Viennese Whirls must be the most decadent of all the biscuits. Essentially 50:50 butter and flour, they are almost impossibly short and they simply disintegrate on the tongue as you eat. They are commonly sold in packets in supermarkets and corner shops across the land but once you have made your own, you’ll not be able to look at the dry and pasty plus meagrely filled commercially produced versions.
Essentially a piped “melting moment” these biscuits are very easy to make but look beautiful when handmade as each whirl is as unique as the layers of tuile on a ballerina’s tutu. And I bet you have never had a Raspberry & Custard Viennese Whirl before now. A little freeze dried raspberry powder in the dough and a spoonful of raspberry jam in the middle of these sandwiched biscuits together with a custard cream filling make for dreamy biscuits which are absolutely to die for.
As with all simple bakes, there are a few rules that you simply must obey to get the results that you want. The main one is that the butter must be so soft, it is almost oily when you make the dough and then the biscuits must be chilled until it is completely solid and baked relatively short and hot or you will lose the beautiful piping which gives them their characteristic shape.
Next is the inclusion of cornflour to lighten the texture and help give rise to the biscuit. In my version, I use Bird’s Custard Powder as this is essentially cornflour plus a little almond extract and some food colouring which gives the most beautiful pinky-apricot-primrose yellow colour to the dough and filling. Americans might use cake flour in place of the plain and cornflours here to get the same result – a biscuit which expands substantially on baking and is light as a cloud in texture.
The final rule is you need to use a smaller nozzle than you think to get defined swirls and a not-too-monstrous biscuit size wise! I find a 1M or 2D Wilton nozzle work very well indeed for both the biscuit and the filling.