Friday, April 29, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

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I may not have been invited, but I wouldn't miss the royal wedding celebration! My phone actually rang at 4:30 a.m. so I decided I may as well get up and watch. The plan was to record it and watch it with my book club later in the afternoon. It turned out to be a blessing seeing it in the quiet morning hours snuggled in bed. When we watched it this afternoon, drinking champagne and eating canapes, we talked and laughed and missed a lot of the commentary. But we looked good. Mary pulled out her flashy costume jewelry. Cyndi had a stylish hat, and there were a few tiaras, my own included which was connected to my First Communion Veil. When we decided to have a watch party, we knew we had to have the royal food. All the food blogs and sites I read daily were covering varying aspects of the royal wedding menus. I decided to make William's cake. From what I gather, it is actually the Queen's favorite, and William has always loved it. He chose it as his Groom's cake, but cake is a stretch. It is officially called Chocolate Biscuit Cake. I found the recipe on but of course I didn't make it as posted.

A few notes. A biscuit in England is what we would call a cookie. A rich tea biscuit is a fairly dry flavorless cookie. I couldn't find the brand in the recipe, so posted the brand I did find. The original recipe calls for 8 oz of cookies, the package is 10.6. What would I do with the extra biscuits? I'm a baker, eating them out of the package was not an option. So I starting beefing up the recipe a bit. I didn't have the tube pan they recommended, but I have these small springform pans. So I ended up with 3 pans of "cake". Now, mind you this is not baked. So here is my version.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

1/2 teaspoon butter, for greasing pans
10.6 ounces Burton's rich tea biscuits
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces dark chocolate
2 eggs, beaten
10-12 ounces dark chocolate, for icing
1 ounce white chocolate, for decoration

1. Lightly grease a small (such as 6 x 2 1/2-inch) cake ring with 1/2 teaspoon butter, and place on a parchment-lined tray. Break each of the biscuits into almond-sized pieces by hand and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is a light lemon color.
2. Melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Add the butter and sugar mixture to the chocolate, stirring constantly. Add the eggs and continue stirring. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
3. Spoon the chocolate biscuit mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring, because this will be the top when it is unmolded. I pressed it down to kind of pack it in. Cover in foil and chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
4. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and let it stand while you melt the 10-12 ounces of dark chocolate for icing. Slide the ring off the cake and turn the cake upside down onto a cooling rack. Pour 10 ounces of melted dark chocolate over the cake, and smooth the top and sides using a butter knife or offset spatula. Allow the chocolate icing to set at room temperature. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where it has stuck to the cooling rack, and transfer the cake to a cake dish. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the cake in a decorative pattern.It is an interesting combination, and rather addictive. Crunchy biscuit, smooth, dark chocolate. I liked it best chilled. I discovered that although I have a bag of royal icing in my hands most days, writing with melted white chocolate is a a bit more of a chore. It came streaming out of the tiniest hole in my pastry bag. And, it was a little hot. But the cakes were a hit, and I put the extra 2 in the freezer so when my Queen Mum and Princess Sisters visit in a few weeks they can have a nibble.

Cheers to Kate and Will, or, more appropriately now, cheers to William and Katherine. It was quite a day...for us all!

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