February 17, 2019

Iced Fingers

I'm a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off and this recipe for Iced Fingers was featured in one of the earlier seasons of the show.  I'd been meaning to make them ever since I first watched that episode all those years ago so you could say these are long overdue.  There's just something so inviting about a soft and fluffy bun filled to the brim with whipped cream and jam. 

The recipe comes from Paul Hollywood, GBBO "male judge" and bread baker extraordinaire, so you can pretty much assume it's going to be a winner.  And you would not be wrong.  Enriched dough is not as difficult to make as you might think and this one has the most beautiful texture to work with.  You could make the dough by hand, as suggested in the recipe, but I'm too lazy for that and leveraged my trusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  It makes your life so much easier!

Baked to a lovely golden brown the fingers had a beautifully soft and fluffy interior.  My main deviation from Paul's recipe was in the filling.  Rather than using whipped heavy cream on its own I added softened cream cheese to give it more structure and stability.  The last thing you want is a weepy iced finger!  Once iced and filled with cream cheese whipped cream and raspberry jam these fingers were a dream to eat.   

One caveat though: I highly recommend making the buns all in the same day to get the maximum freshness and flavor.  I spread it out over two days and found that the buns weren't as soft and fluffy as they were when they were freshly baked...still tasted great though!

Iced Fingers

Makes 12 buns

500 grams bread flour
50 grams sugar
40 grams unsalted butter softened
2 large eggs
14 grams instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
150 ml warm milk
140 ml water

200 grams powdered sugar
5 teaspoons cold water

113 grams cream cheese, room temperature
50 grams sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
240 ml heavy cream, cold

100 grams raspberry jam
Powdered sugar, for dusting

To make the dough, place all the ingredients into a large bowl, holding back a quarter of the water. 

Stir the mixture with your hands, then slowly add the remaining water to form a dough and knead in the bowl for four minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces, each about 70g/2½oz, then roll into balls and shape into fingers about 13cm/5in long.

Place the dough fingers onto a greased baking tray, leaving space for them to double in size, then set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes. They should just touch each other when they’ve risen. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then set them aside to cool.

For the icing, sift the icing sugar in a wide bowl and gradually stir in the cold water to form a thick paste.

Dip the top of the cooled fingers into the icing, smoothing it with your finger, then leave to set on a wire rack.

For the filling  place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed.  Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle.

Spoon the strawberry jam into another piping bag.

Sliced the iced fingers horizontally, leaving one long edge intact. Pipe in a generous line of whipped cream into the middle of each finger, then a thinner line of jam. Dust the iced fingers with icing sugar and serve.


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