St. Patrick’s Day. Twenty years ago this meant green beer, a green t-shirt and a ghastly green hue to the skin the next day. Ten years ago this meant a rowdy parade with a stroller, slightly larger green t-shirt and maybe a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday, which means 3 kids off to school, not even a faint glimmer of a green t-shirt, and the start of a new tradition, Chocolate Biscuit Cake. This cake is fudgy, sticky and crispy. Best of all, no oven required!
Now I’m not 100% sure that biscuit cake is even Irish. I have seen it called Danish Biscuit Cake and understand that it is a favorite of the Prince of Wales. However, last summer when I was in Ireland, I ate this awesome cake for the first time. I scarfed down every last morsel and then licked my fingers clean. I spent the rest of the day scouring bookstores for a cookbook that might offer this decadent recipe. While the cookbook search ended fruitlessly, I did find a lovely shopkeeper who offered me her family recipe. Bingo! This was the proverbial pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow (cue the dancing Leprechauns). Thanks so much to Kate from Killarney! It’s now a family recipe for me too.
Happy St. Patty’s Day!
2 sticks butter (½ lb.)
⅔ cup Lyle golden Syrup (I found this at Whole Foods)
12oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
⅓ cup cream (either half and half or heavy cream)
1-12oz. box Social Tea Biscuits (Nabisco)*
*Most recipes call for (McVitie’s) Digestive Biscuits or Rich Tea Biscuits. The ones I used were found in my local grocery store and an easy substitute.
**The original recipe did not use cream, but several others I found on-line did. I think it makes the chocolate creamy and delicious.
***Other recipes call for dried fruit and nuts. I like mine plain, just as I had it that first time in Ireland.
Melt the first 3 ingredients in a double boiler. To create a double boiler put about 1 inch of water in a medium sized saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Place a large metal bowl on top. Put your ingredients in this bowl. The heat from the simmering water will gently melt the chocolate. Use a potholder to hold the bowl in place, it will be hot. Once the chocolate is melted, and the ingredients are mixed together, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the cream.
Break the biscuits into pieces, not crumbs. Kate recommends using a rolling pin, but I just broke mine by hand (actually 4 little hands happily broke them into pieces). Add the biscuit pieces to the chocolate and mix well.
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap that hangs over all the sides. Add the “batter” into the lined pan, cover with the plastic that hangs over, and press down firmly. Put it into the refrigerator until completely cooled. I usually leave mine over night. Kate tells me these cakes freeze well, but I have never had enough left over to try it.