Festive Chocolate Teacakes with a Chestnut & Oat biscuit
Getting creative at Christmas is quite possibly my favourite thing to do. Christmas is so jolly- I think 'jolly' is the perfect word! Everything looks so cute and festive and creative! Christmas trees, snowmen, robins, and christmas puddings! The whole shebang, use them all in your baking. Chestnuts are a classic for me during this festive season. Something I always used to do with my mother, when the christmas lights lit up the early night sky in town, we would buy freshly roasted, hot chestnuts from the stall and huddle together, burning our fingers trying to break the shells and nibbling on the delicious hot nuts in the cold. And now I fill my cooking festivities with chestnuts that remind me of small traditions I did as a child.
Chestnuts can come in all sorts of forms and have become very versatile in cooking. I like to use Merchants Cooked Chestnuts and crumble into a roasting pan for a very simple dish with smoky pancetta and roasted brussel sprouts. Another fantastic way to use chestnuts is Merchant's Chestnut puree which is beautiful used to spread over puff pastry and use as a lining for a festive sausage roll with cranberries, shallots and sage.
But chestnuts needn't be confined to savoury cooking as they're also great in baking and contribute a wonderful nutty flavour to your sweet treats. I have had chestnut flour in my
cupboard for an embarrassing length of time, and I felt that it was time to dust off the chestnut flour and use it to make a festive biscuit. Oats carry that wonderful nutty texture and flavour as well so I thought the chestnut flour would go very well. I conjured up a recipe for a nutty digestive-style biscuit which I must say, is absolutely lovely! My son, currently going through a teacake obsession, suggested it would be fun to make our own teacakes and what a fantastic idea it was!
We planned our little festive treats together and baked our idea to life! I think the thing I love most about Christmas is seeing my children so joyful in the kitchen, being creative
and marvelling at the things we create with one another. Children make Christmas truly magical.
INGREDIENTS ~ makes 12
- 150g + 200g (total 350g) dark chocolate
- 75g white chocolate
- Holly and Berry Sprinkles from Waitrose
FOR THE CHESTNUT AND OAT BISCUITS
- 55g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g plain flour
- 40g oats
- 40g chestnut flour
- 3 egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 leaves of gelatine
Gently melt 150g dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt until smooth and velvety. Do the same with the white chocolate. First of all, spoon a small amount of white chocolate into the moulds and try to move the chocolate to create a dripping cream effect - this will be the cream on top of your 'Christmas puddings'. Set these in the fridge until hard, approximately 10 minutes. Dollop a teaspoon of chocolate into your silicone teacake moulds and using a brush or your finger (the kids love to get involved in this bit!), begin to coat your moulds in a thin and even layer of chocolate. Be aware that the layer of chocolate needs to be thick enough to hold its shape once it comes out of the mould, but thin enough to have a crisp and easy bite. Once an even coat has been applied, place in the fridge to set.
Make the biscuits (don't worry I won't go all Paul Hollywood on you and leave it there!) So what you want to do is to cream the butter and sugar together until creamy. Put in your weighed dry ingredients and bring the mixture together until it has formed a smooth dough. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out to a thickness of 3-5mm. Cut into circles that fit into the base of the teacake moulds (the marshmallow will be piped into the chocolate moulds and the biscuits will lay on top. you will want to make sure that your biscuits are far enough in that they are level with the base of the mould to ensure a neat layer of chocolate to encase the finished teacake). Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees celsius for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool.
To make the marshmallow, is really quite simple. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water to soften for 10 minutes. Place the sugar and the egg whites in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and using an electric whisk, whisk the mixture for 8-10 minutes until thick and glossy. Rip the gelatine leaves into 6 pieces and add each piece one at a time, whilst still whisking. Add the next piece in when you can no longer see the previous piece. Continue doing so until your mixture is fully jellied up and glossy. Place into a piping bag and pipe into your chocolate domes, 2/3 full.
After piping in the marshmallow, place the biscuits on top of the marshmallow before it sets and ensure that the biscuits are all level to allow an even base. Melt 200g of dark chocolate and spoon over the top of each teacake. Using a scraper, or something that has a straight edge, guide the chocolate into any crevices and fill, finishing each teacake with a smooth flat finish. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
Gently peel the teacakes out of their moulds (this is why silicone is so useful) and place on a clean surface to give it it's finishing touches. I find this bit so very satisfying! I found the most perfect thing to decorate my puddings with - Waitrose Holly & Berry sprinkles are inexpensive, perfect for making festive bakes and cupcakes and fits perfectly with what i need to achieve here! Using a little dip of melted white chocolate, stick and position your holly and berries to resemble a christmas pudding. And voila! The ultimate festive teacake. I can't get over how cute these are!
See what you can find in your cupboards at home, and have a play around? What can you make during this joyful season? Why not use your leftovers to bake or make something that you can donate to a shelter this year? Or give to a friend to pass on the christmas cheer, because it seems, now more than ever in the life of 2020, we could all do with large doses of festive joy.
Thank you for reading! Happy Baking
Gina ~ The Noo Noo Project