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No Bake Chocolate Cake Tested Recipe

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No Bake Chocolate Cake Recipe

This No Bake Chocolate Cake is a popular English cake that reminds me of a chocolate bar. It contains just four ingredients; chocolate, butter, toasted and chopped nuts, and Digestive Biscuits (or graham crackers). As its name implies, there is no baking involved which makes it the perfect dessert for the harried. All you do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl, press it into a tart or cake pan, and leave it to chill in the refrigerator. While 'No Bake Chocolate Cake' is a fitting name for this cake it is also known as a Chocolate Biscuit Cake, a Refrigerator Cake, and a Chocolate Tiffin ('Tiffin' being an Anglo-Indian term for lunch or afternoon snack).


Whenever you are making a dessert where chocolate is the dominant flavor, it is important to use a good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate that you enjoy eating out of hand. Some excellent choices you may want to try are Lindt, Scharffen Berger, Guittard, Valrhona and El Rey. Besides the chocolate there are also choices of what type of nuts to use in making this cake. Some good choices are almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pecans and/or walnuts as they all pair well with dark chocolate. You can even use two or three types of nuts which would add a complexity of flavor and texture to this cake. The one ingredient that may be hard to find is Digestive Biscuits (cookies) which is a British cookie that has a slightly sweet flavor and a crisp sandy texture. Although most regular grocery stores do not carry them, I often find them in specialty food stores (like Whole Foods) or else you can buy them on line. (McVitie's Digestive is the most common brand found in North America.) For a little trivia - Alan Davidson tells us in 'The Oxford Companion to Food'  that the word 'Digestive' cannot be used in the States so other names like 'sweetmeal' or 'wholemeal' are often used for this type of cookie. Now, if you cannot find Digestives don't worry, you can use graham crackers, ginger cookies, shortbread cookies or other types of butter cookies with excellent results.

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No Bake Chocolate Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degree F (177 degree C) and place rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly butter an 8 inch (20 cm) tart or cake pan.

If using hazelnuts: place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and the skins begin to flake (peel). Remove from oven and place a clean dish towel on top of the nuts. Let the nuts sit (steam) for a few minutes and then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

If using almonds, walnuts, pecans, and/or macadamia nuts: Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool then chop coarsely. 

Then in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate.

Meanwhile, break or chop the digestive cookies into small pieces (about 1/2 inch). 

Once the butter and chocolate are melted, remove from heat and stir in the digestive cookies, along with their crumbs, and the chopped nuts. 

Spread this mixture into a lightly buttered 8 inch (20 cm) tart or cake pan, cover, and refrigerate for several hours or until set. Cut or break into slices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 10 slices. Preparation time 30 minutes.


Davidson, Alan. 'The Oxford Companion to Food'. Oxford University Press. Oxford: 1999.

Deseine, Trish. 'I Want Chocolate'. Laurel Glen Publishing. San Diego: 2002.

Grigson, Jane. 'English Food'. Penguin Books. London: 1974.

Lawrence, Sue. 'On Baking'. Kyle Cathie Limited. London: 1996.

No Bake Chocolate Cake:

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) (6 ounces) hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and/or macadamia nuts

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into small pieces)

4 ounces (115 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces (115 grams) Digestive cookies (or graham crackers, shortbread cookies or butter cookies)







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