JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Very rich chocolate refrigerator cake

Half way to London for lunch with Eleanor the birthday girl, I realised that I had forgotten the birthday cake. So, as we were meeting in Piccadilly, Lettice and I popped into Ladurée and chose a box of macaroons to stand in until Friday, when she's home and can eat the one I made last night ... these are, from left to right: lemon, coffee, blackcurrant, chocolate, mint, raspberry, vanilla, pistachio. Beautiful colours, fabulous tastes, birthday extravagence.

This recipe originally came from my mother-in-law, and I have made it for years. When the children were small and took cake with them to school to share at elevenses, teachers often used to ask if I would make it. Very simple, very good, tiny squares are enough.

Very rich refrigerator cake

These quantities will make enough to use a dinner plate as a mould

250g digestive biscuits
125g butter
125g dark chocolate
65g sultanas
3 dessertspoons cocoa
3 dessertspoons golden syrup

Bash up the biscuits. It's better if they're not reduced to a fine tilth, the cake has a better texture if the biscuits are lumpy. But I've made it with crumbs from the food processor too. Use the end of a rolling pin.

In a large saucepan, melt all the other ingredients. The chocolate has a tendency to catch on the bottom, unless there's a film of butter underneath. When everything is melted, take it off the heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Then spread them out onto tinfoil. If I want it to look neat, I put the tinfoil onto a plate, and use that as a guide, but I don't always bother. Wrap in tinfoil (the easiest is to use a piece of foil twice the size of the cake, spread it in the middle, and then pull up the sides), and put in a cool place for an hour or two. Or make a day or two ahead.

PS here's a photo of the birthday girl taken at lunch, which we had at Nove in Sackville Street - a nice, unpretentious and not too pricey Italian just off Piccadilly. We were almost the only people there, what a shame


Sonya said...

Hi there Joanna,
Did you know that your 'refridgerator cake' is called 'Hedgehog' in Australia ? We have many types, and they are all so yummy, and easy to make. A great thing to get kids involved in. Not sure of the origins of the name, but it's a true 'Granny favourite' YUM!
~Sonya (Sago)

Joanna said...

I had no idea that's what you call a hedgehog .... there are lots of versions, this one is especially good and dark, and I make it out of force of habit, and sentimentality. As you say, yum :)


Sophie said...

MMMM...the refrigerator cake, I know a lot of recipes like this one! My grandmother used to make a similar recipe! I liked it a lot: easy yet so yummie! MMMMMM....

Antonia said...

This is one of my favourite types of cakes - craving a slice right now!

Helen T said...

I love this recipe, it reminds me of something my mum used to make and I haven't had for years! Going to have to give it a go with my daughter.