Sunday, 11 November 2012

Chocolate marshmallow teacakes


This is my attempt at the Great British Bake Off technical challenge of chocolate marshmallow teacakes.  For non-UK readers, The Great British Bake Off is a phenomenally popular television programme where each week competitors bake around a theme; week by week the weakest is eliminated until a winner is found.  The round that is likely to elicit the most drama (and sympathy from viewers!) is the technical challenge where the bakers are given a recipe (with no warning as to what it will be) and have to create the bake with minimal instructions.  Of the recent series’ technical challenges, I think this one created the most drama and interest.

Now I buy a lot of cake tins.  I admit this.  When they arrive, I show Mr CC who – if I’m lucky – will actually look at the tin before asking me, with a mild tinge of sarcasm, where I plan on storing it (my cupboards are full of cake tins.  Very full.  Luckily I played a lot of Tetris in my youth).  This is the standard way new cake tins are greeted.  A couple of weeks before this technical challenge appeared, I had actually purchased the silicone half sphere moulds required.  Mr CC got quite into the recent series and his eyes became saucer-like as he watched the giant teacakes take shape.  I was watching thinking, ‘thank god I’m not on the show and won’t ever have to faff around making them’.  At which point Mr CC announced, ‘you HAVE to make those!’  In a split second, I opted for deceit. ‘But I’d have to buy the moulds – where would I store them?’  And guess what?  For the first time in history, Mr CC decided to remember one of my purchases and caught me out.  He remembered that I had the half sphere moulds.  Typical!

I was surprised to get a shiny chocolate finish because my flat – even without the heating on – is like a furnace.  If I hadn’t put the moulds in the fridge they would never have set.  I was all prepared for matt finish chocolate, but knowing my only critic was Mr CC who would struggle to get past the wonder of the biggest chocolate teacake he had ever seen, I knew I’d be ok – but I needn’t have worried anyway!

For the uninitiated, a teacake is a crisp biscuit base topped with sticky mallow and enclosed in a dome of chocolate.  When I tasted the biscuits on their own, I found them a little flavourless, but when tasted in the finished teacake they are perfect.

I played around with the order of making things – I didn’t fancy the pressure of making the biscuits while the melted chocolate cooled.  I have also used my tried and trusted methods rather than those given in the original recipe such as rolling out between two sheets of clingfilm rather than a floured board.  The mallow filling was divine – I love this photo of it looking all glossy and inviting:

My chocolate shell was too thick (I panicked and did two coats of chocolate), meaning they needed a period of acclimatising to room temperature before you could bite into them, but seriously – when can thick chocolate ever be considered a serious problem?  Next time I would stick to one coat, and use milk rather than dark chocolate.  The biscuit base was good but mine came out a little thick – so I’ll roll them thinner next time.

Am I glad I made them?  Yes.  Are they deliciously sticky and messy to eat?  Yes.  Do I still love teacakes?  Yes.  Have Tunnocks lost out on my business?  Er, no....these are by no means a quick bake!


For the biscuits:
50g wholemeal flour
50g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
25g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon milk – you might need more, I used 2 ½ tablespoons

For the chocolate:
400g dark chocolate – I used 300g dark, 100g milk

For the filling:
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
30g golden caster sugar
½ vanilla pod – seeds only


Start by making the biscuits: place the flours, baking powder, sugar and butter into the mixer and mix until you have fine breadcrumbs.  You could also do this in the processor, or by hand with the rubbing in method.

Stir in the milk and bring together to make a ball.

Roll out between two sheets of clingfilm until it is about 0.5cm thick.

Cut out biscuits using a 6-7cm round cutter.  I got more than the six biscuits required and kept them for spares....i.e. I ate them.

Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minute.  This will limit them spreading as they bake.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°/325°F/Gas mark 3.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the biscuits are hard.  Mine took much longer – nearer to 20 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Now melt the chocolate: melt 300g of the chocolate (you’ll use the rest later).  Melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water.

When melted, take off the heat and leave to cool and firm a little.  If you try to line the mould with runny chocolate it will all pool in the bottom of the mould.

Spoon a tablespoon of melted chocolate into each half sphere silicone mould.  Use the curved back of the spoon to direct the chocolate so that you have a thin, even covering.  Use more chocolate if needed.

Set aside to set.  If you live in a cool house and can let them set in the air, you will retain the shine of the chocolate.  My flat is so hot that it would never set so I had to put them in the fridge.  You lose the shine but needs must.

Dip the cooled biscuits in the remaining melted chocolate.  They need to be completely covered.

Put to one side to set (or the fridge).

Now make the filling: place all the ingredients in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water – the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water.

Whisk – with an electric hand whisk (unless you are a masochist!) – for about 8 minutes until it is silky smooth and doubled in volume.  Think whipped cream – that’s what you’re aiming for.

Spoon into a piping bag – no need for a nozzle; you pipe the filling to ensure there are no gaps.

Melt the remaining 100g of chocolate and spoon into another piping bag then seal the end. 

Leave to cool and firm up a bit.

Pipe the mallow into the chocolate moulds about 2/3 to ¾ full. (NB. I barely used half the mallow – don’t know why the recipe says to make so much.  Other bloggers have made the same comment so I don’t think it’s just me)

Snip the end off the chocolate piping bag and pipe some chocolate onto the mallow and the rim of the mould.

Place a biscuit on top and smooth the chocolate with a knife so it’s all sealed.

Repeat with the other moulds.

Leave to set (ideally not in the fridge but it’s not a disaster if you must).

Carefully, turn the teacakes out of the moulds.  Try not to touch the chocolate dome as you’ll leave fingerprints!

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Cakeyboi said...

I love tea cakes - these look amazing! They just look so tricky to do, you might have just inspired me though - the marshmallow fluff makes me want to dive right into it!!

Ulla said...

Well done! I have watched TGBBO from YouTube so I know what were writing about. Yours look amazing. To be honest, I haven´t eaten a single tea cake in my life but I know Tunnocks. Here in Finland we have something similar but instead of biscuit there water underneath and shape of cake is bit different. I wouldn´t try those but I haven´t got the tin. I did shop quite a lot at Lakeland´s on my visit to London but didn´t get those :)

Victoria said...

Funnily enough I watched this episode today with my Mum and we were both like "who would make those!?" Oops :)

I bet it was very satisfying once they were done and successful.

I felt bad for those people who lifted off the moulds and theirs fell apart! x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Victoria

I would never have chosen to make them - Mr CC wore me down over a series of days. Every time I looked at a recipe he would give me the sad eyes and simply say 'teacakes'.

Happy baking

Gloria said...

I think look adorables! These type of things you have to work but look fantastic I really would eat one!!!:)

Gloria said...

The pictures are awesome too!!

Suelle said...

I admire your bravery, after watching them being made on GBBO - well done!

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

I love how shiny they are! Well done I d

Jo said...

Congratulations CC! What beauties! I'm sure Mr CC was delighted you went to all the effort. There are no words great enough to describe that mallow photo.... yum,

Anonymous said...

they look delicious!

Tigger said...

I've never seen anything so gorgeous in my life. I have never seen the programme - ghastly thought having to watch people playing about with food - but your teacake must top anything they could produce! Brilliant.

Lucy said...

These look amazing - you should enter the Bake Off! Watching the episode made me think teacakes were impossible to make but this post has definitely inspired me as they look so delish.

sensibilia said...

What a work of art! I never knew that one could make mallow, and was assuming as I read the story that you would have bought some sticks (like the type of thing one buys to put in hot chocolate drink) and somehow melt them down into a filling! I think one could use that gorgeous stuff in other cakes - do you think? Something chocolatey and walnuty I am imagining.

Just one more question - I am having difficulty visualising the actual size of these - it would have been handy to have an egg or a spoon in the picture to compare. What size are your teacakes?

And by the way, you have definitely married the right man! He sounds like an absolute hoot, and soulmate!

Laura loves cakes said...

These teacakes are pretty close to the top of my to bake list but now I'm a little scared... yours look AMAZING...I'm not sure mine will end up looking this good! They're better than some of them on the Bake Off! :-)

Cakelaw said...

I think your teacakes look perfect - better than many GBB contestants did with these. I have lots of cske tins too, and storage is a nightmare.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Sensibilia

They are about the size of a small orange (with a flat base). The biscuit cutter was just under 3 inches across if that helps!

I shall pass your comments on to Mr CC!

Happy baking

Sue said...

Wow! Your teacakes look AMAZING! I've been wanting to try making these since I saw the episode of TGBBO, but I haven't yet got round to purchasing the required moulds, but having seen how good yours turned out, I'm seriously tempted!!!

Maggie said...

Oh how fab CC. I love tea cakes and your huge ones look very, very good:)

Caroline said...

These look brilliant, were they very difficult to make? Where did you get the mould? I wonder if you could use it for anything else other than teacakes but my mind is blank!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Wow - that is seriously impressive!!!!
I am not, however, tempted to follow suit.
Why had you purchased the half sphere moulds?

Sarah-Jane - said...

well done - good shine on those teacakes !

Time consuming to make, but it's one of those things that makes you feel quite smug once you have completed.

When I made them, I did one very thin coat of chocolate and worried it wouldn't be enough. They stand up surprisingly well though.

I hope you had plenty of mallow left to tuck in with a spoon :-)

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

Look amazing, as ever. I've been dying to give these a go to, but have been saving them for a day when I have enough time to do them. Now I know why! :)

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Caroline

I got my moulds from Sew White. Here's the link:

Happy baking!
PS. I'm thinking domed mini trifles that you can turn out - something for christmas!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Please do not feed the animals!

I will often buy something I like the look of without a clue what to use it for! In this instance though, I had a mini domed turn-outable trifle chuntering round in my mind. Probably for christmas!

Happy baking

joanne said...

They look amazingly delicious and perfect!!
I loved watching them being made on TGBBO and my whole family are teacake lovers. I need to pluck up the courage to give them a go! Maybe after the Christmas madness!!

snowy said...

I even found Paul's Masterclass on making these daunting! Well done for making them. Looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

The tea cakes look fantastic, really professional.

A very brave well paid off bake!

Recipe Junkie said...

Oh my goodness - how amazing does that look??? Fantastic.

Dipika @ The Very Hungry Baker said...

Amazing! I did not envy the GBBO bakers at all with this challenge, but you've really managed to pull it off!

Zoe said...

Your teacakes look amazing! You are so professional creating their glossy finish.

Two Wednesdays said...

I too have run out of tin storage space but these could definitely be on. I love teacakes! So does DH so it may be a way to persuade him that the moulds are a necessary purchase....

Debs Dust Bunny said...

I am a teacake junkie! These are driving MAD! I need a fix NOW! As for double chocolate that can only be a good thing!

Great job...gorgeous teacakes!

fallen from flavour said...

wow, i salute you, i really do. beautiful shiny domes of deliciousness! i remember that episode, it was sticky, messy and tough. the hollywood made it look like he was just making toast. you should be mighty proud of these.

Caroline said...

Wow, marshmallow perfection, I am completely in awe (and I think Mr CC should be too!). Your comment about Tetris really made me laugh - I wasted so, so many hours of my youth trying to make those bricks form rows and honestly I could do it without thinking about it. Did you ever play Minesweeper too? I got (embarrassingly) good at that too. I don't think I'll be making these, but they do look fantastic!

Greedy Traveller said...

I'm very impressed - get yourself on the next series of Bake Off! I watched their masterclass on making these and it looked like a lot of hard work. A well deserved congratulations!

Anonymous said...

My sister made those as well and they were delicious!
My only concern is that I was really stuffed after eating them. I hope she can make smaller ones too!

Choclette said...

Oh hats of to you CC, that teacake looks amazing and every bit as good as the ones on GBBO. I was quite keen on having a go myself until I saw the masterclass - eek! Mr CC had better love you very much.

I can never get chocolate to shine AND you put it in the fridge.

Annes S said...

OMG you are brave attempting these, I remember watching and thinking, hmm there are things you buy for a reason!

Well done on making on them, they look fab!

Katie said...

Wow I'm in awe, they look perfect. You should submit to next years team

Unknown said...

Any reason you used two types of sugar for the mallow rather than the sugar/golden syrup combination used by Paul Hollywood? Just checking as I plan to make these tomorrow. Super post by the way. Thanks.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Unknown

The golden caster sugar adds a nice caramel element to the filling - this was the recipe I found for the bake off. Use golden syrup if you prefer

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Thanks for feedback on sugar/syrup dichotomy. I made these and went with a little syrup. Can hardly believe it myself but these turned out great and impressed the person they were supposed to!

Unknown said...

Thanks for feedback on sugar/syrup dichotomy. I made these and went with a little syrup. Can hardly believe it myself but these turned out great and impressed the person they were supposed to!