No Bake Chocolate Cake:
1 1/2 cups (220 grams) toasted nuts, chopped into small pieces (can use hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and/or macadamia nuts)
6 ounces (180 grams) Digestive cookies (or graham crackers, shortbread cookies and/or butter cookies)
1/4 cup (60 grams) chocolate covered raisins or dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc.)
10 ounces (300 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (170 grams) butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup (60 grams) corn syrup, golden syrup, honey, agave, or brown rice syrup
No Bake Chocolate Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degree F (180 degree C). Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap or foil and then lightly butter the foil, or spray with a non stick cooking spray.
Toasting Hazelnuts: Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until fragrant and the skins begin to flake (peel). Remove from oven and immediately cover the pan with a clean dish towel. Let the nuts sit (steam) for about 5 to 10 minutes and then briskly rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins. Let cool and then chop the hazelnuts into small pieces.
Toasting Almonds, Walnuts, and Pecans: Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool then chop coarsely.
Meanwhile, break or chop the Digestive Biscuits into small pieces.
Place the toasted and chopped nuts in a large bowl, along with the Digestive Biscuits (and their crumbs) and raisins.
Then in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter, and golden syrup.
Once the chocolate mixture is melted and smooth, remove from heat and gently stir into the Digestive Biscuits, nuts, and raisins mixture, until everything is coated with the chocolate mixture. Spread this mixture into your prepared pan, cover, and refrigerate for an hour or two, or until set. Cut or break into slices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. Or it can be frozen for about a month..
Makes about 18 - 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices. Preparation time 30 minutes.
This No Bake Chocolate Cake is also known as a Chocolate Biscuit Cake, a Refrigerator Cake, and a Chocolate Tiffin ('Tiffin' being an Anglo-Indian term for lunch or afternoon snack). It is a popular English cake that reminds me of a chocolate bar. I love how it looks with all the pretty flecks of nuts and biscuits encased in dark chocolate. It is so easy to make. Just melt some really good chocolate with butter and golden syrup (or corn syrup, honey, agave or brown rice syrup) and then fold in lots of chopped nuts and crushed Digestive Biscuits (or Graham Crackers). That's it. Pour into a pan and let it chill, preferably for a day or two, before indulging. The chilling not only makes the cake nice and firm but it gives the flavors time to soften and mingle into one delicious cake that you won't be able to stop eating.
Whenever you are making a dessert where chocolate is the dominant flavor, it is important to use a good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate that you enjoy eating out of hand. Some choices you may want to try are Guittard, Lindt, Newman's Own, Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and Ghirardelli, to name a few. Besides the chocolate there are also choices of what type of nuts to add to this cake. Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pecans and/or walnuts are excellent choices and you can use just one nut or have a variety. The one ingredient that some people may not be unfamiliar with is Digestive Biscuits (McVitie's Digestive is the most common brand found in North America). This is a British cookie that has a slightly sweet flavor and a wonderfully crisp and sandy texture. You can find them in some grocery stores, specialty food stores, and on line. However, Graham Crackers are a very good substitute as are shortbread cookies, butter cookies, or even ginger cookies. For a little trivia - Alan Davidson tells us in 'The Oxford Companion to Food' that the word 'Digestive' cannot be used in the States so other names like 'sweetmeal' or 'wholemeal' are often used for this type of cookie.