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Recipe: Chocolate Viennese Marshmallow Sandwiches

April 1, 2013

Afternoon Tea

I haven’t yet found anybody that doesn’t like Afternoon Tea.  After all, what’s not to love?  Ickle little sandwiches with enough filling to tantalise your taste buds but not enough that you haven’t then got room for a bucket load of cake.  And then there’s the cakes; some small enough that you can just pop them in whole, others that take a greedier three or four bites before the crumbs are all that’s left of them.

I recently celebrated my birthday and when deciding what to do to mark the occasion that would be fun, but befitting of the fact that my friends and I are now actually pretending to be grown-ups and like to act accordingly, we landed on the idea of Afternoon Tea.  Though there are many good providers out there, in beautiful country or inner city settings, we thought it would be more creative and rewarding (not to mention a darn sight cheaper!) to create our own.  Everyone ‘bagsied’ a dish to make (or procure…for those less confident in the kitchen), ensuring that we had the essential sandwiches and scones on that list.

The result was magnificent.  From the five of us we had a beautiful spread of delicious sandwiches, freshly-baked scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, crisp tartlets filled with crème anglaise and topped with raspberries and passion fruit, the most perfect macaroons, melt-in-the-mouth and still warm cheese gougères and delightful chocolate-coated Viennese fingers, sandwiched together with soft marshmallow.  The last two were my own offering to the party, and despite some challenges I had making them, the Viennese fingers were amazing, so I thought I’d share the recipe, complete with all the lessons I learnt along the way!

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Makes about 10 finger sandwiches.

For the Viennese fingers:
100g salted butter, softened with your mixer
25g icing sugar
100g plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder

You’ll also need a strong piping bag or a metal piping set.

For the chocolate:
100g plain chocolate

For the marshmallow filling:
1 egg white
pinch of cream of tartar
60g caster sugar
75g marshmallows (I used the white ones in a bag of Pinks and Whites, meaning I had to eat all the pink ones.  Such a shame.)

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 190˚C/375˚F/Gas Mark 5 and lightly grease two large, or three standard baking trays.
  2. Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.  Then add the flour and baking powder, beating until fully combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a strong piping bag, or piping set, fitted with a medium-sized star nozzle.  I tried this using a plastic piping bag to start with but the mixture is so stiff, I just split the bag.  So use a material bag, or as I did, a metal piping set.
  4. Pipe out finger shapes, about 6cm in length and 2.5cm in width.  Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes, until they are a pale golden brown.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before lifting off with a palette knife and cool them on a wire rack.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave.  Transfer to a small pot so that the chocolate is fairly deep and easy to dip into.
  6. Cut a large square of baking parchment or greaseproof paper and lay flat.  One by one, dip both ends of the biscuits in the chocolate and lay them, flat side down, onto the paper.  Leave to harden completely.
  7. Once the chocolate on your biscuits is complete set, you can make the filling.  In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg white with the pinch of cream of tartar until you have soft peaks.
  8. Then gradually whisk in the sugar until it has dissolved and you have a shiny meringue mixture.
  9. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and drop in the marshmallows.  Whisk constantly for five minutes, then remove from the heat.  Continue to whisk for another five minutes.
  10. Cool for 15 minutes before spooning into a piping bag (plastic one is fine this time around!) and pipe onto the flat side of half your biscuits, sandwiching them together with the other half.  Leave to set and then scoff.
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