This No Bake Chocolate Cake 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). It is a popular English cake
that reminds me of a chocolate bar. I love how it looks with all the pretty
flecks of nuts and biscuits encased in dark chocolate. It is so easy to make.
Just melt some really good chocolate with butter and golden syrup (or corn
syrup, honey, agave or brown rice syrup) and then fold in lots of chopped nuts
and crushed Digestive Biscuits (or Graham Crackers). That's it. Pour into a pan
and let it chill, preferably for a day or two, before indulging. The chilling
not only makes the cake nice and firm but it gives the flavors time to soften
and mingle into one delicious cake that you won't be able to stop eating.
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 choices you may want to
try are Guittard, Lindt, Newman's Own, Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and
Ghirardelli, to name a few. Besides the
chocolate there are also choices of what type of nuts to add to
this cake. Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pecans and/or walnuts
are excellent choices and you can use just one nut or have a variety. The one ingredient
that some people may not be unfamiliar with is Digestive Biscuits (McVitie's
Digestive is the most common brand found in North America). This is a British cookie that has a slightly sweet
flavor and a wonderfully crisp and sandy texture. You can find them in some
grocery stores, specialty food stores, and on line. However, Graham
Crackers are a very good substitute as are shortbread cookies, butter
cookies, or even ginger cookies. 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.
No Bake Chocolate Cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degree F (180 degree C). Line a
9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap or foil and
then lightly butter the foil, or spray with a non stick cooking spray.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until
fragrant and the skins begin to flake (peel). Remove from oven and immediately
cover the pan with a clean dish towel. Let the nuts sit (steam) for about 5 to
10 minutes and then briskly rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins. Let
cool and then chop the hazelnuts into small pieces.
Toasting Almonds, Walnuts, and Pecans: Place the nuts on a baking
sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly brown
and fragrant. Let cool then chop coarsely.
break or chop the Digestive Biscuits into
Place the toasted and chopped nuts in a large bowl, along with the Digestive
Biscuits (and their crumbs) and raisins.
Then in a heatproof bowl,
placed over a saucepan of
simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter, and golden syrup.
Once the chocolate
mixture is melted and smooth, remove from heat and gently stir into the
Digestive Biscuits, nuts, and raisins mixture, until everything is coated with the
chocolate mixture. Spread this mixture into your prepared pan, cover, and refrigerate for
an hour or two, or until
set. Cut or break into slices. Store in an airtight container in the
refrigerator for about a week. Or it can be frozen for about a month..
Makes about 18
- 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)
slices. Preparation time 30 minutes.
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