So this is a pretty exciting (if a little crazy) post for me!
Last September, my good friend Meg put me in touch with presenter Jameela Jamil, who had just been asked to partake in The Great British Comic Relief Bake Off. Having just competed in the River Cottage Rising Star competition Meg knew I’d be able to give her a little bit of advice on how to stay calm in a high pressured cooking environment, and it was my pleasure to accept!
When Jam came to me she had never baked before, so we looked at the brief and put our heads together to create something based on her favourite childhood memories of baking. We had some disasters and some successes, and I can’t wait to see how she did on the full programme! What we ended up creating was actually really delicious so I wanted to share the recipe with you. I’ve changed it slightly from the one Jam uses on the programme, mainly because she needed to create 24 individual portions and I wanted to scale it down a little bit for you guys. Plus I like big fat cookies the size of my face.
I was lucky enough to get to go and visit her for an afternoon on set which was so much fun. I remember thinking how amazing Mary Berry’s bouffant was in real life. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures behind the scenes, but I can tell you, I felt the tension. It was great to see all the celebrities trying to get into the competitive spirt and I was so impressed with some of the bakes they came up with.
For 8 orange chocolate chip s’more sandwiches (what a mouthful) you will need:
For the shortbread:
275g unsalted butter
165g caster sugar
540g plain flour
100g dark chocolate chips
zest of 1 large orange
Line 2x flat baking trays with baking parchment. Place butter and orange zest in kitchen aid and beat until soft. Add butter and beat until light and fluffy for about 2 mins. Add the flour & choc chips and bring together with your hands. If it doesn’t stick, add a little water. Generously flour the surface top, and rolling pin. Tip out dough, pushing together, then roll out to 1cm thickness. Cut large circles, about 10cm’s across, re rolling until you’ve used all the dough. Use a palette knife to transfer the shapes to the lined baking sheet. Prick each shape with a fork. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Leave to cool for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the marshmallow filling:
180g granulated sugar
170g liquid glucose
60ml water (2 1/2 tbsp)
pinch very fine salt
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Combine the sugar, liquid glucose, salt and water in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, and place in sugar thermometer. Place over a high heat, stirring (a silicone spatula is best for this), until sugar has dissolved. Keep an eye on it, but meanwhile place the egg whites into the very clean kitchen aid bowl with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks are formed. Turn the mixer off. The idea is to have the egg whites ready just before the sugar syrup. Once the syrup has reached 240F on the sugar thermometer, remove from the heat. Turn the whisk back on, and add two tablespoons of the sugar syrup to the egg whites (if you add too much at once the syrup will scramble the eggs). Gradually add the syrup (you can tip it straight from the pan if you like. It’s really hot so be careful). Try and get it directly onto the egg rather than the bowl as it dries really fast. Continue to beat for about 5 mins after it’s all added, until it has a really stiff constancy.
Fit the piping bag with the star nozzle, but don’t snip off the end. Pull the bag inside out and fill with the marshmallow. Place in the fridge until needed.
Once your biscuits are totally cool, select your bases (save the super good ones for the lids). On the underside of the biscuit, pipe stars, lines or big blobs of marshmallow, whatever you prefer, in the middle. Use a blow torch to brown the marshmallow, particularly concentrating on the sides so that they keep their shape. Gently place the lids on each biscuit, trying not to push down too much.
Smoosh into your face. YUM.