With the seventh series of The Great British Bake Off back on our screens on August 24th, Jackie (aka The Baking Nanna) and Robert (aka @Rob_C_Allen) are running the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong where we all bake to a theme. This week it’s a biscuit pre-bake and there have been over 100 entries in just 5 days! Here are some of the fantastic biscuits that have been made so far:
Lynn, who has written a guest post for #fdbloggerfriends, shared her fantastic artistic skills and aptitude for biscuit baking with her Iced Souvaroffs with Rhubarb and Apricot Jams and Pistachio Cream!
It’s a fantastic thing to see the Twitter baking community uniting over biscuits! Next week’s theme is Victoria Sponge!
The biscuit recipe is from a Chinese recipe book. It’s common for Chinese sweets to contain less sugar because the Chinese do not have a sweet tooth so the coffee flavour is very strong in these biscuits. If you prefer a slightly sweeter biscuit, you can add more icing sugar to the batter but you may have to play around with the ratios.
The coffee flavour comes from the addition of instant coffee granules which are sifted so only the finest granules get through, meaning it gets incorporated into the dough much more easily. As you mix the dough, it looks speckled but eventually the moisture makes the coffee dissolve and it becomes an even brown colour.
A good tip to check if your dough is evenly rolled out is to hold the rolling pin and rub the surface of the biscuit dough which is covered by parchment. It allows you to even out the dough to give you a flat surface. The most important process of this bake is the chilling in between. While the dough can be rolled out between parchment, it gets much too soft to handle so you have to chill it well in between each process. Freezing for 30 minutes brings it back to a solid form.
Before your bake, get yourself a template ready measuring 16cm by 20cm, cutting out 3 notches at 4cm intervals to give you 4 strips. The best thing to use is an old cereal box which is both large enough and sturdy enough.
For the coffee flavour:
115g unsalted butter or margarine
28g icing sugar, sifted; add more if you want a sweeter biscuit
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
125g self raising flour, sifted
4g instant coffee granules, sifted
For the vanilla flavour:
115g unsalted butter or margarine
20g icing sugar, sifted; add more if you want a sweeter biscuit
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
130g self raising flour, sifted
The method for making the biscuits is the same for both doughs. Beat together the butter or margarine with the sifted icing sugar. Add in the vanilla extract and the dry ingredients and bring together into a soft but not sticky dough. Wrap both of them up in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer.
Roll out the doughs between 2 sheets of baking parchment until it is the thickness of a £1. Use the tip mentioned above to check that the thickness of the biscuits is even. Bring in your 16x20cm template and remove the excess dough; keep it as you can make more biscuits from it! Trip 4 strips of the vanilla dough and 3 strips of the coffee dough. Place in the freezer to set back up.
Once firm, lay the biscuit strips on top of each other, alternating the vanilla and coffee stripes. Wrap the dough in the parchment and freeze for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 160ºC. Line a baking tray with parchment. Get a sharp knife and cut off squares of biscuit measuring 5mm thick. Leave a bit of room between each biscuit to account for spreading.
Bake the biscuits for around 13 – 16 minutes until the vanilla layers are browned around the edges and the biscuits are set. Leave to cool on the tray and transfer to a cooling rack.