Chocolate Biscuit Cake is one of my favourite cakes. I had never heard of it before heading off to Ireland for college where I ran across it in a little bakery in Cork. The gal behind the counter called it “Tiffin” and after experiencing just one bite of its rich, chocolatey decadence, I was hooked.
I’m sure many folks in the States had never heard of it either until it got so much press a couple of years ago when Prince William chose it for his groom’s cake, I guess thereby proving it is a confection “fit for a king”. But for those of you who somehow missed out on all of the hoopla surrounding the royal wedding (where exactly were you?), a Chocolate Biscuit Cake is just what it sounds like, a dense chocolate cake with pieces of crumbled biscuits (cookies) running throughout.
There are so many things that are fabulous about this cake. First of course is how utterly scrumptious it is. I mean complete chocolate bliss. And the cookies stay wonderfully crunchy, even after a day or two. (Ha! As if this cake would still be around a day or two after it is made!) The second glorious thing about this cake is that it is ridiculously easy to make. I’m not exaggerating. There is no baking involved. You basically melt some chocolate with butter, cream, and golden syrup, add some crumbled biscuits and pour it into a prepared pan and stick it in the refrigerator. Ta Da!
There are a couple “foreign” ingredients you will need to try to track down. The biscuits traditionally used are digestive biscuits and the brand I prefer is McVities. If you are in the States, many larger grocery stores will carry some brand of Digestive Biscuit in their “International Food” section. If you can’t find them you could substitute in a butter cookie like Le Petit Beurre, Rich Tea Biscuits or simply Graham Crackers. Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a treacle, like molasses, but with a lighter color and less bitter taste. Again the best place to look for it is in the International Food section or possibly Baking section of a large grocery store. The King Arthur Flour store also sells it. A good substitution if you absolutely can’t get your hands on it is Dark Corn Syrup. I will also mention that Edible Ireland has posted a great recipe for Chocolate Biscuit Cake that does not require Golden Syrup, so take a look there as well. Chocolate Biscuit Cake is quite versatile. You can make it in any shape pan you prefer, round, square or loaf tins are fine. And you can easily customize this recipe by adding your favourite treats into the mix. I’ve seen recipes that call for rum soaked raisins, various nuts, or chopped up candy bars. Edible Ireland puts espresso powder in their biscuit cake, which I think sounds divine.
This luscious cake is verrrrrry rich. Think of a cake made of fudge. A tiny sliver of a slice will go a long way. I’m not sure what sort of “chocolate coma” I would be in if I ate a slice the likes of which I have pictured here. Now I’m not saying I haven’t eaten that much biscuit cake in a day. I’m sure I’ve managed even more. But my modus operandi is to methodically slice off “small, little tastes” every time I walk by the cake and then to wonder at the end of the day what it is about being in the refrigerator that causes so much shrinkage in cakes! Treat yourself to a Chocolate Biscuit Cake on this St. Patrick’s Day.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
recipe from: Rock Recipes
- 2 pounds dark chocolate, roughly chopped (about 50% cocoa)
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup Lyle’s golden syrup
- 1 pound digestive biscuits, broken by hand into postage stamp sized pieces
For the Ganache:
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped
Melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the chocolate and salt and continue over medium low heat until the chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and stir in the whipping cream and golden syrup until smooth. Fold in the broken biscuits and pour into a 9 inch springform pan that has been lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from pan and glaze with chocolate ganache.
For the Ganache:
Scald the cream in the microwave until almost boiling. Pour over chocolate in a small bowl and let stand for five minutes. Stir until smooth then stir in the corn syrup. Pour over the cooled biscuit cake using a spatula to help cover it evenly. Reserve a bit of ganache to decoratively pipe or drizzle onto the top of the cake if so desired.