A festive take on the traditional marshmallow tea cake, these Christmas pudding tea cakes are encased in a layer of dark and white chocolate, with a base of crunchy biscuit and a centre of fluffy Christmas pudding flavoured marshmallow. To top it off, a few dried barberries and a couple of crystallised mint leaves make the perfect edible decoration.
In order to achieve a shiny finish the chocolate needs to be tempered. This can be done in various ways - the traditional method is pouring part of the chocolate onto a marble surface to cool it down. However, if you're not in the mood to make a mess, simply melt the chocolate and wait for it to cool whilst you do something else, stirring and monitoring the temperature using a thermometer from time to time. Enjoy these Christmas pudding tea cakes with a cup of afternoon tea in the run up to Christmas. They will keep for a few days, if you can resist eating them that is!
For the biscuit base
For the marshmallow centre
Assembly and decoration
To make the chocolate shell
- Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie.
- Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the chocolate – it needs to drop to 28°C before it can be spooned into the silicone half sphere mould. At this temperature the chocolate is tempered and will be shiny once it comes out of the mould.
- Spoon half a teaspoon into the moulds and tilt the mould from side to side so that it spreads out evenly.
- Repeat the same process with the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is usually tempered once it has reached 32°C. However, because we are using white chocolate, which has a lower tempering temperature, we must also bring the dark chocolate down to 28°C. Or else the dark chocolate will untemper the white chocolate when it is poured on top.
- Pour the dark chocolate into the moulds – do four at a time, filling them up to the brim and then turning the mould upside down over a bowl and shaking so that the chocolate falls out.
- After coating the inside of all 8 moulds, scrape a spatula over the surface to remove any excess chocolate.
- Leave to set at room temperature.
To make the biscuit base
- Break up the dark muscovado sugar by blitzing it in a food processor. Make sure you have got rid of all lumps.
- Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt to the food processor and blitz for a few seconds to mix the ingredients together.
- Add the cold butter in cubes and blitz again. The mixture should resemble crumbs.
- Whisk together the milk, honey and vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Add it to the dry ingredients and mix by hand to form a solid dough.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- On a floured work surface roll out the biscuit dough to a thickness of 1-2mm.
- Use a 50mm cutter to cut at least 8 rounds in the dough. Use any remaining dough to make Christmas cookies.
- Transfer the biscuits to the baking tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
- Bake the biscuits for around 10 minutes, until nicely brown and crisp.
To make the marshmallow
- Soak the 4 gelatine leaves in cold water.
- Heat the water and sugar in a pan to 130°C, monitoring the temperature with a sugar thermometer.
- Meanwhile in a stand mixer start beating the eggs to form stiff peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 130°C add the glucose and remove from the heat. Drain the gelatine and add to the hot syrup.
- Pour the syrup over the egg whites whilst they are whisking.
- Continue to beat the mixture as the egg whites are cooking and turn into a smooth, fluffy marshmallow.
- Chop the Christmas pudding into fine crumbs and add it to the marshmallow.
- Once it has been whisked for 10 minutes and has cooled slightly, place a nozzle in a piping bag and fill with the marshmallow.
- Pipe into the chocolate half spheres on top of the chocolate leaving a little space at the top for the biscuit and the Christmas pudding layer.
To assemble the Christmas pudding marshmallow tea cakes
- Top each sphere with a biscuit.
- Melt the 15g dark chocolate in a bain-marie.
- Make a cornet out of baking parchment.
- Fill the cornet with the melted chocolate and pipe it around the outside of the biscuit in order to cement the chocolate shell and the biscuit together.
- Once the chocolate has set turn the mould upside down to release the tea cakes.
- Use a toothpick and the light corn syrup to stick a couple of barberries and a couple of crystallised mint leaves on top of the Christmas pudding tea cakes.