Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
My return to the world of exercise post baby has been slow and sporadic (really really frustratingly slow). We have been pounding the pavement, the boys on their bikes and me with my SUV sized pram; walking, riding and even a little Cliffy Young impersonation.
Walking around town gives you a chance to take in things you would never notice when driving a car. Weird things, crazy things.
Like the white house around the corner. The front yard of this house is filled with (very clean) white rocks, anatomically correct white statues and an empty white bird bath. It’s as if P.Diddy himself designed it.
Then there the house near the roundabout, aka the bird house as that’s what they have all over their front lawn. Bird cages, some with birds most with poop, strewn all over the lawn. Just for good measure there’s also an old rabbit cage or two.
The kid’s favourite is the emu house. No, it’s not a house made from the flightless Aussie icon, but a slightly odd looking house with a family of 3 emu wire sculptures that each day can be found at a different spot in the yard. Forget ‘Where’s Wally’, we play ‘Spot the emu made from coat hangers’.
Walking with 3 kids, 2 on bikes who like to garner some speed, and 2 dogs who would prefer to go at a faster pace, is not a relaxing experience. Most people you pass by give you one of 2 looks; the sympathetic ‘been there, endured that’ or the wide eyed ‘you must be a crazy lady’ look. Walking with kids is like narrating a story; it’s a tortured tale of endless “look out for cars”, “stop before the curb not on the road” and “stop honking your horn it’s driving me crazy!” You literally don’t stop talking as you try to herd your cattle through the suburban streets. But as long as those wheels keep spinning, and the falls are kept to a minimum, we will get home and there’s often a treat to reward us for our efforts.
This Wagon Wheel Slice is an easy take on an old school biscuit/lolly/treat (I’m not sure which category the Wagon Wheel fits into). Simple in its construction, this slice will feed a small army. It starts with a simple baked biscuit base topped with tasty red jam. Next in line is super fluffy homemade marshmallow and the final layer is melted chocolate; sweet, dairy free chocolate.
If you’ve never made homemade marshmallows then this is a great chance to test your skills. The trick with making marshmallow is to add the hot mixture to the side of the bowl not directly onto the egg whites. Semi cooked egg white floating around in your sticky treat is not too appetising! Even if the marshmallows don’t go according to plan (although I’m sure they will be awesome) the sweetness of the jam and crunch of the base will make up for any mistakes.
Whilst this Wagon Wheel Slice is super easy to bake and assemble there are a few tricks to making it perfectly. Both the base and jam need to be completely cooled before using and the chocolate can’t be too hot. Spreading hot chocolate over fresh marshmallow will make for a wagon wheel/s’mores hybrid!
- Biscuit Base
- 1-2 Cups Jam
- 1 serve Marshmallow
- 200 grams Chocolate
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey
- 2 Eggs
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 cups of Strawberries or Raspberries; diced (frozen is fine)
- 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey (optional depending on the sweetness of the berries)
- 3 tablespoons Water
- 3 teaspoons Gelatine
- 100ml Water
- 3/4 cup Maple Syrup or Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Gelatin
- 100ml Water
- 1 Egg White, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa
- Optional; 1-2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract (for a sweeter, less bitter, chocolate)
- Take the cooled base (still in the tin) and cover with a layer of jam.
- Make the marshmallow and immediately spread it over the jam layer making the top as flat as possible. Leave the slice to sit at room temperature for 4 hours (this allows the marshmallow to 'set').
- Make the chocolate mixture (or melt chocolate) and spread it evenly over the top of the marshmallow layer. Do not add hot chocolate to the marshamllow as it will cause it to melt.
- Place the slice in the freezer for 30 minutes, then remove to the fridge until ready to serve.
- Keep the slice in the fridge between serves.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/350F
- Line and grease a medium sized baking tray. Ensure baking paper is high on 2 edges to assist in removing the slice.
- Place all the ingredients into a kitchen processor and blend for 30 seconds.Scrape down sides and pulse until a dough forms.
- Place the dough into a tray and press to form an even layer (I used a shot glass as a mini rolling pin)
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Place the berries and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
- In a small bowl, add the gelatine to the water and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add the gelatine mixture.
- Whisk to combine and allow to simmer for 8 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down.
- To make a smoother jam, use a masher or a food processer.
- Place in a container and store in the fridge. The jam will set after 4 hours.
- Place 100ml of water and Maple Syrup/Honey in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
- At the same time sprinkle the gelatin over 100ml of water and allow to thicken.
- Once the mixture is boiling reduce the heat slightly and add the thickened gelatin mixture, whisking vigorously to incorporated the gelatin and ensure no lumps remain.
- Return to medium heat and return to the boil and boil for 1 minute, continuing to whisk.
- Place the egg white in a clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
- Place mixture on medium and whisk until the egg white is frothy.
- Pour the hot mixture in to the bowl, pouring slowly along the edge of the bowl.
- Turn whisk to high and whisk for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the Vanilla and whisk on high until firm but not set (another minute)
- The mixture should be shiny and thick, but still able to be piped and spread.
- Use immediately.
- Over a very low heat, melt the Coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Add the maple syrup and stir
- Add the cocoa and whisk to combine.
- Allow to thicken slightly, but DO NOT boil or over heat (as this causes the coconut oil to separate).
- Use once cooler, but not thickened.
- If not using immediatley, pour into a small dish and freeze.