Ever since the Great British Bake Off had a challenge to make Chocolate Teacakes a couple of series ago, Hungry Hubby has wanted me to make some for him. I went so far as to buy the mould they used but it has remained in the cupboard unused. The recipe they used never fully enthused me as I heard the biscuit was dry and tasteless and the texture of the marshmallow looked too gloopy to me. Plus the mould was huge! It felt wrong to make them the size of side plates but when this month’s edition of Good Food Magazine landed in my letter box that I finally took the plunge. The response I got when I posted the photos on Facebook was fantastic so I thought I had to share them here, so more people could enjoy them too – believe me, they are very easy to make and beyond an electric hand whisk, no special or expensive equipment is required.
You start by making a simple chocolate biscuit base. It uses icing sugar so they are extra tender and melting on the tongue. As with all biscuits you want to keep their shape on baking, it’s all about the refrigeration process. I chill my dough for an hour before use then at least another hour after rolling and shaping so the butter is firm upon baking. Often, I will make the dough one night and use it the next to give maximum chilling time – and I never get splogdes of biccies! I made these teacakes on Sunday though so I had the whole day to take my time and potter about the kitchen, hence my phone in the background playing my favourite show of all time, Alias – Amazon Instant Video is amazing to indulge my passion for binge watching old series in one marathon long hit 😉
You could make some jam for this if you like but I am quite happy to reach for a jar of Bonne Maman raspberry conserve – they really do make excellent jams and preserves that are hard to tell from homemade, in my opinion. A thought which crossed my mind as I dolloped it onto the waiting biscuits was a splodge of Nutella or Biscoff would be a different take on these classic teatime treats.
Making the marshmallow is easy as pie – you need a large heat proof bowl (the metal bowl of my KitchenAid works extremely well for such tasks) and an electric hand whisk. In theory, you could do it completely by hand but that would require a lot of arm power! My electric whisk was £10 from Sainsbury’s supermarket and it’s lasted over 5 years of reasonably heavy use. I think the genius behind this recipe is the addition of some gelatine once you have whisked up the egg whites and sugar. It gives a little more solidity to the mallow when set and more bite – a very good thing. It replicates the texture of the store bought versions me and Hungry Hubby recall from our childhood perfectly.
I tempered the chocolate to get that snap and glossy finish you see here but melting it in a Bain Marie or in the microwave is just as successful, if less shiny when finished. As it’s a new technique to me, I’m keeping things simple and just giving the non-tempered method as I want to practice it a bit more before I start telling others how to do it! It is a little tricky and there are lots of resources online if you want to Google how to temper yourself.
As for coating the teacakes in the melted chocolate, I was pleased to discover the marshmallow adheres to the biscuit base very well, enough that you could dip it in the chocolate if you wished. I found holding the base in one hand and tipping the teacake on it’s side whilst dripping over the chocolate with a teaspoon to be just dandy and you can swirl it really nicely around to give that whirl effect around the marshmallow peak. I added a little milk chocolate to take the edge off the dark for Hungry Hubby’s sake as he really isn’t a fan of dark chocolate (but I love it) and I think it works really well here. They are a delight to eat, so much so next time I plan unmaking a double batch as everyone loved them that much!
- 100g soft butter
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 175g plain flour
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- Approx. 5 tbsp raspberry jam
- 3 medium egg whites
- 175g caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 3 leaves of gelatine
- 150g dark chocolate
- 25g milk chocolate
- 1-2 tbsp freeze-dried raspberry powder (optional)
- Make the biscuit dough by creaming the butter and the sugar until very light and fluffy. Add in all the rest of the ingredients (not the jam though!) and gently beat them to a soft dough. Chill for at least an hour.
- When very cold, roll the dough to 2-3mm thick and cut out 5cm rounds with a cookie cutter. Yes they are tiny! Re-roll as necessary but try to get as many from each roll as possible to avoid overworking the dough. I place them on a baking tray and chill for a minimum of another hour before baking.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes until just dry to touch. Cool on the tray for 10 minute before transferring to a rack to finish cooling. When cold, add about half a teaspoon of the jam to each biscuit, leaving a rim of 2-3mm around it for the marshmallow to adhere to.
- Make the marshmallow next – soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water.
- Place the egg whites, sugar, salt and 1 tbsp of water in a large heat proof bowl and spend over a pot of simmering water – do not allow the base to touch the water.
- Whisk until very thick and it has increased in volume dramatically and has become stiff (just like making ordinary meringue).
- Remove from the heat and squeeze the water from the gelatine well before whisking them in one at a time to the marshmallow mixture. Continue beating for another 3-5 minutes until it has cooled down and become much stiffer.
- Quickly transfer to a piping bag with either a 1.5cm nozzle or just cut off the end to give this amount of opening.
- Holding the bag vertically, pipe out a generous blob onto each jam bestowed biscuit – keep the bag still until the mallow has just about reached the rim of the biscuit then stop piping and pull up sharply to give that adorable little peak on the mallow. So cute!
- Leave to set for 30 minutes then melt the chocolates together and spoon over the teacakes. I hold them by the edges of the biscuit and tip to the side over the bowl of chocolate so drips fall back into it. It’s less wasteful than doing it over a rack and you need slightly less chocolate.
- Sprinkle over freeze dried raspberry powder as you go before the chocolate sets.
- Leave until the chocolate has set and formed a shell before eating. Try to avoid putting them in the fridge unless you live in a very hot country or the chocolate may ‘bloom’ in the dry cool of the refrigerator and get a dusty/chalky appearance.