The Mary and Me Undertaking: Biscuits and a Swiss roll

Day 6: 4 Feb 2018

Recipe 3: Vanilla Swiss Roll

Recipe 4: Fork biscuits

Recipe 5: Melting moments biscuits

Book: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, pg 45, 195 & 196 respectively

This weekend we decided to paint our bedroom – by we I actually mean I, poor Riaan just gets roped into my DIY projects every time. Oh, and on Friday night we went for dinner at Dishoom Shoreditch, the hour wait for a table was very testing on my hanger but it was so worth it, their food is just so good. Anyone wanna give me a Dishoom chef for my birthday please?

All of this didn’t bode well for my baking, so on Sunday I played catch up in between coats of paint, and have been doing so ever since. If anything, this week I have learned that planning is going to be imperative to me completing this little undertaking.

I started off making a Blueberry Jam with a hint of lemon to try to break the sweetness of the fruit and sugar. And let me just say that guys, I don’t think I’ll be buying jam again anytime soon. Homemade is the bee’s knees. Now I just need to recreate an amazing strawberry jam we had in Norway last year and I’ll have an eternally happy husband.

After the jam I made the Swiss roll, it’s such a quick bake to whip up (especially if you don’t make your own jam) and the variations are endless. The trick is to make sure your batter is evenly spread in the Swiss roll tin and to work quickly when it comes out of the oven, turning it out of the tin onto sugared baking parchment and trimming the sides and then let it cool enough before spreading your filling so the warm sponge doesn’t soak it all up. Possibly the most important step is making a score (a deep cut, but not right through) 2.5cm in along one of the short ends of the sponge to help get the roll going.
The Mary and me undertaking, swiss rollMy swiss roll turned out pretty good, the cake only cracked a little while I was rolling it up, I think I might have let it cool too much before rolling. I think it was pretty easy but I can see how you might end up with a scrambled egg consistency in your batter if you don’t fold the flour in properly, but you also need to be sure not to knock all the air out of your eggs.

Next up were the fork biscuits, a recipe from one of Mary’s old Le Cordon Bleu cookbooks. There are 3 variations on the page, naturally, I went with the chocolate one. I thought I’d be clever and try shape half of these into hearts since valentines day is coming up – it didn’t work. I ended up with big thin misshapen biscuits, probably not up to Mary’s standards but delicious nonetheless.
The Mary and me undertaking, chocolate fork biscuitThe non-heart shaped ones also came out a bit flat. I don’t think that’s what they’re supposed to be like… I think chilling the dough before baking might help stop the biscuit spread or maybe I pressed them too flat with the fork, I dunno. Will report back when I try the other variations.

Lastly, I was onto the melting moments biscuits – I think these are Riaan’s favourite bake so far based on all the om nom nom sounds and the “OMG, So Good! ” through a mouthful of biscuit.
The Mary and me undertaking, melting moments biscuitsThese came out a little too brown and thin because this dumb dumb forgot to turn the oven down a bit from the previous batch of biscuits’ temperature. So rather than being short and crumbly they were quite snappy but still delicious dunked in a cup of tea. For these I cut my glacé cherries in half and then cut the halves into little hearts. I think they looked really cute.


Vanilla Swiss Roll: Medium

Fork biscuits: Easy

Melting moments biscuits: Easy

The verdict

The swiss roll batter is so quick to make, especially if you are using an electric whisk to whip up your eggs and it only bakes for 10 minutes. So flippin fast. I love the lightness of the sponge and that overall the cake is not too sweet, although you can make it as sweet as you like because the flavour possibilities are endless. Banana caramel swiss roll anyone?

The fork biscuits dough came together very easily and TBH I’m a bit sad that you can’t shape these biscuits but it does make the preparation time shorter. 3 days on and I’m enjoying them more than I did the day after baking (Monday), they’re very melt in the mouth and quite delicate with a good chocolate kick, but they don’t have the crunch that I’m usually after in a biscuit.

Lastly the melting moments biscuits, these were also very quick to put together and they would have been even quicker had I not spent 15 minutes cutting my glacé cherries into hearts. Who am I even? I really like the oats on the biscuit and the cherry definitely adds a little summin summin.

Will I make it again? And what will I do differently next time?

Swiss roll – I’ll definitely be making it again. All. The. Time. And I’ll be sure to roll it up sooner and make sure the batter is more evenly distributed in the tin.

Fork biscuits – I’m not too sure about these, I feel like I need to have another go at them to see if they’re a bit better if they’re not that flat.

Melting moment biscuits – if Riaan has any say in the matter then I’ll probably be baking these in an endless stream until he dies. So that’s a strong yes. Maybe next time I’ll even have the oven set to the right temperature.

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