The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My version of a Royal favorite: Chocolate Biscuit Cake.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.
For the South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild's Royal Wedding Tea, I made one of the dishes that is reported to be on the menu for the upcoming wedding: Chocolate Biscuit Cake.  The recipe was originally taken from Chef McGrady's cookbook, Eating Royally, and is supposed to be the one favored by the British Royals when McGrady was chef to Princess Diana and her sons.  It was posted on the Internet, and this is the variation I used:

Chocolate Biscuit Cake:
1 package McVitie's Plain Digestive Biscuits
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3.5 oz. milk chocolate (I used a bar of Cadbury's), plus 1/4 up dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1 egg, beaten

Line with parchment and grease a small round baking dish 6 to 7 inches in diameter, with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter.  If you have a springform pan, use that instead, but grease it really well.  Melt the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over simmering water.  Meanwhile, break the cookies into small chunks no larger than a quarter and place in a medium container, cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl, and beat the egg in another small bowl.  Move the butter/sugar and the beaten egg near the double boiler with the chocolate in it.  When the chocolate is melted, stir in the butter and sugar, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth.  Continue stirring, and add the beaten egg; cook and stir until the mixture is glossy and thickened.  Remove from the heat, and fold the broken cookies into the chocolate mixture a handful at a time.  Stop adding the cookies when the already added cookies are completely coated with chocolate and there's a little bit of the mixture still liquid in the pan. 

Scrape the chocolate/cookie mixture into the prepared pan (it will be thick and sticky) and press it in, to eliminate air pockets and gaps.  Tap the filled pan on the counter a few times to make sure all gaps are gone.  Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or so, then un-mold the cake onto a serving plate.  Remove greased parchment paper and sift cocoa powder or powdered sugar over the top of the cake, or cover with chocolate icing.  If your Chocolate Biscuit Cake won't come out of the dish, don't worry, just serve it in the dish you made it in, and cut/scoop it out into small squares, because it's really rich!  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and a cup of tea!

For more information: Chocolate Biscuit Cake


Rosemary said...

What a fun thing to bring to the Wedding Tea. This is going to be one of the items I plan on making for The Royal Reception we're holding on the 29th. The anticipation is building!

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

That sounds like so much fun, Rosemary! The Chocolate Biscuit Cake is a fairly easy recipe to make, too, and it serves more people than you think because it's so rich ... The recipe reminds me of some of the refrigerator desserts that I remember people making in the '70s and into the '80s. My dad's cousin had a similar dessert that she made with graham crackers, bananas, and Cool Whip or whipped cream. She didn't turn hers out onto a serving plate, just served it from the dish it was made in, but it's so yummy!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)