Small, sticky hands. Bright, eager eyes. That oh-so-sweet moment of anticipation and then the glow of satisfaction.
Who remembers their favourite childhood sweets?
I remember back in my early primary school days, when one of my parents would come to pick me up after swim school, I would always get some form of treat (I would love to say it was for good behaviour, but it was in fact bribery as I abhorred swimming back then). From memory, they ranged from single cartons of chocolate milk, Burger Ring chips, cinnamon doughnuts, and Kinder Surprises. Obviously you can see where my unhealthy obsession with food has come from 😛
Funnily enough, my sweet tooth wasn’t as extreme back then as it is now, other than the Kinder Surprises…. but I did really love the toys 😉 But my lack of a proper sweet tooth probably explains why Wagon Wheels never really held much appeal for me.
I was looking for some inspiration during the week and yesterday morning, on my day off, I went through my 2010 Masterchef magazines and found the recipe that I had dearly wanted to try in the first ever issue of the magazine: Raspberry Marshmallow Wagon Wheels. I have made a few adaptions to the recipe.
But I had to try Wagon Wheels again (or even for the first time, who knows??) for the sake of my blog. I mean, I have to do my research, don’t I?
While I admit it was a relatively tasty snack, I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it. The chocolate coated biscuit was a little bland, the chocolate not very strong in flavour (maybe I’ve just gotten used to couverture haha), the jam and marshmallow was exactly as you would expect.
But looking at the recipe, it beckoned to me that this would be something special. And how could you not think it would be, you’re making your very own marshmallow, for one!
I will warn you now, however, that this is not a recipe for a kitchen novice. While there isn’t anything particularly difficult about the techniques, you need supreme multi-tasking skills as well as about half a day to do this. I got horribly distracted while dancing around in the kitchen to Christina’s Back to Basics and ended up caramelising my sugar syrup. As I was attempting to wash out the hot sugar syrup with boiling water, I burned my raspberry gelatin puree while my whipped egg whites deflated on the table behind me. With solidified sugar syrup stuck on my freshly-painted fingernails and all over the tap and sink, I almost screamed with frustration and dumped everything right there and there!
But Rome was not made in a day, as macarons never turn out perfect the first time. I took off my jacket and did a second batch of the syrup and puree, and was very happy with my resulting marshmallow.
So here is the recipe, m’dears… Enjoy 🙂 It will make approximately 8 wheels.
- 185g unsalted butter, softened;
- 75g (1/3C firmly packed) dark brown sugar;
- 300g (2C) plain flour;
- 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped;
- Icing sugar, to dust.
- 440g (2C) caster sugar;
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice;
- 125g raspberries, plus extra, to serve;
- 5 teaspoons powdered gelatin;
- 3 egg whites;
- 1 tablespoon cornflour;
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar.
For the marshmallow, stir 400g of the sugar, lemon juice and 150ml water in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil rapidly for 10 minutes or until a spoonful of syrup dropped into a glass of iced water forms a hard ball (120 degrees Celcius on a sugar thermometer).
Place the raspberries and 2 tablespoons of water (I used frozen raspberries, as fresh are so dear!) in a clean saucepan. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, crushing the raspberries with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle gelatin over and stir until fully dissolved into the puree.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the remaining 40g sugar and whisk to stiff peaks. With the motor running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream down the side of the bowl, then add the raspberry mixture. Whisk until the mixture thickens enough to hold its shape….. or enough for your arms to feel like they’re going to fall off!! I give thanks to those extra reps on the overhead press 😉
Combine the cornflour and icing sugar and use to dust a greased 20cm x 30 cm brownie/slice pan. The only pan I had available to me was a square 20×20, which explains why I only got six marshmallows out of it. Anyway, spoon the mixture into the pan, level with the back of a spoon and refrigerate for two hours or until set.
The mixture was decidedly nom-worthy and I spent a good amount of time licking out the bowl and the whisk. My mum snapped a sneaky photo of me. Caught in the act!
Oh well, you all knew I was a greedy girl 😉
Meanwhile, make your shortbread. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until creamy. Add flour in two batches and beat until just combined. Tip the mixture out onto a clean tabletop and knead until the dough comes together, then transfer to a floured sheet of baking paper. Placing another sheet of baking paper on top, roll out until 6mm-thick.
Using a 7 cm pastry cutter, cut the dough into 16 discs and place on two oven trays lined with baking paper. Prick the tops with a fork, then bake for 30 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small bowl.
To assemble the wagon wheels, brush the tops and sides of the biscuits with melted chocolate, then place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Leave to set.
Grease a 7cm pastry cutter and press into the marshmallow, using a knife to help you lift it out. Lift out the marshmallow round and place on a flipped over biscuit (the plain side).
Top with a second biscuit (chocolate side facing up), then dust with icing sugar. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows and biscuits. Serve with extra raspberries, but refrigerate if not serving immediately.
And if you end up with marshmallow leftovers… cut them up and roll them in the leftover cornflour and icing sugar mixture 🙂 nom nom.
Beautiful Raspberry Marshmallow Wagon Wheels! I put three on a plate because I just wanted to dig into the whole lot of them 😛
Otherwise, just have the one for a classic look. I would be quite thrilled to have this presented to me in a restaurant, to be honest… I’m quite pleased with how my plating skills have progressed! Oh, and I used some mint leaves and thyme flowers from my herb garden. You can get the chocolate stripe by dipping a pastry brush into the chocolate you melted to coat the biscuits and running it in an even strip down the length of your plate.
Store-bought marshmallows have nothing on home-made ones, in my opinion. These were delish! A perfect gourmet treat to have on a beautiful, sunny start to the weekend.
Signing out… until next time. Have a safe and fun weekend, lovelies xx