After completing the first Great British Bake Off technical challenge I tuned into the second episode with trepidation – would biscuit week offer up a technical bake as tricky as the first?
The challenge of the angel cake the week before had almost turned me off baking – the cake is made using genoise sponge – a bake I’ve never been the best of friends with – I’m just useless at keeping the precious air in the mixture that gives the cake its rise.
Needless to say the final result wasn’t particularly fluffy and I was rather deflated too.
But, not wanting to let it beat me I’ve taken on board numerous tips on how I might improve my technique next time – yes, there will be a next time.
…back to biscuit week.
Having decided to follow each and every technical bake from this year’s stellar baking show the second challenge was set – fig rolls.
I felt pretty buoyant about it because fig rolls hold lots of happy memories for me from my childhood and I loved the thought of recreating that. As a child, fig rolls – in their iconic red packaging – would often appear in the pantry or in our lunchboxes and I was positive this bake would get me back on track.
And, even more appealing was the fact that – for the first time – the list of ingredients needed for the challenge lurked in the kitchen cupboards – there was no need to turn to Amazon for a quirky piece of equipment or a specialist ingredient – phew!
I was optimistic and looking forward to it.
When the time to bake arrived I decided to try and make a time lapse video of the process – you’ll see the end result below.
I began by making the pastry. The fig roll challenge was set during Great British Bake Off’s biscuit week but I’ve never thought of fig rolls as biscuits – more a spongy-cakey-pastry concoction.
Officially Paul Hollywood refers to them as ‘soft biscuit dough encasing a lightly spiced fig filling’ – a blissful description.
Although technically a biscuit dough it seems more akin to crumbly pastry that, once cooked, is light, spongy and delicately flavoured with vanilla.
The fig mixture is made by boiling a batch of figs with sugar and water to make a figgy goo that is then combined with warming cinnamon and sticky stem ginger – I was tempted to eat this alone.
But instead, as per the recipe, I rolled the cooled fig mixture into sausages and lovingly wrapped the pastry around them.
Once cut into twelve little rolls, I took great satisfaction in taking my fork and squishing the top of each biscuit lightly to create the iconic ‘fig roll’ lines – I know, I need to get out more!
It was then into the oven for 13 minutes until the pastry was ever-so slightly golden – I sometimes have the habit of slightly over baking things for fear of soggy pastry but I was strict with my timings and was pleased with the outcome – 12 little bundles of joy which looked even more appetising after a dusting of icing sugar.
Was I pleased with myself? Yes!
The rolls were sweet and delicately spiced, a hint of warmth and a soft biscuit dough – perfect with an afternoon cup of Earl Grey tea.
Would I make them again? Often.
Were they difficult? No.
How do I feel? Ready for bread week – I’m on the rise and raring to go…