I don’t really ‘do’ Valentine’s Day but there’s something about this time of year that makes me go mad for any recipe involving raspberries and chocolate. Raspberries are in season and so perfect right now, it would be a shame not to take advantage of their flavour and beauty. And when the desserts taste this good, I’m going to keep going with it. Looking through the archives, February has inspired me to make Churros with a Raspberry White Chocolate sauce and even a healthy Raspberry Cacao Smoothie Bowl.
Today’s recipe is my take on The Wagon Wheel. I’m not sure how common they are in the rest of the world, but if you were a kid growing up in Australia, you know what I’m talkin’ bout. They are a jam and marshmallow filled, chocolate-coated biscuit. I used to love nibbling the chocolate all the way around the outside before digging in to the sweet center. They rate right up there with Tiny Teddies as catalysts of massive childhood nostalgia.
Of course, I had to give it a little twist. I turned it into a Wagon Wheel Slice with a rosewater and Chambord spiked berry jam with chia seeds, and pretty freeze dried raspberries scattered over the top. The combination of rose-berry-chocolate reminds me of Turkish Delight, which I never used to like as a kid, but these days is a favourite.
All the components of this slice are delicious on their own, from the coconut biscuit base to the fluffy vanilla bean and rosewater marshmallow. But when you taste them together in one bite, they just sing. I absolutely love the combination of flavours and textures. Homemade marshmallows are the best. I challenge you to find a fluffier, more delicious marshmallow from the store. I had a little bit leftover that I set in another container. I’m looking forward to adding them to a super Instagrammable hot chocolate, along with dried rose petals on top.
Now these aren’t perfect, they do look homemade, but I’m telling you, they taste delicious. This recipe makes quite a large batch, and I considered halving all the quantities, but decided to make the full amount so I could share it around. Another thing that I like about Valentine’s Day is letting your friends and family know that you love and appreciate them too, so I’ve been giving away pieces of this delicious slice to all the people I’ve seen this week – even clients! – and everyone has absolutely loved it.
Berry and Rose Wagon Wheel Slice
Adapted from Donna Hay
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 200g unsalted butter, melted
Berry Chia Jam
- 250g frozen raspberries
- 120g frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons rosewater (to your own taste)
Rosewater Vanilla Bean Marshmallow
- 2/3 cup + 1/2 cup warm water, divided
- 2 tablespoons powdered gelatine
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 2/3 cup liquid glucose (find in the baking aisle of your supermarket)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1-2 teaspoons rosewater
- 1 tablespoon Chambord
- 200g 70% dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or coconut oil
- Freeze dried raspberries, crumbled
- Coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 23x35cm baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
To make the biscuit base, place the flour, coconut, sugar and melted butter into a bowl and mix to combine. Press into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon to evenly spread. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
To make the jam, place the raspberries and blueberries into a small saucepan with the rice malt syrup and cook, stirring for 10-15 minutes. Add the chia seeds and cook for another 2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the Chambord and rosewater to taste, and allow to cool to room temperature. Spread evenly over the top of the biscuit base.
To make the marshmallow, place 2/3 cup warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Sprinkle over the gelatine and stir to combine. Place the sugar, glucose and extra water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the temperature reaching 115°C (239°F) on a candy thermometer.
With the mixer on high speed, pour in the hot sugar syrup into the gelatine mixture in a thin steady stream. Beat until thickened (about 3 minutes in an electric mixer, a little longer with a hand mixer). Fold in the vanilla bean paste and rosewater. Pour the marshmallow mixture evenly over the jam. I had a little too much and poured the excess into another greased dish. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until firm.
Melt the chocolate and stir in the vegetable/coconut oil until smooth and shiny. Pour over the marshmallow and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Scatter the crumbled freeze dried raspberries and coconut flakes over the top and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares with a warm knife to serve.