Fact: Royal Wedding fever has struck Northern Michigan. Our local movie theater will be broadcasting this Friday’s festivities event beginning at 4 a.m. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, in either wedding attire, or commoner uniforms. Elsewhere, friends are gathering to meet in the obscenely early hours of the morning for Royal Wedding watching parties.
Store shelves that stock anything even remotely British, sit empty. Inventories of imported tea biscuits, lignonberry preserves, and English breakfast tea have been depleted all over town.
It may seem silly to some, but the Royal Wedding is kind of big deal. I mean, honestly, what little girl didn’t dream of becoming a princess one day? And of living in a castle with their Prince Charming and a stable full of horses? While castles may be few and far between in the US, some little girls were still lucky enough to marry their prince. (Hi Hubby! Love you!)
Even if you weren’t a little girl dreaming of your prince, you probably know someone that did. (Perhaps, you even married her?) Let’s face it folks, it’s in our nature as human beings to want a happy ending. Couple that with all the media coverage surrounding the Royal festivites, it is no wonder that the US is smitten with the British betrothed pair.
Naturally, I am of those smitten. I am soaking up Royal Wedding coverage like the summer sun. I have watched “William and Kate: a Love Story” on the Lifetime Network more times that I care to admit. (Much to Hubby’s dismay.) I just love a good love story.
I remember setting my alarm in early elementary school, just so that I could watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana wed. What little girl in the ’80’s didn’t want to be Lady Di? No one that I knew, that is for sure. I can’t get enough Royal media coverage: the pomp and circumstance, the traditions, the food.
Of course, I had to research the wedding cakes with the hope of recreating one to share on the blog. One of the cakes being served at the reception, and their will be dozens, is a very traditional frosted English fruit cake. Fruit cake? Hmmm…I’m not such a fan and it’s too time consuming, anyway. But the groom’s cake caught my attention. Prince William chose a very untraditional chocolate biscuit cake as his Groom’s cake. (Biscuits in England are cookies.)
What the Groom’s cake amounts to is a filling similar to that of a chocolate truffle with cookie pieces mixed in and covered in a chocolate ganache. Kind of like a no-bake Chocolate Ugly Cake. Now that is a cake that I can get excited about. Hooray for Prince William for continuing to take the road less traveled by previous royalty!
I simply had to make it! Because Wills and I are tight like that. Thankfully, Alison Ladman published a recipe for the Associated Press, which I have altered due to the current shortage of all things British in my town. I’ll note the (original recipe ingredients) in parenthesis in the printable recipe.
You’ll need lots and lots of bittersweet baking chocolate, butter tea biscuits (sold in the cookie or tea aisle,) heavy cream, honey, butter, vanilla extract, and a 7 or 8 inch springform pan.
Unwrap the chocolate, and give it a rough chop. The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate. I can’t find bittersweet baking chocolate to save my life, so I used semi-sweet. You can, too.
Place the biscuits/cookies into a zippered storage bag, and break them into 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch chunks. Use your hands, or a rolling pin to lightly tap them. Not too hard, now! You want chunks, not crumbs.
Now my little town was out of the butter tea biscuits called for in the recipe, so I substituted Biscoff biscuits. If you can’t find either of those, any firm butter cookie will do. I bet Girl Scout Shortbreads or Pecan Sandies would be lovely.
Grab a large, microwave safe bowl to pour the cream into.
Drizzle in the honey.
And plop in the butter.
Microwave the bowl on high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles. The butter won’t be totally melted, and that’s OK.
Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl. Stir until the chocolate has fully melted, and the mixture is smooth. I *highly* encourage the use of good quality chocolate in this recipe. Do not use chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain wax so that they hold their shape while baking. If you were to use melted chocolate chips in this recipe, the wax would pool up in white streaks later on. White streaks would not be visually appealing.
Fold the broken biscuits into the chocolate mixture until they are immersed and evenly distributed.
Spray an 8 inch springform pan with cooking spray. Scoop the chocolate/biscuit mixture with a rubber spatula into the prepared pan. Use the spatula to level the top. Gently tap the pan onto the counter top in order to release any air bubbles. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours, or until firm and set.
Once the cake has set, prepare the glaze. Put a little butter into a small saucepan, and pour in some cream.
Heat to boiling over medium-low heat.
Dump in some chopped chocolate, and stir until smooth.
Once the chocolate has melted, and the glaze is smooth, remove the cake from the refrigerator.
Place a large piece of parchment paper under a wire rack. Run a thin paring knife along the inside edge of the springform pan.
Release and remove the sides of the springform. I used an 8 inch pan, so the cake is only about an inch tall. Using a 7 inch pan would make the cake a bit taller and more dramatic.
Invert the cake onto wire rack, and carefully remove the bottom of the pan.
Pour the warm chocolate glaze over the top of the cake.
Gently spread the glaze to the edges of the cake, and allow it to ooze down the sides.
The top and sides of the cake should be completely covered with glaze. The handy parchment will catch the dripping chocolate.
Feel free to play around with the glaze on top of the cake to make a design. I’m a swirly kind of gal.
Allow cake to rest for a few hours so that the glaze can firm up a bit. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. I chose crystal in honor of Wills. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Whatever you do, make this Groom’s cake and share it with your friends as you watch the Royal Wedding.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
a.k.a. The Royal Wedding Groom’s Cake
adapted from a recipe by Alison Ladman
1 (8.8 oz.) package of Biscoff Biscuits (OR 7 oz. English butter tea biscuits)
1 C. heavy cream
2 T. honey
4 T. unsalted butter
16 oz. (about 2 ½ cups) semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (OR bittersweet chocolate)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Glaze:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
¼ C. heavy cream
6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (OR bittersweet)
- Spray a 7 or 8 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
- Place the biscuits in a zippered storage bag, and break into ½ inch or ¼ inch chunks with either hands or a rolling pin. You want chunks, not crumbs.
- In a medium glass bowl, combine the cream, honey, and butter for the cake. Microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, or until mixture bubbles.
- Add the chopped chocolate, and stir until melted, and mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Fold in the chunks of biscuits into the chocolate mixture, stirring until fully coated.
- Use a rubber spatula to spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter top a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firmly set.
- Once the cake has chilled, prepare the glaze by pouring the cream into a small saucepan. Add the butter, and heat to boiling over medium-low heat.
- Remove from heat, and the chopped chocolate. Stir in the chocolate until completely melted and smooth; briefly set aside.
- Run a thin paring knife along the inner edge of the springform pan to help release the cake.
- Release the side of the springform pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been placed over a sheet of parchment paper.
- Carefully remove the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the glaze evenly over the top of the cake. Gently spread the glaze to the edges of the cake with the rubber spatula, so that the glaze drips down the sides. The glaze should completely cover the top and sides of the cake.
- Allow the cake to sit on the counter for several hours so that the glaze can firm up before transferring to a serving plate. The cake gets better the longer it sits.
- Eat the chocolate that dripped onto the parchment with a spoon. (Only kidding.)
- Refrigerate any leftover cake.