Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fit for a king in waiting

One of the first things I learned to make by heart was 'Caroline's Chocolate Slab' from Mary Berry's Fast Cakes. From memory, it involved butter, cocoa and crushed up wine biscuits (what we colonials call plain, sweet biscuits), topped with a rich chocolate icing. If the breathless news reports are to be believed, this is the sort of thing guests at Buckingham Palace will be nibbling on on Friday morning. But guests at our royal wedding party will be offered a silver tray of this, a slightly more posh (posher? poshly?) version.


Posh Chocolate Slab
This recipe is a version of something from an old Annabel Langbein book. I had a spot of bother when getting a chocolate cake out of a tin a few months back and the resulting broken pieces have been waiting in the freezer to be turned into crumbs for this express purpose. You could just as easily use a chocolate sponge (or indeed, any sort of sponge) from the supermarket. If you use a plain one, then up the cocoa in the recipe by a couple of tablespoons.

250g plain sweet biscuits
2 cups chocolate cake or sponge crumbs
2Tbsp cocoa
125g butter
2Tbsp caster sugar
2Tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup condensed milk
250g dark chocolate
2Tbsp dark rum or brandy
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup cranberries

Topping
125g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cream
Line a brownie tin or sponge roll tin with clingfilm, allowing for plenty of overhang. Reduce the biscuits to gravel in a food processor (or use a rolling pin and brute strength). Add the cocoa and blitz again.
Put the butter, sugar golden syrup, condensed milk and chocolate in a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter and chocolate have melted. Stir well, then add half the cocoa biscuit crumbs. Mix, then tip in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Tip into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Melt the second measure of chocolate with the cream, stir until smooth and pour over the top. Let set, then cut into small, elegant squares with a sharp knife.

(I apologise for the dreadful photo, but there comes a time in every blogger's life where they think, argh, I have spent long enough fussing over this photo and I've already smudged the edge and I need to get dressed and make breakfast and get the Small Girl up and put the washing on and get to work... Trust me, it looks a lot prettier in real life!) Pin It

14 comments:

  1. Oh, that just sounds ridiculous. I know a version of this - I think it pops up in most old NZ cookbooks - that just uses biscuit pieces, but adding broken up cake takes it to another level, I suspect I'd find this very hard to share with others.

    Don't stress over the photo - it looks fine, not to mention the ingredients speak for themselves...and if it's any consolation, I've completely forgotten how to take decent photos at night and my first proper blog post since returning from holiday is going to be filled with all kinds of hideous, yellow-tinged images :)

    Also, I don't know why but I'm surprised they're allowed to choose their own wedding cake - for some reason I thought there might be some strictly traditional cake recipe that had to be adhered to. Good for them.

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  2. I love the photo... just wish you'd placed the chocolate further over those dreadful faces....

    ... lovely recipe, I too have an old cake that needs using up, so out it comes... nice work x

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  3. In Australia we call this kind of slice 'Hedgehog' (I'm not sure why) but it's just biscuits not cake crumbs. It's often one of the first things you learn to 'cook' when you're little.

    I so relate to your photo comment. I can't tell you the number of dishes I've photographed (annoying the family in the process)only to delete them when I find them not up to scratch. Food photography is such an art isn't it?

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  4. I agree with Caz that it looks like aussie hedgehog - I have leftover white chocolate mud cake in my freezer so am now thinking this is what I have been waiting for.

    I assume it is a quarter cup of condensed milk - I blame small girl for distracting you - hard to photograph and type while having your arm tugged!

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  5. I made this for Bookclub tonight and I have heaps over for supper as we watch THE WEDDING tomorrow night. It turned out OK ..very naughty but yummy! Thank you Lucy! Have a great party oxoxo

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  6. Now this sounds remarkably like Tiffin or Chocolate Refrigerator Cake but I've not come across using cake crumbs instead of biscuit. Will have to try this next time I've got leftover cake (not a likely event with CT in the house). Taking photographs is the bane of a bloggers life - well mind anyway!

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  7. I have the Mary Berry book with Caroline's Chocolate Slab in it. Mary doesn't go in for any nonsense, although on the British Bake Off, she is now judging some very posh cakes, but she remains completely down to earth. That is a lovely version of this favourite choccie treat.

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  8. Gosh, this was the first thing my French boyfriend (at the time) made for me to prove his cooking skills and I was smitten and married him.

    Now, if he had used the cake bits, plus the rum, apricots & cranberries - that would have got me suspicious: I would have been on the hunt for his château!

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Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...

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