Monday, 7 November 2011

Chocolate and Vanilla Pinwheel Biscuits

Recipe Number One Hundred & Fourteen:  Page 246.

As I had messed up and forgotten to make Mary's parkin ready for Bonfire night, I had a panic stricken search through the Baking Bible to see if I could find any other recipes which could take its place. Now I realise that there is no comparison between a slice of darkly spiced parkin and a pinwheel biscuit. However, Mary mentions that these biscuits are good fun for bonfire night. Well, what more of a reason did I need! Sadly my little boy is too young to help as suggested; he would no doubt force fistfuls of uncooked dough into his mouth and be promptly sick! This was not really what I had in mind.

We had spent the day at Neil's parents’ house so didn't get home till after 6pm. I was so stuffed from all the lovely food which had been made for us, I didn't feel like getting on with the baking as soon as we walked in the front door. Sitting down with a full and satisfied stomach was a fatal error. By the time, I made a start, it had already gone 8pm; I always leave things to the last minute!

First of all, I had to whack the butter in the microwave to soften it for a few seconds, not the best start! I needed to make two separate doughs, one vanilla and one chocolate. I started off with the vanilla. I placed the butter into the bowl followed by a little sugar. As I had to add some cornflour I imagined that these biscuits would melt in the mouth. I measured the plain flour on top of the cornflour. I tipped it in a little too eagerly and added what I thought to be too much. I painstakingly picked it out, careful not to pick out the cornflour with it. It took me ages, only to find when re-checking the recipe that it was supposed to be what I'd put in in the first place. I just had to add it straight back! I now needed to add one egg and then mix it all together. It quickly became clear that the mixture was much too loose, I had formed a paste! Mary says to knead the 'dough' and later on it would have to be rolled out – eeek! The only answer was to add more flour; I added until the mixture firmed up and turned into a soft dough. I wrapped the dough in cling film and placed it in the fridge as instructed. Next, I had to move on to making the chocolate dough. I made it exactly as before but also added cocoa powder. This time I placed my bowl on the scales to see how much more flour I needed. I also added a little extra cocoa powder to balance out the additional flour. It turned out that I needed an extra 50g in total; I had to assume that the recipe was wrong. I wrapped the chocolatey dough in cling film and then put it in the fridge to join its vanilla companion. After the half an hour in the fridge, I had to roll each ball of dough out to an oblong shape; I couldn't find a ruler so guessed on the size! The dough wasn't as sticky as I expected and was very easy to roll out. I placed the vanilla strip on top of the chocolate and then rolled the two up together. My sausage of dough was rather long so Neil held one end, while I took the other. We manoeuvred it carefully into the fridge to chill for yet another half an hour. I didn't realise when I started just how long these biscuits would take to make – I couldn't stop yawning!

The dough had firmed quite a bit by the time the chilling time was up, so I was able to manage extracting it from the fridge on my own!! I unwrapped it and sliced the sausage of dough into 20 rather thick circles. They did look the part and I felt proud of my little uncooked pinwheels. I placed two trays of biscuits into the oven. I found they required closer to half an hour rather than the suggested 20 minutes. They puffed up a little in the heat of the oven but, other than that, looked pretty much the same as when they had gone in. I took the biscuits straight off the baking trays and put them onto the waiting wire racks. After they had cooled on the racks, Neil and I had a pinwheel biscuit each. It might have been almost 10pm but it was still Bonfire Night!! I have to say neither of us were overcome by these pretty little biscuits. Neil was confused as he didn't feel sure if it was a biscuit or a cake! It was true that the texture was almost cake like. They also tasted a little dry. Maybe I had added too much flour; should I have upped the cornflour too? Although they looked good and I am sure they would appeal to children, the flavour just wasn't there. This could well be down to a mistake with the recipe.
Not my favourite biscuit! :-(


  1. These look really pretty. Shame they didn't taste as good as you had hoped.

  2. Well done, but glad it wasn't just me failing to get it right! I trusted the quantities as it was a first try, and ended up attempting to roll out two balls of sticky goo. In the end I spread the vanilla on the top of the chocolate (which was firmer as I'd added 50g not 40g of flour) and made drop cookies. They look... interesting... but you're right the flavour is disappointing. Not on my list to repeat!

  3. I am glad it wasn't just me either Kate!! It was a paste wasn't it?! At least you managed to make something out of it, well done. No, I won't be making them again either!!

  4. I also agree! Either Mary got it wrong here or there's a typo mistake in the recipe. The vanilla dough was a paste, although it did firm up a bit after 30-45 minutes in the fridge. The chocolate was a bit firmer but still soggy. I had to add flour to stop the dough sticking when rolled out. It was a long drawn out nightmare to make these biscuits and they didn't taste anywhere near as good it they smelt when cooking. Won't bother again. :(