Mint Viennese Whirls

Episode 5 of Food Network Canada’s Great Chocolate Showdown rolls around and it’s pushing the boundaries on flavor combinations. This one’s all about the TEA! Using tea leaves we have to incorporate the selected flavor into a selection of bakes/ desserts fit for a high tea party. Out of the tea flavors to be selected from (Rooibos; Mint; Sencha Green; Milk Oolong; Chai Masala and Earl Grey) I ended up with Mint. Although this is the most well known, and probably most popular, it could be seen as more of a curse than as blessing due to it’s popularity. Is it a flavor that has been done to death?

Of the two desserts that I chose to present, these Viennese Whirls are my personal favorite. Buttery crumbly shortbread like cookies that are usually sandwiched together with a duo of buttercream and jam, I chose here to use the fillings to incorporate the mint flavor. Infusing a heavy cream base allowed it to be added both the buttercream filling and the feature chocolate ganache. What results is a mint flavor that avoids falling into the cliched “mouthwash mint” territory but remains palatable and interesting in these 2-bite sandwich cookies.

Mint Viennese Whirls #recipe #greatchocolateshowdown

Makes apx 16 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

Infused cream base

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp mint tea leaves

Cookies

  • 250g very soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour

Buttercream filling

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 tsp tea infused cream
  • ¼ tsp mint tea leaves (ground to a powder)

Chocolate Ganache filling

  • 2oz Dark Chocolate
  • ¼ tsp mint tea leaves (ground to a powder)
  • ¼ cup Infused cream, warmed to just below boiling
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar

To Decorate (optional)

  • 3oz Dark chocolate, melted

Method

Infused cream base

  1. In a small pan combine the heavy cream and mint tea. Stir well
  2. Heat and continue to stir until the cream reaches just below boiling
  3. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. After this time, pour through a sieve to strain the tea leaves, pressing to remove traces of cream and set aside until needed

Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment or pre-marked silpat sheets
  2. Measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl, beating until pale & fluffy
  3. Sift in the flour with cornflour and beat on a medium high speed, until thoroughly mixed
  4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle (Wilton 2D). Pipe swirled rounds (size 1 1/2″ dia) on to prepared baking sheets
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 12—13 minutes, until a pale golden-brown at the edges. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer, with a spatula or palette knife, to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool divide cookies into 2 equal portions (I find it best here to sort through the batch and match up cookies of the same size)

Buttercream Filling

  1. Measure the butter into a bowl, sift the icing sugar and tea powder on top
  2. Add the infused cream, beat on medium speed until well combined. Increase to high speed and whip until very light and smooth
  3. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle (Wilton 32)
  4. Taking one portion of the cookies, pipe a border onto the flat side of the cookies, leaving a void in the middle

Chocolate Ganache filling

  1. Warm the infused cream to just below boiling. In a separate bowl combine the chocolate and icing sugar. Pour over the warmed cream
  2. Leave for 5 minutes
  3. Stir and whisk until smooth and fully emulsified
  4. Leave to cool until semi-firm (transfer to fridge to firm up but not solid)
  5. When firm pipe into center of the cookie with buttercream filling, and seal with it’s matching cookie from the second portion batch, twisting slightly to seal

To Decorate (optional)

  • Using a piping back with the end snipped off, drizzle some chocolate lightly over the assembled cookies. Leave for the chocolate to set- if you can wait that long!

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