Royal Recipes by Carolyn Robb: Chocolate Biscuit Cake
CHOCOLATE BISCUIT CAKE
My mother used to make this when I was a child, and it was a great favourite cake of mine. When Prince William and Prince Harry were very young I made it for them using the same recipe. It was a firm favourite in the royal nursery, so much so, that many years later Prince William chose to have chocolate biscuit cake at his wedding for the Groom’s cake. It was designed, made and gifted to Prince William by ‘McVities’ biscuit manufacturers and is said to have been made from 1700 McVities biscuits and 17kg of chocolate!
This recipe is very simple and children always enjoy crushing and crumbling the biscuits (in a variety of unusual, and often messy, ways!) I have included pistachios and soft figs in this version of the recipe, but for children I leave them out and replace them with the same weight in biscuits.
Serves 16 – 20
You will need: one 20cm (8inch) round or square cake tin or flan ring
Or one 20cm x 9cm (8inch x 3 ¼ inch) loaf tin
Or one 24cm (9 inch) square cake tin – or use a larger tin for a cake with less depth
For the cake:
340g /12oz butter (3 sticks)
160g /6 oz golden syrup (Tate & Lyles preferably) (1/2 cup)
50g /2oz unsweetened cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
100g /3 1/2 oz dark chocolate (1/2 cup)
5ml /1 tsp pure vanilla extract
80g /3 oz soft, plump dried figs (1/3 cup packed)
80g / 3 oz soft, plump dried apricots
60g /2oz pistachios (1/2 cup)
450g /1lb ‘McVities’ digestive biscuits (http://www.mcvities.co.uk/products/digestives)
300g /11 oz dark chocolate (2 cups)
50g /2oz white chocolate (2/3 cup)
Selection of small chocolate sticks and dark and white ‘Maltesers’ or ‘Whoppers’
- Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a heavy based pan. Do not let it boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, dark chocolate and vanilla.
- Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.
- Slice the figs and crush the biscuits.
- Add the pistachios, figs and crushed biscuits to the chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Line the base and sides of your chosen shape of cake tin with baking parchment or plastic wrap.
- Place the mixture into the tin and press it down well into the corners.
- Leave to cool thoroughly at room temperature before covering and chilling in the fridge. It will take about 2 hours to set completely firm.
- When set remove from the tin and place it on a cooling rack.
- Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate separately.
- Spread the dark chocolate all over the cake.
- Decorate with the Maltesers before the chocolate sets, so that they stick to the cake. Position chocolate sticks as desired and drizzle with the white chocolate.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Keeps for up 2 weeks, although it seldom lasts that long, once people know that it is there!
I enjoyed making this cake as a child so when I started cooking for a very young Prince William and Prince Harry I wanted to make it for them. It became a great favorite in the royal nursery – so much so that when Prince William got married he chose to have chocolate biscuit cake for his groom’s cake. This unique cake is created from apricots, figs, pistachios and English biscuits enrobed in a rich and luxurious combination of our premium chocolate with butter and honey. The cake is covered in a generous a layer of dark chocolate ganache and topped with milk chocolate malt balls and white chocolate curls and is drizzled with white ganache.
Carolyn’s story is very much a fairytale; from cooking by her Mum’s side in South Africa, to standing in front of Buckingham Palace at the age of nine and whispering to her father that one day she would cook for British Royalty, to becoming the youngest and first female Personal Chef to Prince Charles and his family, all while living at Kensington Palace in London. Carolyn absolutely loves to inspire all to treat family and friends to a Royal Touch! Happily, Harry & David has partnered with Royal Chef Carolyn Robb in which all desserts are immediately available online. Carolyn’s journey continues as a single mom of two little girls; Lucy and Mandy, and being a true entrepreneur.