OK, so, this is the long awaited post all about….Chocolate. Biscuit. Cake.
During the run up to the Royal Wedding, I received a tweet from Clarence House saying that Prince William had requested a chocolate groom’s cake. Not very original, you say? I thought so too, until I read that it’s was a NO-BAKE chocolate cake. Are you kidding me? THE PRINCE is having a refrigerator cake for his wedding? Yes, indeed. This did make me love the guy (ok, and his bride too) all the more.
So, OBVIOUSLY…I immediately Googled the recipe. I found several but decided to try two. In my travels in the Google-verse, I also learned that another name for the cake is Chocolate Tiffin. I *love* that…it makes it sound extra-specially-English. (And we all now know that I am an anglophile and royalist.)
The first recipe is from Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen written by former chef to Princess Diana and Prince William, Darren McGrady. I duly instructed Chris with a list of ingredients and sent him off to Tesco’s. He came home with the aforementioned items and we excitedly set about to re-create the recipe. Now, the one down-side to this kind of cake is, although it’s as easy pie to make, it’s not quick. There are two resting periods where the cake has to be chilled, and they can definitely drive you crazy waiting!! (After all, people, you know that patience is not one of my strongest points.)
That being said, I think the cake turned out pretty well.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake (from Darren McGrady’s “Eating Royally”)
Prep: 25 minutes
Chill: 3 hours
8 ounces tea biscuits or cookies
1/2Â stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces dark chocolate
1 egg, beaten
1 ounce white chocolate
1. Lightly grease a small (6-inch) cake ring or springform pan with butter. Place on a parchment-lined tray. Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until a light lemon color.
2. Melt 4 ounces of the dark chocolate in a double boiler. Off the heat, add the butter and sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Add the egg; continue stirring. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all the gaps on the bottom of the ring, because this will be the top when it is unmolded. Refrigerate, at least 3 hours.
4. Remove the cake from the refrigerator; let it stand while you melt the remaining 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Slide the ring off the cake; turn the cake upside-down onto a cooling rack. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake, smoothing the top and sides using a butter knife or offset spatula. Allow the icing to set at room temperature.
Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where it has stuck to the cooling rack, transfer the cake to a cake dish. Melt the white chocolate; drizzle on top of the cake in a decorative pattern.
The second recipe turned out even better than the first one!
Chocolate Biscuit Cake (by Allison Ladman)
For the cake:
7 oz. package butter tea biscuits
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. honey
1/2 stick butter
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate bits (I used a combination of dark and milk chocolate)
1 tsp. vanilla
For the glaze:
2 T. butter
1/4 c. heavy cream
6oz. bittersweet chocolate
1. Coat a 7- or 8-inch round springform pan with cooking spray. (I lightly greased with butter.)
2. To make the cake, with your hands break up the biscuits into 1/4- to 1/2 inch pieces; you want chunks not crumbs.
3. In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the cream, honey and butter. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, or until bubbling. (For this step, I warmed the ingredients in a bowl over simmering water instead of using the microwave.)
4. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla, and then the crumbled biscuits. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top. Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air pockets.
5. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
6. Once the cake is chilled, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and cream. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
7. Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan (you may need to slide a paring knife around the inside upper edge to ensure the sides come away cleanly from the cake.) Invert the cake on a wire rack, then remove the bottom of the pan from the cake. Se the rack over parchment paper to catch drips.
8. Pour the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing it to drip down and completely cover the top and sides. Allow to firm up, then transfer to a serving plate.
9. Refrigerate leftovers.
The first recipe from Darren McGrady was definitely good. I don’t know if it was the particular chocolate that we used or whether the biscuit pieces were too big, but the chocolate didn’t seem to coat the biscuits completely, so there were pockets of air. The pictures I had seen were more fudgy, so I’m not sure if I did something wrong. (It still tasted great!)
I tweaked Allison Ladman’s recipe a little bit, mainly because we didn’t have enough chocolate. I used about 12-13 oz of a combination of dark and milk chocolate for the cake and the remaining 3 oz for the glaze. I didn’t scale any of the other ingredients and the result was still absolutely amazing. The cake was lighter than the first recipe and had a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth consistency. There were also no air spaces like in the first one. I think my go-to recipe for this cake will be this one. I could have this in my house every week and never get tired of it. (Umm…wait…that’s a bad thing…)
So there you go…not one, but TWO Chocolate Tiffin recipes. You’ve GOT to try them! Let me know your verdict in the comments when you do. Believe me, you won’t be sorry.