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Recipe: Make ‘Wagon Wheels’ - just like on Bake Off!

PUBLISHED: 17:56 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:56 27 September 2018

Wagon Wheels by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Wagon Wheels by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis attempts to make a lunchbox classic - the Wagon Wheel.

I’m a child of the 80s, and that was undoubtedly one of the best eras for lunchbox treats.

It seemed not a week went by without some new fandangled biscuit being dreamt up by the confectionary bods.

Of course you had your Gold bars, Clubs (mint was my favourite) Kit Kats and the like, but nothing beat the jubilation of opening a whiffy, soggy sandwich laden lunchbox to find a gleaming, brand spanking new choccie bar.

You had your Rocky. A bar smothered so outrageously with chocolate it threatened to break your teeth on a cold day.

The Time Out was a revelation – a lovechild of the Kit Kat and Flake which somehow made it into the realms of being lunchbox suitable.

But the best of all for me was the Montana bar. Layers of wafer and chocolate cream topped with chocolate chips and covered in yet more chocolate. You don’t see those about too much these days!

Until recently I’d never tried Wagon Wheels. They were the Holy Grail of lunchtimes. Something the cool kids held aloft with glee upon diving into their lunch.

If you watched the first episode of The Great British Bake Off this year you’ll have seen the contestants sweating to make Paul Hollywood’s version of the classic treat.

“Mum, you HAVE to make those,” my kids implored. So that’s just what I’ve done for my column this week.

The only bit you might find tricky is the marshmallow. If you don’t have time to give that a go, seek Marshmallow Fluff in larger supermarkets, or simply cut marshmallows in half horizontally, pop one half on top of a biscuit before sandwiching and give it a blast with a kitchen blowtorch – there’s no shame in cheating!

I’d love to see how you get on. Send your pictures to charlotte.smith-jarvis@archant.co.uk

And keep an eye on the Eat Norfolk and Eat Suffolk Facebook pages to watch the video of me making these.

Homemade ‘Wagon Wheels’

(makes 16-20)

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

150g plain flour

50g rice flour

50g caster sugar

150g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1 large egg yolk (save the white)

1/2tsp vanilla extract

For the marshmallow:

3.5 leaves gelatine soaked in water for 10 minutes then removed

200g caster sugar

100ml water

1tsp golden syrup

1tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg white

To finish:

350g melted milk or dark chocolate

Jam of your choice

Method

Place the flours, sugar and butter for the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue to blend until you have bigger lumps of dough.

Tip onto a floured surface, bring together lightly into a ball, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.

On a floured surface roll out the dough to around 1/2cm thick and cut out into circles of whatever size you like (mine were 3cm in circumference as I thought they’d be easier to dip later).

Place on your trays, leaving 1cm between each, and chill for 10 minutes.

Bake in your pre-heated oven for eight to 12 minutes (the size will dictate how long they take). They should be golden around the outside and a bit paler in the centre. Remove to a cooling rack.

Now make the marshmallow.

Place the sugar, water and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Cook on a low heat and simmer gently to dissolve all the sugar. Do not stir!

While that’s bubbling, in a large, clean glass bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy but not stiff.

Once the sugar in the pan has dissolved bring to the boil and take to about 125C on your sugar thermometer (hard ball stage). If you don’t have a thermometer keep dropping little blobs of the mix into a bowl of chilled water. It’s ready once the sugar forms a mass that’s still a bit pliable between your fingers.

As soon as you get to that stage remove from the heat, add the vanilla and gelatine, whisk lightly.

Begin to whisk (with an electric whisk or on a machine) your egg white again and pour the hot sugar over it in a stream, whisking all the time. Continue to whisk until you have a thick, cool marshmallow. It will take up to 15 minutes. Pop this into a bag.

Separate your biscuits into two piles.

Spread the underside of one pile of biscuits with 1/4tsp jam, trying to keep it in the middle. Then pipe on about 1tsp of marshmallow. Sandwich with a plain biscuit and set aside.

To finish, dunk each sandwiched biscuit into the melted chocolate to coat, and pop onto a lined tray to set.

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