Wednesday 16 April 2014

How To Make Tea Cakes

   I love teacakes, I love the biscuit, the chocolate, and the soft fluffy marshmallow inside. Tunnock's is my favourite, easily. But, I thought I'd try my hand at doing them myself, and I think they came out really well - not as good as Tunnock's, but good enough!

   I used a silicon cake pops mould to make the tea cakes smooth and round. I got it on Ebay for about £3 and it works a treat. It's the same mould I used in my surprise cake to make the coloured cake balls that went inside it.

You will need:
 • A half-ball mould (alternatively you can work through this tutorial backwards and have a less rounded teacake) such as a cake pops tray
• Marshmallow mixture - you can either make your own using this recipe, or buy a tub of marshmallow fluff
• Disposable piping bag
• Biscuit mixture (I used my sugar cookie recipe)
• Chocolate- or Candy-melts (you can use chocolate bars but they won't harden very well)

1. First of all, put the chocolate in the microwave and follow the instructions on the packet. I used Wilton Candy Melts and Callebaut chocolate and microwaved them for 30 second bursts, getting them out and stirring them between each burst. Be careful here, because Candy Melts and white chocolate will appear to have not melted but will need a bit of a stir to reveal that it has. If there are a few small lumps, keep stirring, don't reheat it again or you'll burn the stuff and make it go clumpy.

2. Use a tea spoon and drop a bit of the melted chocolate or candy melts into a cavity. Use the back of the spoon to spread it around. It won't matter if the inside isn't very smooth, but you must try to make sure that the chocolate is pressed against the mould's surface. Candy Melts harden very well, and even a thin layer - a layer so thin you can almost see the mould through the chocolate (easily done since my mould is pink) - will harden completely without breaking. Do this with all the cavities until they're all full. I only used one half of my cake pop mould because the other half had a hole in the bottom to allow the cake to rise properly while in the oven. The chocolate wouldn't have seeped through it necessarily, but the tea cakes wouldn't have had a perfectly smooth top.

3. Leave the chocolate or candy melts to set. You can put them in the fridge, but if you've used an ordinary store-bought chocolate bar, this is a bad idea. The reason I say to use chocolate melts instead of chocolate bars is because a store-bought chocolate bar is a completed item, it's been through the tempering process (heating and cooling repeatedly within a certain amount of time) and if it's melted again, it's not likely to harden as well as it had in the factory. This also means that they'll be soft rather than completely hard, and when you try to push them out of the moulds, they'll get dented, assuming they come out at all. You will need a thick layer of chocolate if you've used a chocolate bar, and I suggest avoiding Galaxy chocolate, as delicious as it is, because even the bar itself melts quickly. Candy and chocolate melts are designed to be remelted and cooled, so their tempering process is incomplete.

4. Get your cookie dough and break it into small balls. Put them onto a baking tray and flatten them out with your fingers to make them round. Make sure they're smaller than the mould because they have to fit inside the chocolate rather than on top of it. They don't have to be perfect because they'll be completely covered in chocolate eventually. I used my sugar cookie recipe and baked the little biscuits for about 7 minutes and then let them cool compeltely.

5. Once the chocolate and candy melts have set, get your marshmallow mix. Keep the chocolates in the moulds to strengthen the edges throughout this step.
   I used a tub of Marshmallow Fluff because I would prefer to pay £4 and buy the right about rather than mix up way more than I need for about £1 - I'm trying to lose weight, so having far too much marshmallow lying about is a bad idea. And, I know, I know, if I'm trying to lose weight, why am I making tea cakes? Well if it makes you feel better I'm going to be giving them to friends and family rather than eating many of them myself.
   In my test-run of tea cakes, I used a teaspoon to scoop marshmallow mixture and spoon it into the chocolate cavities. This was difficult and it let to air pockets and broken edges - this is why I learned to keep the chocolates in the mould instead, and they will pop out afterwards just fine. Instead, this time I put the marshmallow fluff in a disposable piping bag and used that to put the marshmallow in the chocolate cavities. It worked remarkably well.

6. Take the little biscuits and press them into the cavities and marshmallow. Try to get the top of the biscuit lined up as well as you can to the top of the chocolate. If marshmallow fluff comes out around the sides, it doesn't matter.

7. Take some more of the chocolate or candy melts and melt them down. Spread them over the top of the biscuits and make sure the melts meet the edges of the already set chocolate so that the marshmallow and biscuit are sealed inside. Try to keep the chocolate level, but don't worry if you can't manage it.

   Once the new chocolate and candy melts have set, you can push them out of the moulds and flip them over. Ta da! You can experiment with them, too, by adding jam, caramel, even popping candy into the cavities before or after the marshmallow. If you didn't have a mould, work through backwards. Start with the biscuit, then add the marshmallow on top, then cover it in chocolate.

1 comment:

  1. Tea cakes are my favourite! I love this and the amazing colours. I shall definitely be having a go at these. Thanks for sharing :) x


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