Homemade Wagon Wheels
I’m now around 6 months pregnant, and really feeling it. Carrying around a large weight strapped to your front is disconcerting in so many ways, from trying to do up your shoelaces to sleeping. One of the odd things I’ve discovered about pregnancy is how my taste has changed. I used to be one of those people who looked at you disapprovingly if you added salt to your food without tasting it first, and though I taste my food first, I’m adding salt! I’m also consuming one small packet of Smith’s Salt and Vinegar chips per week. Can’t get enough of that salty goodness!
Conversely I’m also finding my taste for sugar has gone a little screwy. Things seem too sweet to me now. Recently I decided I needed a wagon wheel. I used to love these as a kid and my irrational pregnant mind compelled me to procure one to satisfy the desire. Stormie came home with two, and I popped one in my handbag in anticipation of devouring it at the movies. At the movies, I got ice cream instead, but I tried eating the Wagon wheel when I got home. I couldn’t eat more than half of it. I was SO disappointed. It was so sweet it made my teeth hurt! To my tastebuds, the biscuit was too crumbly with what seemed like whole sugar crystals contributing to the biscuit’s crumbliness. I then determined that I had to make my own.
In combination, I had also been musing on making marshmallows. Don’t know why exactly, but it was probably inspired by David Lebovitz and Raspberri Cupcakes…So using this basic marshmallow recipe from Gourmet Traveller I set to making my own homemade wagon wheels!
A couple of tips before you get started:
- Make sure you have a sugar thermometer. Make sure it isn’t a massive one like I have, as I couldn’t actually use it properly without tipping the pot full of boiling sugar syrup so it would be deep enough to submerge.
- Make sure you oil every utensil you use: spatulas and spoons and palette knives etc…I just created a sticky mess everywhere and wasted about 1/4 of the marshmallow cause I just couldn’t get it out of the bowl.
- Make sure you have everything ready to go; I found I got a bit flustered with this marshmallow recipe as it had instructions dependent on the syrup reaching a certain temperature. I managed, but I would have managed better if there was someone else in the kitchen!
When it comes to the biscuits themselves, I took a shortcut and decided against making them myself. So I bought two kinds after some discussion on twitter. I bought Marie biscuits and Granita biscuits. I prefer the Marie biscuits, as they’re less sweet, crumbly and they’re thinner than the Granita, but you can use whatever you want.
After making the marshmallow, lay out your biscuits ready to go and get to spreading that marshmallow. Don’t go too thick as then there will be too much space round the edges for the chocolate to have to get into…with the other half of the biscuits also have them laid out and ready to spread with your choice of jam. I used the Anatoth raspberry jam and think it’s perfect.
I ended up using 4 blocks of Lindt 70% dark chocolate, which is a perfect foil against all the sweetness.
So, the verdict? WAY better than the store bought kind. Less sweet, more tart from the good jam, and the darker, better quality chocolate makes a world of difference.