On British TV at the moment is one of the most addictive reality shows – ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Each week a bunch of amateur bakers create ever more complex cakes, breads, biscuits, pies and desserts. And each week one poor soul is discarded because of a soggy-bottomed sponge or an ‘uneven bake’.
This show is popular – TV analysts told us that more men watched it than the European football on the ‘other channel’ one week. It’s proper hardcore-no-holds-barred stuff. The judges include Mary Berry, a British Institution, and Paul Hollywood, the smiling assassin. They take no prisoners.
A couple of weeks ago the contestants were handed the task of producing Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes. Now this looked like fun. In fact so much fun I decided I had to give it a shot. Specifically because it required the use of this unusual looking piece of equipment:
This weird looking thing, although an essential tool for this chocolate recipe, was not easy to find – it produces perfectly hemispherical chocolate shapes and not much else. So after waiting two days for it to turn up, via Amazon, we got busy, first gathering together the ingredients:
I hiked the recipe directly from the show. Could I create something that looked like the TV version?
Ingredients: Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes
- 400g/14oz dark chocolate with around 40% cocoa solids
- 50g/1¾oz wholemeal flour
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- pinch salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 25g/1oz caster sugar
- 25g/1oz butter
- 1 tbsp milk
For the marshmallow
- 3 free-range egg whites
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 6 tsp golden syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ vanilla pod, seeds only (I used essence)
First off melt the chocolate in a bowl over water:
Once its melting start on the biscuits.
Put the flour, salt, baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter:
Add the milk and stir everything together to form a smooth ball. You need a bit more butter and milk than the recipe says – I sometimes wonder whether these recipes are actually tested:
Roll out the dough and cut out rounds the same size as the moulds. Chill in the fridge for ten minutes (to stop them expanding in the oven) and then bake for about 12 minutes at 170 Centigrade. Once slightly golden remove from the oven to cool:
Now for the best bit. Line the moulds with the melted chocolate. The chocolate needs to have cooled slightly so that it isn’t too runny. If it’s too warm it won’t stay on the sides so they will be too thin and the tops of the domes will be too thick:
Once you’ve moulded the chocolate allow to cool completely. Try not to leave in the fridge too long or when you remove from the moulds the chocolate won’t have a lovely glossy shine to it! I kept smoothing the chocolate around the sides as it slowly set to get a good even coating:
Now back to the biscuits. Dip each one in chocolate to cover completely:
Put the chocolate covered biscuits on baking paper to cool and set:
Get the marshmallow ready. Put all the ingredients in a bowl:
Whisk for about 8 minutes over a pan of simmering water until you get a really thick glossy gooey mess!
The final, and quite messy, stage. Spoon the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag and fill each of the chocolate shells:
Now put the remaining chocolate into another bag and pipe round the edges of the biscuits and the rim of the shells (to form a chocolate glue). Place the biscuits on top of the shells and using a finger or knife smooth the joins to seal:
Now leave to set. I popped mine into the fridge for a bit and they came out okay, although you’re supposed to leave at room temperature – if I’d have done that they would never have set.
Now the moment of truth; gently peel back the mould to release the chocolate domes of delight within:
Let’s see what’s inside:
I took these to work. They were gone by lunch. Epic success!
Well the marshmallow was a bit on the runny side, but it tasted like marshmallow. However the shininess of the chocolate was spot on I think and the biscuits tasted just like the ones from the shop.
I reckon if I’d been on that TV show I wouldn’t have been kicked off for this effort. Now I need to think of something else to do with the mould. It cost £15!