who have been visiting the site over the last few months. Whilst the World is on pause for a while, whilst a solution or solutions are being sort for the virus, there have been a lot of people searching the internet for recipes. Baking at home has become a new normal for most across the world. I hope those that have visited this site have something that has inspired them or has been useful. After all, that’s what I set out to do. I hope to be able to continue to provide something for you, for as long as I can.

I also feel fortunate enough to have been able to source ingredients. I know some people have been having difficulties and now, some 10 weeks or so since lockdown began in the UK, groceries across the country are beginning to appear more regularly in supermarkets. So hopefully you will be able to recreate these recipes once again very soon. And if not, the page isn’t going anywhere; so when you can, you’re welcome back any time.

If you feel you can afford to buy me a coffee, to contribute to the site, please do so via the ‘contribute’ page. It will be very much appreciated.

And I’m not one for these long intro’s into a recipe, on the why’s and wherefores of mixing it this way or that, that ingredient over that or any such dribble, that no one really wants to read… just give me the ingredients and recipe.  But while i’ve got you………

An actual crisp biscuit that is gluten free! It took a couple of goes but I got there in the end. Especially after the first go had no vanilla essence in!

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 5, 180c fan, 200c and line 2 or 3 Swiss roll trays with greaseproof paper

50g soft butter

60g caster sugar

1 medium egg

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

150g rice flour

50g gluten free plain flour (if your flour contains xanthan gum, DO NOT add any more)

half a level teaspoon of xanthan gum (only if it’s NOT in the flour)

1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream;

60g soft butter

130g icing sugar

splash of milk to make it pipe-able

80g raspberry jam ( or your favourite jam)

Simply beat the butter and the sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk until, light and fluffy, no more than a minute. Then add the egg and the vanilla and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter.

Sift in the gluten free plain flour, rice flour, bicarb and xanthan (if using) then using a spatula just mix this in until all the flours etc are fully mixed and the mixture forms a soft, ‘pastry’ dough ball.  Using your hands continue to bring together by ‘kneading’ for a few moments. You can’t really over work this dough, but it will help in the rolling out and keep it from crumbling.

Leave the dough for about 10 minutes in the fridge to firm up.

Remove the dough from the fridge and using a scattering of gluten free flour on your kitchen surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a one pound coin (2 – 3mm).

Then, using a specific jammie dodger cutter, or similar 5cm flutted cutter, cut out roughly 36 – 40 discs, placing them on the lined baking trays in rows of 4. You will need to gather up the remaining dough, bring it together again into  a ball and re-roll, in order to get the desired amount of biscuits.

Then using a smaller cutter ( a small heart shaped cutter that allows for the jam to be seen, once the biscuits are assembled) cut out the middle of half the biscuits. One will form the base the other the top.

Place one tray in the fridge and place one in the oven to cook for 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool; then repeat with the second tray and cook that for 6 – 7 minutes as well. Allow both trays to cool and you can start to make the buttercream.

Beat the butter with the icing sugar until you have a smooth paste. At this stage you could also flavour the buttercream; I’ll leave that up to you.

Once the biscuits are completely cooled, and using a piping bag filled with the buttercream, pipe a ring of buttercream on the half of the biscuits without the hole in the top.

Then with a couple of teaspoons, place in the middle of the ring, the raspberry jam. Top with the ‘holey’ biscuit and you’re done. You should have around 18 biscuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Halloween Biscuits

Love this time of year 👻🍁🍂🎃 (I might have said that before 😀😀)

These rather ghoulish biscuits are a great gluten free treat for any party or after getting back after some Trick or Treat’ing.

Gluten free biscuits can be a bit hit and miss, in terms of recipe and baking. Many a time I have tried a recipe only for the finished bake to be one big puddle of dough.  It’s all in the lack of gluten, there isn’t anything to hold it together. So I tend to look at a mix of flours, rather than alternative binding agents.

These can be put together relatively quickly and require no ‘resting’ or putting in the fridge.

100g soft butter

180g Caster sugar

1 large egg

200g Rice flour

160g cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Green, black and red colouring

Pre-heat your oven to gas 5/180c/170c fan.

Line 3 trays with greaseproof

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then beat in the egg, then essence.

Sift together the 2 flours and then stir into the fluffy mix, until you can bring the whole lot together to form a soft but firm dough ball.  Divide the mix into 2 and add you colouring as desired.

Roll out to your desired thickness, roughly the thickness of a pound coin, 2-3mm and cut out the shapes using your desired cutter.

Depending on the size of your cutter, this recipe will make approx 20-25 cookies/biscuits.

Place the raw cookies on the lined trays and bake, one tray at a time, for approx 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool before removing from the tray.

I decorated with red coloured glacé icing, but you are of course free to decorate as you wish.

 

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

Biscuits, for  me the gluten free baker, are a bit of a devil.

The lack of gluten to hold the ingredients can prove a little tricky during baking as the mix just doesn’t hold and the ‘biscuits’ flood the baking tray. You’re left with a very tasty slab of biscuit.

So you have to think a little differently and a little outside the box sometimes. A little less of this and a little more of that. Trial and error. At least that’s what I’ve found.

I’ll keep at it, but I’d like to share this recipe with you in the meantime. You can of course eat these as simple biscuits without putting a filling in or drizzle some sauce on.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and make sure the shelf is in the middle of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof, or get sheets ready to put on baking sheets when you have cooked a tray of biscuits. This recipe will make about 20 biscuits, but that’ll depend on how big your cutter is.

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

100g butter

100g caster sugar

1 beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

180g Gluten free Plain flour

100g Rice flour

Filling –

80g soft butter

160g Icing sugar – I used Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar. The Cherry Bakewell Icing is Gluten free.

Your choice of jam

Cream and the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the beaten egg and the essence. Stir in the flours until well combined and you have a lovely dough.

Place this on a floured surface and roll out to you desired thickness – about as thick as a pound coin.

Using your cutter of choice, gently cut out your shapes. Use a smaller cutter of the same shape and press into half of the biscuits to get a ‘hole’ – a bit like the Jammie dodgers you see. When done, you can bring the ‘bits’ together, form another dough ball and roll out again. Repeat again of needs be. Place your cut shapes on the greaseproof.

Before baking you need to rest the cut shapes in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once rested, bake one tray at a time for about 8 minutes. Once cooked leave the trays of baked biscuits to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the greaseproof. They need to set and rest otherwise they’ll break and bend.

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until fluffy then stir in the icing sugar before beating again – I used a hand-held electric whisk – until nice and smooth. Fill a piping bag using a plain nozzle.

To make the gluten free Bakewell Biscuits – pipe a little of the buttercream onto half of the biscuits – the ones without the hole, leaving a little gap in the middle for the jam. Put half a teaspoon of jam into the little space and then top with the holey biscuit.

If you want to buy some lovely flavoured icing sugars, the link is here. There is a fantastic range of flavours to get your imagination going.

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Mrs Darlington’s Jams, curds and pickles are now available on-line too.

http://www.mrsdarlingtons.com