Making a cake fit for a king is not hard

  • By Michelle Locke Associated Press
  • Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:01am
  • Life

Perhaps your invitation to the upcoming royal nuptials of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton was lost in the mail. Or maybe you simply haven’t the time to hop across the pond for the big event.

Not to worry. Now that palace officials have released the young couple’s wedding cake choices, you can serve yourself a fat slice of royal life without leaving the house.

One of the cakes being served at the April 29 wedding is a traditional iced (which is to say, frosted) English fruit cake. But, let’s face it, fruit cake isn’t a universal favorite here in the former colonies.

But what you can do is try the groom’s cake that Prince William has chosen, a biscuit cake.

Biscuits in Britain are, of course, cookies, so what this amounts to is an unbaked confection of crumbled cookies and chocolate, quite an unconventional touch for such a high-society affair.

“I think it’s a bit of fun, really,” said Camilla Schneideman, managing director of the Leiths School of Food and Wine in London. “It’s quite nice that this generation of the royal family has expressed their personalities; they’ve been much freer and able to lead a slightly more normal existence. I think this is an expression of that. He’s having a bit of fun with it.”

Tea and biscuits are a staple of British life, so the prince’s choice is “something that a lot of people will be able to relate to,” Schneideman said.

Want to try your hand at making a cake fit for a future king? Here’s our recipe for a cake similar to the one Prince William has requested.

The royal family prefers McVitie’s brand Rich Tea Biscuits for their chocolate biscuit cakes, but any firm butter cookie can be used in this intensely rich and chocolatey no-bake treat.

Chocolate biscuit cake

For the cake:

1 7-ounce package butter tea biscuits (sold in the cookie aisle)

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

16 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate bits

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 ounces (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate

Coat a 7- or 8-inch round springform pan with cooking spray.

To make the cake, with your hands break up the biscuits into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces; you want chunks, not crumbs.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the cream, honey and butter. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, or until bubbling. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla, then the crumbled biscuits. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top. Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air pockets.

Refrigerate for 3 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

Once the cake is chilled, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and cream. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth.

Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan (you may need to slide a paring knife around the inside upper edge to ensure the sides come away cleanly from the cake). Invert the cake onto a wire rack, then remove the bottom of the pan from the cake. Set the rack over parchment paper to catch drips.

Pour the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing it to drip down and completely cover the top and sides. Allow to firm up, then transfer to a serving plate.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers; the cake improves with time.

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe by Alison Ladman

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