Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Wagon Wheels





I remember wagon wheels fondly from my childhood - two biscuit layers, sandwiched with jam and marshmallow - and of course smothered in chocolate. This weekend I really wanted to make my own, and devised this recipe - they're rich but delicious, and well worth the mess caused in the later stages of the creation.

When I created the wagon wheels the first time, I didn't have access to an electric whisk, meaning even after whisking for 15 minutes, my marshmallow was still a little thin...This meant that there was only a thin (but amazing) layer of marshmallow in the wheel...so I'd very highly recommend using an electric whisk or stand mixer (with the whisk attachment)!

I also made my own quick blueberry jam - you can use any frozen fruits you like and it only takes 10 minutes to cook it. Better yet, it (nor the marshmallow) need a sugar thermometer :)

I've covered the wheels non-traditionally with dark chocolate as I know the filling is very sweet - if you're making these for children you can switch this for milk or even white chocolate.

Makes 18 wagon wheels.

Ingredients:


For the biscuits:
  • 120g softened butter or margarine (stork)
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
For the marshmallow:
  • 120ml water
  • 1 packet gelatin (7g)
  • 210g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
For the jam:
  • 350g frozen blueberries
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 75ml water
To finish:
  • 500g dark chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate

Method:


1. Make the biscuits. Preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a large baking tray.

2. Cream together the butter/margarine and the light brown sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Creaming basically means pressing the butter against the side of the bowl/into the sugar, so that the sugar is incorporated into the fat.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla, plain flour and cinnamon, and beat until all of the flour has been incorporated.

4. Line your work surface with cling film. Place about a quarter of the dough onto the cling film, and cover with another layer of cling film.

5. Roll the dough out (between the two sheets of cling film) until it is about 0.5cm thick. Cut out nine 6cm circles (I used a jam jar lid as a cutter). Place onto the baking tray.

6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Take off the baking tray and leave to cool on a wire rack. Repeat the rolling/baking process until you have used up the dough - you should have made at least 36 biscuits.

7. Make the blueberry jam. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until all of the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is syrupy.

8. Add the frozen blueberries and heat for 5-10 minutes - the blueberries will defrost and cook down, thickening the jam. Once thickened, leave to cool.
Blitz in a blender (this thickens the jam by breaking down the blueberries fully). Leave to one side.

9. Make the marshmallow. Pour 60ml of the water into a jug, then add the gelatine. Stir in briefly with a fork then leave for 5 minutes.

10. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 60ml water with the sugar in a large pan. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the sugar doesn't burn. Swirl the pan occasionally until all of the sugar has melted.

11. Add the water/gelatin mixture (make sure to get all of the gelatine out of the jug), and whisk into the dissolved sugar/water. Keep heating the mixture - the mixture will become very bubbly. Once bubbling, heat for 5 minutes, then leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.

12. Add the vanilla and salt, then use an electric whisk/stand mixer to whisk the marshmallow. It will go from a see-through liquid to a white solid mass that resembles whisked double cream. This will take about 10 minutes. When the whisk is removed a peak of marshmallow should remain.

13. Assemble the biscuits. Place one biscuit on a surface. Add a heaped teaspoon of marshmallow and flatten down to just inside the border of the biscuit. Add a teaspoon of jam and repeat the spreading. Top with a biscuit layer. Repeat for all other biscuits.

14. Melt 200g dark chocolate in a microwave on high heat - stir every 30 seconds. Once melted, cover the top half of the wagon wheels with the chocolate, and leave to set with the chocolate side facing towards the air.

15. Melt the remaining 300g dark chocolate. Use this to cover the sides and base of the wagon wheels. This is a messy job but fun.

16. Melt the white chocolate like the dark chocolate, but check on the chocolate every 20 seconds as it is much more likely to burn. Place in a piping bag and snip off the end to enable piping of a thin stream of the chocolate.

19. Pipe lines of white chocolate over the tops of the wagon wheels. Leave to set.

20. Enjoy!



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