Monday, December 19, 2022

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Several years ago, I found a recipe for Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite cake: chocolate biscuit cake. The recipe is by her former personal chef, Darren McGrady, who says that this was the one cake that she would eat until it was all gone – he even used to travel with her on the train from London to Windsor castle with the leftovers in a tin. I knew I’d have to make it someday, but it calls for Rich tea biscuits, which are not readily available in South Texas. After the Queen died, though, I decided to order them online and make this cake. I had two packages of biscuits, and you need slightly less than one package to make the cake. I’m glad I had two, because the first time, I broke them into pieces that were a bit too big, so I rectified that the second time around, and that’s why I’m only posting about it now. This is an unusual cake, richer and sweeter than I expected, but I’m really glad I made it, and I think I’ll adapt the recipe to use local biscuits at some point. 

(Note that this cake contains a raw egg, so manage your risk based on your personal situation.) 

For the cake 
½ tsp. butter, for greasing the pan 
8 oz. Rich tea biscuits or sweet cookies (a sleeve is almost 10 oz., and you’ll need all but 7) 
4 oz. (1 stick or ½ cup) lactose-free butter, softened 
4 oz. (½ cup) granulated sugar 
4 oz. dark chocolate 
1 egg 

For the icing 
8 oz. dark chocolate, for coating 
1 oz. chocolate, for decoration (I did not use it) 

Lightly grease a 6-inch-by-2½-inch cake ring (I used a springform pan) with the butter and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper. 

Break each of the biscuits into almond-sized pieces by hand (see photo below; when in doubt, go smaller) and set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until the mixture starts to lighten. 

Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture, stirring constantly. 

Add the egg and beat to combine. 

Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture. 

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 the cake is unmolded. 

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand. 

Meanwhile, melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan on the stove top over low heat. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire (cooling rack). 

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife (I used an offset spatula). 

Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature. 

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a plate. 

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

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