Tilt-a-whirl Down on the South Beach Drag

The other day, Fran watched Biscuit Week on the GBBO (I had fallen asleep on the couch) and decided Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirls might be a good next bake for me;  I made them this morning and will take them to Daniel and France’s house to day for our day-after Father’s Day dinner.

Baked Whirls

These resemble shortbread cookies/biscuits with raspberry jam and buttercream filling. The cookie should be firm enough to handle, but soft enough to melt in your mouth with each bite. The trick is to adjust the viscosity of the dough to allow it to be piped into 2″ diameter circles using a star tip. To accentuate the whirl shape and  texture, chill the piped biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking. (I didn’t do this and they lost some height and swirl detail.)


I was also making some raspberry jam, so I just sieved some to use for the cookies. I also added some meringue powder to help the buttercream harden a little to make the filling a little firmer without having to keep them refrigerated.


Completed Whirls


For the jam

  • 200g (7oz) raspberries
  • 250g (9oz) jam sugar

For the biscuits

  • 250g (9oz) very soft unsalted butter
  • 50g (1¾oz) icing sugar
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 25g (1oz) cornstarch

For the filling

  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl Meringue Powder


For the jam,

  1. Put the washed raspberries in a small, deep-sided saucepan and crush them using a potato masher. Add the sugar and bring to boil over a low heat. When the sugar is melted, increase the heat and boil further for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a shallow container (pass it through a sieve if you’d rather not have seeds in your jam). Leave to cool and set.

For the biscuits,

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Using a 2″ round cutter as a guide, draw circles on each sheet of paper, spaced well apart. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath.
  2. Measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornstarch and beat well, until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle. Pipe 24 swirled rounds (not rosettes), inside the circles on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven for 13—15 minutes, until a pale golden-brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and harden.

For the filling,

  1. measure the butter into a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth.
  3. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of 12 of the biscuits and place jam-side up on a cooling rack. Pipe the buttercream over the jam and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Dust with icing sugar to finish.


For this recipe you will need a piping bag, a medium star nozzle, a large star nozzle, 3 baking sheets. If your kitchen is warm and you have time you could try placing the whirls in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking. This will help them hold their shape while cooking.

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