Friday, April 29, 2011

English Chocolate Biscuit Cake - a.k.a. "William's Groom's Cake"

Were you one of the two billion folks who watched the royal wedding today?

I was.

In my time zone, it meant setting the alarm for 3:00 a.m., so as to watch a couple hours of pre-game coverage before the main event at 5:00 a.m.

Needless to say, I was enthralled with each and every detail of the whole she-bang.  Could Catherine have been any more enchanting and princess-like?  Could there have been ANY more ceremony and tradition and attention to detail?  Isn't it amazing that the Brits have been doing things like this for a thousand years?

Jealous American.

Last week, I saw on the Today Show a very simple version of what was to be the Groom's Cake.  They said it was a favorite cake of William's, that was often served at the palace.  Works for me!  If there is ever an event or reason to make food, we are always ALL over it at our house.

Best part?  It's a refrigerator cake or ice box cake which means no baking!  Only chilling!

Here's the recipe that was given on the Today Show website.  I made one tiny change - it called for all honey and I did half and half with honey and corn syrup.  This is a terribly rich cake, so I can say that it easily serves 8-10, and our family enjoyed the cake, and there's about 1/4 left for tomorrow with coffee.

A word about the biscuits - in England, they call cookies 'biscuits.'  Look for either 'digestive biscuits' or 'butter biscuits.'  You will likely find them at a large grocery store.  If you can't get the exact thing, try to find a plain butter cookie.

A fun game to play with your family or friends:  Start with "Lord" or "Lady" depending upon your gender, then for your first name, choose either family grandfather or grandmother name.  Your last name?  Choose your first pet, followed by a hyphen or the word "of" and then the name of the street you grew up on.

May I introduce myself as Lady Kathryn Kayla of Shore?

Cheers!  Here's to a lifelong, fairy-tale love story for William and Catherine!

English Chocolate Biscuit Cake - a.k.a. William's Groom's Cake

7 ounces butter tea biscuits, or digestive biscuits
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate bits, or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter an 8 inch spring-form (cheesecake) pan.  Lay a disc of parchment paper in the bottom, and then butter that, too.  Set aside.

Break cookies into pieces, but don't crush or make crumbs.  Set aside in a bowl.

Put cream, honey, corn syrup, and butter in a large bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 and 1/2 minutes, until bubbling.  Add the bittersweet chocolate and stir until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.  Pour the broken biscuits into the chocolate mixture and stir carefully until all the pieces are coated and incorporated.

Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth down the top.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.

Carefully slide a spatula around the sides of the pan and unmold cake.  Slide a spatula under the cake and turn it over onto a pretty plate.

Chocolate Ganache

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup cream
6 ounces (about a cup) of bittersweet chocolate pieces

Heat butter and cream in a microwave for 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.  Pour over top of cake, then spread and smooth, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake.  Set for 15 minutes or so.



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