There was a flash of light and a loud, crackling, electrical hum.
I have to admit, I freaked. I did somehow maintain the presence of mind to turn the oven off before I burst into tears and fled the kitchen.
It was terrifying. More so than the fire I started in the oven a few years back... though not so much the fire I started with the Christmas pudding 2 years ago. You hear of kitchen disasters: I AM a kitchen disaster. I will, however, maintain that this was not my fault. The oven committed suicide.
Seriously now: on the evening of Monday, the 29th of June, at approximately 9:00pm, I shut the door of my oven to bake pumpkin pies, and the element in the bottom of my oven started burning, sparking, and humming.
Combine that with starting a new job, and I've really not spent much time in the kitchen the last month! So it is with great excitement to begin with this month'schallenge!
Part way through, I wasn't sure about this recipe. Gelatine is foul smelling, and this stage of the recipe started to freak me out! However, after the smell was gone, and the biscuits we're finished, it was fine! They're lovely. So in the words of my lovely Mum: "WOW! Look at all that chocolatey goodness, smothering a crisp biscuit and soft, velvety marshmallow."
For the biscuit base:
• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams) unsalted butter (I cheated: I used salted butter, and didn't add the extra salt)
• 3 eggs, whisked together
For the marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup, or glucose syrup
• 3/4 cup (168 g) white sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the chocolate glaze:
• 340g semisweet chocolate
• 57g cocoa butter or vegetable oil
• 1/2 tspn peppermint essence
For the cookies:
1. in a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. Add the butter and mix until 'sandy' (I used a hand mixer).
3. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. I actually found the dough was better the next day. The way the ingredients are combined means that you have undissolved sugar crystals in your batter. After an hour or more they can dissolve and you don't end up with weird textured biscuits.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 180C (375F), and line with baking paper.
6. Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1 to 1.5 inch cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
7. Place the cookies on the prepared tray, and bake for 10 minutes, or until light, golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the marshmallow:
8. Add water, sugar, and strip to a saucepan and being to 235C' or 'soft-ball'
9. Beat the eggwhites to soft peaks
10. Dissolve the gelatine in 2tbsp cold water, and stir into the syrup
11. Add the syrup mix to the eggwhites, and beat until stiff.
13. Pipe a "kiss" of marshmallow onto each cookie, and leave to set set at room temperature for 2 hours. If you can't be bothered with a piping bag, you can carefully soon it on, but you may not get the same shape and symmetry as you would otherwise. Having said that, I just spooned it on, as I was in a rush, so it's certainly not the end of the world!
For the chocolate glaze:
12. Melt the chocolate, oil, and peppermint essence in a bay Marie (a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water - make sure the water is not touching the bottom of your bowl).
Back to asembly:
13. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper. (I did this, then buy a rack over the top, but you do end up with unusually bottomed royals!
14. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze. Lift the pit with a fork, and allow the excess chocolate to run off. I found that running a knife or spoon across the bottom of the forked helped get the excess glaze from between the fork prongs. Axa your glaze supplies deplete, drop your biscuits into the bowl to cover the bottom, then spoon glaze over the top.
15. Place on the prepared tray and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
Nicole advises that if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping. You could possibly stick this in the microwave for say, 20 seconds to achieve the same effect. Downside may be soggy biscuit.