Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Sweet Violet Viennese Whirls

Foraged violets for homemade recipes

Buttery, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits, sandwiched together with a vibrant, sweet violet infused butter-cream. These are a dreamy experience, leaving you feeling like you’re eating sweet violets. Here I share one of my favourite, homemade violet recipes.

You can also read more about violets in my Wild Food: Violets post and A Dozen Violet Recipes.

Foraged wild violets for making violet infused recipes

Buttery, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits, sandwiched together with a vibrant, violet infused butter-cream. These are a dreamy experience, leaving you feeling like you’re eating sweet violets. Best eaten after 1 day (to let the flavours infuse) and within 5 days.

Makes 7 whirls  (14 biscuits)

Ingredients

  • 250 g (2 sticks + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter 
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) unrefined icing sugar 
  • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) cornflour
  • 1-3 tsp water

Filling (Fresh violet sugar)

  • 50 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 g  (1/2 cup) golden caster sugar
  • 4 large tbsp (1 cup) sweet violet flowers
Crumbly, homemade Viennese whirls with foraged ingredients from Cornwall

Preheat the oven to 325ºF/170ºC/fan 150ºC and lightly grease two baking trays. Using a food processor, or beating by hand in a large bowl, blend together the butter and sugar, then add the flours until smooth. Add enough water to make a dough that comes together easily. I needed 3 teaspoons (1 tbsp) for mine.

Note:I originally infused violet flowers into the butter and in the sugar used in the dough. But the flavour didn't come through at all. So for this recipe I just use the flowers in the filling.

Making homemade whirl biscuits made with foraged ingredients

Fill a piping bag with the mixture (or half at a time) with a large, star-shaped nozzle and pipe into approximately 14 x 7 cm biscuits. Pipe the dough straight onto the baking tray. Start piping each biscuit from the outside and end in the centre. I wasn't great at this bit, but my attempts were adequate enough to make buttery biscuits! These make large biscuits, you can make smaller ones and more if you wish.

Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden and firm to touch. Leave on the trays for 5 minutes before removing on to a cooling rack. Meanwhile you can create the violet butter icing.

Freshly ground sweet violet sugar recipe with a professional forager
Fresh Sweet Violet Sugar

Blend the violets (stalks removed) and sugar in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. The sugar will turn purple. You can use this immediately, or make it up to a few days in advance.

Foraged violets from Cornwall for a homemade recipe
Sweet Violet Butter Sugar filling

Blend the sweet violet sugar with the softened butter until the colour and texture is even. At this stage the filling ideally needs to rest for 24 hours to infuse the flavours. You can either spread the filling onto the biscuits and sandwich them to together, or do this after the 24 hours resting period.

For some reason the flavour also starts to disappear after about day 5 - such are wild flavours! They are still delicious to eat, but you may not get that lovely violet fragrance.

This recipe is also in my book Wild and Sweet - forage and make 101 seasonal desserts, where I use it in 3 of the recipes in the Dandelion and burdock section.

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