There were a lot of foods I fell in love with on our adventures through the US and Europe –traditional donuts called ’kleinur’ in Iceland, buttery pain au chocolat in Paris and (of course) handmade macarons. But there was one treat I couldn’t stop myself coming back to over and over (and over) again – Tunnock’s tea cakes.
Yip, I fell in love with biscuits from a packet. We bought our first box in a little corner store in Inverary, Scotland and I proceeded to have a box on hand at all times as we journeyed to the Isle of Skye to the black Isle and back down to Ediburgh. I was a woman obsessed.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a tea cake, they’re basically a hyper-fluffy mallowpuff. The marshmallow is the main difference – in a tea cake it’s light, puffed with air and creamy rather than set like a mallowpuff. The biscuit base is crumbly with just the right amount of crunch and, of course, they’re coated in chocolate. YUM.
Before we even left the UK I was begging our English-based friends to keep me stocked with tea cakes from a far, designating space in their bags each time they head home. While I’ve been lucky enough to already receive a delivery, I’ve realised that I can’t rely on such deliveries forever. So I decided to try making my own.
And I’ve got to say, without having Tunnocks’ secret recipe, I think I’ve come pretty close!
The biscuit base is perfect – and perfectly simple to make! Simply mix, roll, cut and chill before baking. I know, chilling dough before baking can seem like a bit of a pain but trust me, these biscuit bases are bang on and worth clearing space in the fridge for.
I decided to go with good old homemade marshmallow for my homemade tea cakes, with a generous helping piped on top of each biscuit. Then, while the marshmallow’s still tacky, I drizzled each tea cake in milk chocolate. Done!
And Enjoy! These tea cakes are designed to be enjoyed on a plate, with a fork the same day they’re made – the marshmallow will still be unset, so it creams and puffs away as you eat it.
But don’t despair if you find them a little too messy or you somehow have left overs – simply pop them in a sealed container in the fridge for a few hours them enjoy. The marshmallow and chocolate will set leaving you with devilishly good homemade mallowpuffs – a win either way in my books!
Makes approx. 12 biscuits
Biscuit base – adapted from BBC
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50 caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 250g sugar sugar
- 2 tsp glucose syrup
- 1 Tbsp gelatine powder
- 1 egg white
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp canola oil
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Place flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and mix.
- Add butter and rub until well combined and no lumps of butter remain.
- Add the milk and stir everything together to form a ball.
- Place dough on a lightly floured bench and roll until approx. 5mm thick. Cut circles out of dough and place on a lined baking tray. Place in fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Place 100ml of water in a bowl and sprinkle with gelatine. Set aside.
- Place sugar, glucose and 100ml of water in a large saucepan. Place on low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to medium-high and insert sugar thermometer. Boil for 3-5 minutes until the mixture reaches 120 degrees Celsius.
- Remove from heat and carefully add gelatine mixture. Whisk until gelatine dissolves and no lumps remain.
- Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat with whisk attachment on high until foamy. Gradually add hot sugar syrup while mixing.
- Continue to beat on high until stiff, white and glossy – about 10 min with stand mixer.
- Pipe marshmallow onto prepared biscuit bases, piling the marshmallow to create a mound.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second bursts (mixing between each)
- Once melted, add oil and stir until well combined.
- Ensure biscuits are on a greased wire rack with baking paper lining the bench.
- Spoon chocolate over each tea cake, allowing excess to drizzle onto baking paper below.
For tea cakes, allow to sit for 15 minutes before enjoying with a fork.
For mallowpuffs, place in the fridge to chill for approx. 1 hour until set.