Chocolate Teacakes

Serves 6

400g/14oz dark dairy- and gluten-free chocolate. I used Plamil 60% chocolate
50g gluten-free plain flour
50g gluten-free oat flour or maize flour
pinch salt
½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
25g caster sugar
25g dairy-free margarine
1 tablespoon dairy-free milk

For the marshmallow
3 free-range eggs, whites only
150g caster sugar
6 teaspoons golden syrup
½ teaspoon salt
A few drops vanilla extract

You will need a silicone mould that has 6 x 7.5cm/3in wide, half sphere moulds.

To be able to get the teacakes out of the mould easily without breaking and with a lovely shiny chocolate you need to temper the chocolate first. I find it easier to do this in a microwave.

Clean and sanitise your worktop or use a large, clean oven tray. Break up 300g chocolate into a microwavable bowl. Melt on a low microwave setting stirring every 30 seconds until melted. If you have a temperature probe, it should read around 45°c.

Tip ½ of the chocolate onto a clean worktop and move it backwards and forwards with a palette knife. Scoop it back into the bowl and stir. If you have a temperature probe, it should read 28°c. Repeat spreading the chocolate onto the worktop until it reaches that temperature. If you don’t have a temperature probe, the chocolate will not feel warm and will look thick.

Pour the chocolate into the moulds. Move the mould around so they are completely covered with an equal layer of chocolate.

Turn the mould upside down over the bowl so the excess chocolate falls out. Place upside down onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave to set.

When the chocolate has set, pick up the mould at the edge, try not to touch the chocolate as the warmth of your hand will melt the chocolate onto the mould.

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

To make the biscuits, put the gluten-free flours, salt, gluten-free baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl and rub in the dairy-free margarine with your fingertips. Add the plant-based milk and stir everything together to form a smooth ball.

On a surface dusted with gluten-free flour, roll out the dough to about 5mm/¼in thick. Cut out six rounds with a 7.5cm/3in straight sided round cutter.

Place the rounds on a flat plate or board and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Make sure the biscuits are perfectly round and well chilled, otherwise they might spread or shrink when baked.

Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes. They do need to be hard, not soft as they form the base of the teacake.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile dip the cooled biscuits in the remaining melted chocolate, covering them completely (you may need to melt more chocolate). You can either dip the biscuits in the chocolate or spread the chocolate onto the biscuits with a palette knife. Place the coated biscuits onto parchment paper.

For the marshmallow, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).

Whisk with an electric hand whisk for 6-8 minutes, making sure it is smooth, silky and doubled in volume. Make sure it is very stiff, the consistency of whipped cream, so it will hold when piped – you don’t want it runny.

Spoon the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag.

Melt the remaining chocolate, and place into a disposable piping bag with a sealed end. Set aside to cool and stiffen up a bit, but not harden.

Peel the biscuits off the parchment and place them onto clean parchment, flat side down.

Pipe the marshmallow into each chocolate-lined mould just up to the top.

Snip a 2cm/¾in end off the piping bag with the chocolate in it.

Carefully pipe some chocolate on the marshmallow and a rim of chocolate around the biscuit base and swiftly place the biscuit on top of the marshmallow filled dome. Smooth the join with a knife.

Leave the teacakes to set until completely cool and sealed together.

Very carefully remove the completed teacakes from the mould – be careful of fingerprints on the glossy dome.

Place on a plate and keep cool – but do not refrigerate, to make sure the chocolate keeps its glossy shine.

This recipe is from a blog post I wrote in 2012. I made gluten and dairy-free versions of the technical challenge on The Great British Bake Off. I have adapted this from a recipe by Mary Berry.

You can make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine. This may not turn out as fine as shop bought but is not as expensive.