Mallow puffs

1 can condensed milk
125g unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 free-range egg
½ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups plain flour
200g caster sugar
100g egg white
300g dark chocolate buttons
200ml cream

Ahead of time, place the can of condensed milk into a small pot and cover with hot water. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for 2-3 hours topping up the water as required to keep it well covered. (If the pot is allowed to boil dry the can, might explode). After three hours, remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in the fridge in the can until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 200degC. Beat the butter and caster sugar until very light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix in well before adding the vanilla, baking powder and flour.
Mix until just combined and roll into a soft dough. Cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Unwrap and roll out pastry on a lightly floured bench top until the pastry is 2-3mm thick.
Use a 6cm round cutter to cut pastry discs out.
Place pastry rounds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden (any offcuts of pastry can be reformed and rolled out to make more discs).
Remove pastry from oven and allow to cool on a cake cooling rack. Spoon a teaspoon of the condensed milk caramel into the centre of each biscuit.

Place the sugar with three-quarters of a cup of water into a small pot with the second amount of caster sugar and boil rapidly until the water has evaporated and the boiling sugar begins to form thick bubbles without colour.
Remove from heat and in a mixing machine, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the machine still running, slowly pour the boiling sugar onto the egg whites.
Continue to whisk whites until the outside of the bowl is cool to touch. Place meringue into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe it to cover the caramel.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water.
Warm the cream slightly in the microwave until it reaches blood temperature. Stir into the cream until glossy and fully incorporated.
Spoon the ganache over the meringue and place mallow puffs in the fridge for 15 minutes to set the chocolate. Serve with enthusiasm and a cup of strong tea.

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