28/04/2006

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

(serves 4-6)

200/7oz dark/plain chocolate
1 tblsp golden syrup
50g/2oz butter or spread
2 tblsp milk or thin cream
200g/7oz digestive biscuits
50g/2oz sultanas or raisins
50g/2oz chopped glacé cherries or dried apricots

Lightly grease and line a 22.5cm/10 inch round flan tin, or equivalent sized rectangle tin. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium heat, or over hot water in a large bowl, then add the syrup and milk. Stir until smooth. Break up the biscuits into small pieces but don’t fully crumble them; mix into the chocolate with the rest of ingredients and stir gently until well coated.

Press into the greased dish, smooth with the back of a large spoon, and chill for at least an hour.

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This is a really easy dessert that uses store-cupboard ingredients, and is quick to prepare - ideal for unexpected guests, or when your planned dessert doesn't work. It's fairly soft, so doesn't work in a loaf pan and sliced like some other variations on this recipe, but is nonetheless delicious. We use Bournville chocolate and coconut milk, and the results are excellent. Using dried apricots rather than glacé cherries is a recent addition and one which we think improves it significantly.

Other biscuits can be used instead of digestives: American 'graham crackers' would probably work, or any bits of leftover biscuit mixed with digestives. Chopped nuts can be added, or substituted for either the cherries or the sultanas if you like them. The nearest American equivalent to golden syrup is corn syrup, but honey could probably be used instead to make it slightly more nutritious.

Excellent served with home-made ice cream, or yogurt, or pouring cream or evaporated milk.