Been a while! But there's a good reason. First, I got sick. And I can't give good feedback on a recipe when I can't taste it. Second, I don't often read what I'm going to be doing the next week before I embark on doing it, so when I took a look at this recipe strolling through the grocery store for ingredients, I realized it required a half-sphere silicone mold. Six types of whisks? I got that. Silicone mold? Nuh-uh. So I ordered it and waited.
Once you get all that out of the way though, this is actually a really fun recipe. A lot of steps, but it's gratifying. The first step is to make the cookie. It's nothing to write home about--just a shortbread cookie. I noticed when I was making it that it didn't come together quite as well as I thought it would--no smooth ball--so I ended up adding a little extra milk and kneading the ball a bit to get it together. I threw it in the fridge for 5 minutes to let it come together more, and rolled it out.
While the cookies baked, I dealt with the molds. That's a nice thing about this recipe: while there are a lot of steps and a lot of waiting for things to set, everything fits together like a zipper: each piece fits nicely into the pieces before and after it. The pictures here are in the order I did them, so while the cookies were baking and cooling, I melted chocolate and coated the molds.
And then once the cookies cooled, I dipped them in that same chocolate, and let them set. At this point, because I had made an extra cookie, I got to try one, and they were delicious. Do I wish they browned a bit? As a cookie alone, yes. But when you put it together, it's really interesting to have this mild, crumby cookie.
The final part of this recipe is the marshmallow. I advise you: if you have a hand mixer, use it. I do not, and said to myself "You haven't worked out in a while. You could use a little whisking." Well, it was a lot of whisking. Whisking egg whites isn't so bad. But over simmering water with sugar, sugar syrup, vanilla, and salt? It took longer. A lot longer. And I think I stopped too early. Ideally, the marshmallow turns thick and stiff, and while mine didn't drip, it did droop. But my arms were just so tired.
And now to put it all together. Assembly and presentation, as I'm sure I've said before, are is my forte. I'm basically making it up as I go along, and my DSLR makes everything look pretty. I have fun trying though. The key here, which I learned after filling 5 of the 6, is to not overfill with marshmallow. You will have leftover marshmallow. And, delicious as it is, you shouldn't fill to the brim, because then you'll have ugly bottoms. Like this....
Not that anyone sees the bottom of your dish, but I like to think every part of your craft should be beautiful. Even the parts nobody can see.
It adds something special that makes the final product taste that much better, subconsciously. And these tasted good. A few things I would do differently: leave the mold to drip more to give a thinner shell (the volume of chocolate made the dessert far too sweet), whip the marshmallow more to give a stiffer batter, and probably cook the biscuit a bit more to give it more of a snap and less of a crumble. I highly recommend making these. It's worth the effort.
Chocolate Tea Cakes
makes 6 cakes
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
25 grams (1 ounce) GRANULATED SUGAR
25 grams (1 ounce) BUTTER
1 tablespoon MILK
3 large EGG WHITES
150 grams (5 1/2 ounces) GRANULATED SUGAR
6 teaspoons GOLDEN SYRUP
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
283 grams (10 ounces) CHOCOLATE MELTING WAFERS
1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Place FLOUR, SALT, BAKING POWDER, and SUGAR into a bowl and mix
3. Rub BUTTER into flour mixture until consistent texture
4. Add MILK into mixture and stir until you form a smooth ball -- note: you may need to knead 5-6 times to bring mixture together if crumbly
5. On a floured surface, roll dough out to 14" thick, and cut out six rounds of 3" diameter to fit your silicone mold
6. Chill rounds in the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake 10-15 minutes until hard (note: they will not brown as normal biscuits because of the low oven temperature)
7. Remove biscuits from the oven and cool on a wire rack
8. Melt the CHOCOLATE WAFERS in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring thoroughly in-between, and let cool slightly
9. Coat the inside of the molds with chocolate by spooning into the molds, then spreading it up the sides with the back of a spoon, then flip the mold upside-down to let excess chocolate fall out (this leaves the coating thin). Set aside at room temperature to set.
10. Dip the flat side of the cooled biscuits in the remaining melted chocolate and leave chocolate side-up to cool on a wire rack
11. Place EGG WHITES, SUGAR, GOLDEN SYRUP, SALT, and VANILLA in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until it turns white and glossy, at least double the size, and thickened to be able to hold a shape
12. Spoon the marshmallow into a piping bag
13. Re-melt the chocolate (it will have hardened) and put it in a piping bag
14. Pipe the marshmallow into each mold, leaving 1/4" of room
15. Pipe some chocolate onto the marshmallow, and place the biscuit, chocolate side-up onto the marshmallow
16. Pipe a ring of chocolate around the biscuit base and smooth as much as you can
17. Leave to set fully, then press up on the bottom of the mold carefully to pop the cakes out of the mold. Store at room temperature
A personal challenge to conquer every technical challenge, and select signature bakes, from The Great British Bake Off
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