Week two of the Great British Bake Off was biscuit week, so I’m going to be honest and say I was a bit confused about the technical challenge. Are fig rolls really biscuits? TO GOOGLE!
The answer is yes, fig rolls really are biscuits. And on my journey I found this lovely website called nicecupofteaandasitdown.com, which I think might be my new favourite. They have a bit called “Your Biscuit Views” which is where I found the answer to the fig roll question. It reminds me of the oldy time internet and I’m all about that early noughties vibe (RIP Geocities).
Now we know that, I can continue without any bitterness. Fig rolls was an unusual challenge (though aren’t they all), but one I was very much looking forward to attempting. I’ve eaten a great many from the corner shop in my life, but had no idea how they were made. Never in a million years would I have thought to make fig rolls of my own accord.
Fig Rolls by the spicy bean
I actually took photos this time, so you can see for yourself how dodgy the filling part looks.
The first stage is dough. Really all you gotta do is mix everything together and then chill it – but OF COURSE the recipe says to put it in your magical middle class person stand mixer. This is going to be a theme isn’t it. The theme of Bake Off isn’t actually baking, it’s stand mixers.
Instead I creamed the butter and sugar together in my peasant mixing bowl with my peasant wooden spoon using my STRONG peasant arms. Baking is going to be an absolute doddle if ever I do elevate myself to the ranks of the Stand Mixer.
Next I added the eggs and vanilla, manually mixed it in, and then added the flour in three parts as the recipe demands, and once again got myself a home workout mixing it. Everything is going well because really what could go wrong? Even without the correct tools for the job?
The dough was nice and… doughy. In the fridge it went while I got on with the fig filling.
My fingers got real involved in the fruit and rather sticky when chopping them up. Our blunt knives really didn’t help (I will sharpen them one day I promise). Nonetheless I ended up with a pan of figs and sugar bubbling away on the hob. Once the figs had turned into a jammy sort of thing they went into the nutri-ninja for further pulverisation. Unlike the pistachio debacle of 2018, this actually went okay.
The mixture then went into the fridge for ten minutes to chill.
The pastry came out of the fridge nice and chilled, it rolled okay, I misplaced my baking ruler (yes I have a baking ruler, and also a baking pencil) but luckily I’m quite good at guessing measurements. I once guessed the exact width in millimetres of a man’s moustache from across a pub, so I figured I’d be alright with the pastry.
After the pastry was cut, the icky brown fig mixture came out of the fridge. It’s supposed to be solid enough to roll into a sausage, however mine was not, even with heavily floured hands. instead I laid it out on the pastry then just wrapped it up as it was.
The cutting went okay, and into the oven my twelve babies went.
They actually came out looking good! Maybe not Paul Hollywood good, but they are definitely recognisable as fig rolls. And they taste delicious! I realised after they came out of the oven that I forgot to add spices, but it doesn’t seem to matter really. PH and I would not be good friends in real life.
GUYS, I DID A TECHNICAL WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING STUPID!
You wait, next week is going to be a disaster…