Thursday, 10 April 2014

Easter Bunny Tea Cakes

It's a new month and so there's a new Dessert Challenge to take on.  This time is Marshmallow and White Chocolate with an Easter theme!

So, once again, things did not go to plan on the first attempt for this challenge.  I had intended to keep it simple.  No-bake even!  I was going to attempt rice krispie treats that were cut into rabbit shapes with a cookie cutter and glazed in white chocolate.  It sounded simple enough.  Turns out it wasn't.

Now, I have to confess, I have never made this kind of thing before.  I've coated rice krispies in chocolate: that is the extent of a krispie treat for me.  Fusing it all together with melted butter and marshmallow was completely new territory. But it shouldn't be that hard, right?  Well, the problem I had was with ratios.  All the recipes I found were American and the cups measurement annoys me.  I also only had 170g/6oz of marshmallows and the local shop did not have any more so I was trying to work with that too and adjust things accordingly.  It seemed to be going okay.  I got a nice goopy mess to throw my rice krispies into and it went into the pan fine and was easily pressed into place.  Problem was that when it had set it was really quite hard and when I tried to cut it everything crumbled (and a fair bit went all over the floor).  It was most annoying.  So then I was stuck with a dilemma.  Do I start over, but use marshmallow cream instead of actual marshmallows because I had none of those left and I can make the cream from scratch?  Or do I try and do something else, again with cream instead of actual marshmallows.

After brooding most of the day I had come to a vague conclusion that I could make some sort of brownie (I was thinking lemon because we all know that goes great with white chocolate) with a layer of marshmallow cream on top which would be cut and covered in the glaze.  Similar idea to the krispies really.  However, I couldn't help but think that the marshmallow cream would not be stiff enough.  Maybe I should make actual marshmallows (it is something I want to try at some point) or see if I could find something that would hold its shape better.  It was during this train of thought that I remembered that during Great British Bake Off 2012 they had made marshmallow to go inside tea cakes.  Perhaps that would be a better consistency.  So I pulled out the book and found the recipe.  And that's when it hit me: why not make tea cakes?  I had acquired the mould for doing so over a year ago and never gotten around to it.  I could do the shell in white chocolate instead and decorate them to look like rabbits!  I could even flavour the biscuit with lemon!  I was so pleased with the idea that I immediately got to work and they were practically finished by the end of the night (I did the faces the following morning).  And you know what, they were a much better idea than the original.  GBBO and Mary Berry save the day again! 

Now, it may look a bit daunting but the individual parts of this recipe are actually fairly simple.  I'll admit, I did have a fight with the biscuit dough.  It was very crumbly (but that might be me messing with the recipe by not using half wholemeal flour and half plain because I had none of the former) and there was only just enough to make 6.  But really, its just a few steps that take a lot of time and patience.  Unfortunately, it is one of those recipes where you won't know if you've messed up until almost the very end since everything is hidden inside the moulds.  The most nerve-racking bit is removing the tea cakes from said moulds as so many things can go wrong.  Maybe the seal wasn't perfect and so the base comes away from the shell.  Or the shell is too thin and breaks as you try and get it out of the mould.  Or, as was the case for me, the chocolate has bloomed!

Oh I was so unhappy.  Everything had been going so well.  But the chocolate bloomed and so I have some rather unsightly white patches on my pretty cream bunnies.  They have not affected the taste but they do make them look less appetising.  I have taken advantage of the wonders of modern technology to make it less obvious in the photos (a little dishonest, I know).  But the chocolate shouldn't have bloomed.  That is not the fault of the recipe.  That was me clearly making a mistake, and I think I know what it was.  I was really concerned about the shell being too thin because I could just see traces of pink (the colour of my mould) through the chocolate already setting.  So I thought I would add a second layer, just to be safe.  Unfortunately I was a bit silly and remelted some of the chocolate I had left and applied it to the shells whilst it was still too warm.  So that would have messed with the fats and cocoa butter and resulted in bloom.  At least, that's the only reason I can think of.  The main cause of bloom in these is apparently cooling them in the fridge, which I made sure not to do.  Ah well.  You can also see my joins are not perfect.  And my biscuits are actually on upside-down.  That latter one I will blame on the recipe because I got really confused by the instructions. 

But despite blooming bunnies, these things did come out intact and they are amazing.  The chocolate is a little thick (again, that's down to me being paranoid) but once you break goodness these are delicious.  The three flavours are just so good together, though they are very sweet.  The fiancĂ© really likes them.  His exact words were, "I would punch someone in the kidney to get the last one!"  Which translates to an 'A' rank apparently. ('C' is, "I wouldn't say 'no' if offered another," and 'B' is "I would push past people to get one".)  He also has no complaints about them needing to be eaten fairly quickly and has bravely accepted the challenge of devouring them all within the next day or so.  I'll need to be on the ball to make sure I get one myself!


Recipe - adapted from The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers
Makes 6

This recipe requires a 6-hole silicone semi-dome mould with the holes having a maximum diameter of 7.5cm/3inches

  • 300g/10.5oz white chocolate
Biscuit Base:
  • 100g/3.5oz plain flour (or 50g/1.75oz plain flour and 50g/1.75oz wholemeal flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 25g/1oz caster sugar
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1.5 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  1. Break up the white chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl.  Sit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (without letting the bowl touch the water) and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool and firm up slightly.
  2. Make the biscuit by first combining the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces, add to the dry ingredients and rub in with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter left.
  4. Add the milk and lemon extract and work into the mixture with your hands until it comes together to form a very stiff dough.
  5. Cover a tray with baking parchment.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 0.5cm/0.25inches thick and cut out circles using a cutter the same width as the moulds being used.  (The original recipe is 7.5cm/3inches, mine were 6.5cm/2.5inches.  Don't go bigger than 7.5cm/3inches as you won't have enough dough).
  7. Place on the prepared baking tray and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. 
  8. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes, until just firm then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Make sure the semi-dome mould is clean by giving all the holes a quick wipe with some kitchen roll.
  10. Pour about a tablespoon of chocolate into each hole.  Use the back of the spoon to start spreading it over the inside of the domes and then tip and swirl it about so that all the inside is covered in a layer of chocolate.  (This is a long, slow process so be patient).  Try not to make the chocolate too thin or too thick since you neither want it to break or be to hard to bite through.  (Mine was a bit too thick...)  The chocolate should thicken up as you do this, meaning less with pool in the bottom of the moulds.
  11. Leave the chocolate somewhere cool to set, but not in the fridge.
  12. Once the biscuits have cooled, dip them into the remaining white chocolate to coat them completely then leave them to set on a sheet of baking parchment.
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g/4.5oz caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Seeds of half a vanilla pod
  1. Put all the ingredients in a large, heatproof bowl and place over a pan on simmering water, without the bowl touching the water.
  2. Use an electric whisk to beat the ingredients together for several minutes until you get a glossy meringue with very stiff peaks.
  3. Remove from the heat and beat for several more minutes until the mixture is thick and cooled.
  4. Leave until it is completely cold.
  • 100g/3.5oz white chocolate
  • 60g/2oz milk chocolate chips
  1. Melt the white chocolate as before and then leave to cool until it thickens up and reaches a piping consistency.
  2. Put the melted chocolate into a piping bag, and the cold marshmallow into another.
  3. Remove the biscuits from the paper and place with the flat side down (so the way they were sitting on the parchment).
  4. Fill each of the set chocolate domes (still in the moulds) by piping the marshmallow inside.  Fill up to the rim of the domes then run a knife flat along the top to remove any excess.  Wipe off anything that got on the outside of the moulds.
  5. Pipe a little bit of white chocolate onto the marshmallow and then a ring of it around the edge of each biscuit.
  6. Place a biscuit (chocolate ring side down) on top of each marshmallow-filled dome.  Smooth the join with a knife.  If necessary, pipe a little more chocolate around the edges to fully seal the domes so no marshmallow is visible.
  7. Leave to set in a cool place (again, not the fridge) until completely sealed together.
  8. Whilst you wait, melt the milk chocolate chips as you did the white chocolate and then set aside to thicken up to a piping consistency.
  9. Carefully remove the domes from the mould. (I found that if I tugged the mould away from the edges carefully first, I could then gently pop them out one by one).
  10. Put the melted milk chocolate into a piping bag fitted with a small, round tipped nozzle then pipe ears, eyes, noses and tails onto each of the domes to create bunnies.  Leave to set.
  11. Store in an airtight container in a cool place (not the fridge) and consume within 2 days.


  1. Adorable! Great for Easter-themed parties, and kids in general (even if they are only young at heart - like me!) What is caster sugar?

    1. Thank you.
      Caster sugar is the British name for superfine sugar.

  2. These are adorable. They look perfect and so cute! Love them!