Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Seven of their delicious hints and tips and recipe on how to make a really fabulous finger biscuits!
the Bettys Way
100g butter, softened (7 TBS)
100g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
1 medium egg, beaten
1 - 2 drops vanilla extract
150g plain flour (1 cup plus 2 TBS)
1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 175*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.
In a large bowl, use a spoon and sugar to cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg and vanilla. Fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest to form a thick paste.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and pipe the mixture into finger shape pieces, ensuring you leave plenty of space between each biscuit.
Bake in a preheated ovn for 6 to 8 minutes until light golden brown in colour. Cool on a wire rack. The biscuits will firm on cooling.
NOTES IN THE MARGINS
Fantastic Finger Biscuits
- Place a cloth under the bowl, its your second pair of hands.
- Cream the buscuit mixture with a spoon to present too much air entering the mix.
- If you get eggshell in your mix, use a half of eggshell to draw it back in.
- Whisk the egg thin so it can be added in three small additions.
- Once the mixture has drunk in the egg, it starts to stick to the bowl. Time for the next addition.
- As you get towards the last addition of egg, add less.
- Keep scraping the mixture into the middle to create a mass.
- If the mix starts to look siny and greasy and no longer clings to the bowl, you may have added too much egg.
- Wash lemon in cold water to remove wax but not the essential oils.
- Citrus should always be at room temperature to increase yield of juice and the fragrance from the essential oils beneath the zest.
- Scuff citrus in one direction on microplae. Otherwise it damages the microplane.
- Don't take the 'pith' . . . it changes its flavour profile.
- Cut the flour into the butter mixture with yoru pastry cutter.
- Bring the dough together with your hands . . . the warmth will help bring it together.
- When line piping, allow mix to fall from the piping bag drop like a piece of rope, rather than dragging it.
- If your mixture is quite firm, soften it with a few drops of water.
- If you're not sure how many biscuits will fit in your tray, test-bake one and see how far it travels.
- Space biscuits so that they colour evenly.
- If baking more than one batch on the same tray, cool down your tray in between bakes.
- Biscuits Bake from the bottom up so check the underside to see if they are ready.
- When you take them out of the oen, don't take them straight off the tray. They're still baking as they are cooling.
- Leave for five minutes on a cooling wire so air still circulates. Otherwise, soggy bottom!
- If your biscuits go stale, pop them back in the oen for five minutes to perk them up.
- Store them in an airtight tin with a few sugar cubes to retain crispness.
For more Bettys Baking Secrets, including recipes for Swiss Roll and Soft White Bread Rolls, and handy tips for piping, visit www.bettys.co.uk/ bettysbakingsecrets