The second week of The Great British Bake Off brought us biscuits aplenty and a barrel-full of snappy puns from Sandi and Noel. As the pair became more comfortable on screen, so did the viewing experience (although it seemed that much of their interactions were feeding one another!). I braced myself this week after Paul prefaced the signature bake of 24 sandwich biscuits as ‘devilishly difficult’, but despite this I think my efforts were not entirely unsuccessful.
As with my first challenge, my aim for this week was to create something that’s easy to make and won’t take all day to bake. During the challenge Julia and Steven cited their romantic inspirations for their bakes and Kate told us of her relative who survived the sinking of the Titanic, so try not to be underwhelmed when I tell you that my signature came about simply because I love the combination of warming ginger with zingy lemon. I also cheated by baking only 12 sandwich biscuits, but I figured it was dangerous having 24 biscuits at my dunking disposal.
- Chill the biscuit dough. Patience is not a virtue I always possess when it comes to baking, but next time I’m going to try and let my brain dictate what I do, not my belly! By chilling the dough before rolling it into balls, I would have got more of a uniform shape. My biscuits also spread too thinly, becoming more of a cookie (Paul and Prue would not be impressed).
- Go easy on the filling. The filling’s the best bit, right? Apparently not the case when you get a bit too enthusiastic. Although the mascarpone filling is thick, too much of it will still squish out the side of the biscuit and onto your person. If you’re like me and have a tendency to take a ‘the more, the merrier’ attitude, it’s best to underestimate the amount of filling you need when getting to grips with the piping. I’ve got nobody to blame but myself here though as Paul helpfully pre-warned that ‘a hard biscuit with a soft interior will go all over your lap’. Oops.
For the ginger snap biscuit:
240g self-raising flour
3tsp ground ginger
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g light brown muscovado sugar
100g cold unsalted butter cut into chunks
75g golden syrup
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
75g lemon curd
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Stir together all of the biscuit ingredients except for the golden syrup.
- Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the golden syrup and 2tsp of cold water until combined. Wrap the biscuit dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll the biscuit dough into 24 even balls and place onto the tray, making sure the biscuits have enough room to spread. Squash the balls down slightly with the back of a metal spoon.
- Bake for around 10 minutes or until gorgeously golden and cracked. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the filling, beat together the lemon curd and mascarpone until smooth and creamy. Transfer into a piping bag with a large rounded nozzle and pipe into the centre of the biscuit half. Carefully sandwich together the biscuit halves to make a whole lot of tasty treats and enjoy!