Saturday 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding chocolate fridge cake

Jamie puts crushed meringue shells in his.  Nigella puts dried pear and glace ginger in hers.  Antony puts ginger nut biscuits, dried blueberries and mixed peel in his.  Fiona puts marshmallows, malted chocolate balls and honeycomb in hers.  Annabel puts rice krispies in hers.  Some Brits call it Tiffin or Chocolate Crunch Cake or Chocolate Biscuit Cake.  Australians call it Hedgehog.  Everyone has one.  All different.  And now Prince William has proved that everyone loves one.

The British press was agog when they found out that Prince William has asked for a chocolate fridge cake for his "groom's cake" for his wedding.  The Observer was baffled at his choice of rich tea biscuits rather than digestives in the cake.  The Independent sniffed that it was "a déclassé sickly-sweet confection".  The Telegraph guessed his might include popping candy.  The Daily Mail was approving.  For me it shows Prince William's lack of pretension.

We watched the wedding last night and Prince William would no doubt have approved of the low brow nature of our celebrations.  We had haggis nachos, $4 sparkling wine and posh fridge cake.  E printed out the Daily Mail's guide to the royal wedding and rang his family who were celebrating in Edinburgh and watching the same BBC footage.  Sylvia stayed up for some of the wedding but was tired and had to retire early.

In Melbourne we didn't have the same level of Royal Wedding fever that seemed to hit the UK.  Though the diehards gathered in Federation Square to watch it on the big screen, we didn't have oodles of souvenirs in the supermarkets, royal cake exhibitions nor a public holiday.  The Royal Family was wary of Aussie humour and banned our local comedians, The Chaser Boys, from airing their satirical take on the wedding on the ABC.  We did have a program musing on the question: "Is the Royal Romance Over?"  Just don't get me started on the Republican referendum in 1999.

It was only in the couple of days before the wedding when I saw Lucy and Cakelaw making wedding cakes, that I thought I might make one for the day.  In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to try Lucy's recipe was that it used cake crumbs and I had some cake trimmings in the freezer leftover from E's birthday cake

Lucy's cake was also far richer than the hedgehog that I grew up eating regularly.  It is more like this vegan hedgehog.  She named hers Posh Chocolate Slab.  It was full of dried fruit, booze, golden syrup and condensed milk, none of which are usually in my version.  I left out the booze - so Sylvia could have a taste - and the dried fruit - because I am a little wary of mixing chocolate and dried fruit.  I added a bit of dried wattleseed - for intensity - and walnuts and coconut - for added texture.

I swithered about whether or not to ice the cake.  Then I decided it was a celebration and a little ganache on top wouldn't go astray.  I made it after I made the nachos while E was bathing and dressing Sylvia.  So on the night, the chocolate topping was lovely and gooey.  I have been keeping the cake in the fridge and it is still wonderfully soft and rich, though E tells me he would prefer it warmer.

With my interest in food, you might not be surprised to hear that, other than loving seeing the London streetscape and inside the magnificent Westminster Abbey, my main hope in watching the royal wedding was to see their wedding cakes.  I didn't get a peek until this morning.  If you are interested, here is where you can see the traditional fruit cake and the chocolate biscuit cake.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time three years ago: Bugs Bunny, Daleks and Carrot Paté
This time four years ago: Why do we need another food blog anyway?

Prince William's Fridge Cake
Adapted from Annabel Langbein via Lucy

250g plain sweet biscuits (I use marie biscuits)
3 cups white chocolate mud cake crumbs
250g dark chocolate
125g butter
1/3 cup condensed milk
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp wattleseed (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup coconut

125g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cream

Line a swiss roll tin with baking paper.  Break up the biscuits into small chunks (Lucy compares hers to gravel but I prefer a little more texture).  I did mine in the food processor but pulsed it to make sure it didn't break up the bikkies too finely - though I have also done this with biscuits in a bag or by using a heavy object to crush them before.  Set aside broken biscuits and blitz cake in food processor if it is not already in crumbs.

Melt chocolate, butter, condensed milk, cocoa, golden syrup and wattleseed together.  I did this in a large bowl in the microwave.  Mix in biscuits, cake crumbs, walnuts and coconut.  Spread into prepared tin and smooth with the back of a spoon.

To make the topping, melt chocolate and cream together until chocolate is half melted.  Remove from heat (or in my case from microwave) and stir until completely melted.  Spread over the biscuit mixture.  Let set in the fridge and cut into small squares with a sharp knife.

On the stereo:
Spiritual: Magma


  1. Yum, I do love Chocolate Fridge Cake and can never decide what my favourite is that or brownies - obviously not much pretension in me either or do I mean sophistication ;-) Wattleseed sounds like a nice addition. I remember wattleseed shortbread being one of my favourite things in Australia. I've not really been following the Royal Wedding, so thanks for the link to the cakes - they both look amazing.

  2. I've been making one for years, I got the recipe from rich tea biscuits and I'm sure it's the same as Williams cake, LOL! We call it chocolate sludge. Yours looks very nice!
    The main wedding cake was so beautiful, makes me wish I could decorate cakes.

  3. Sometimes you just need something sickly sweet and declasse. Go William! Go William! Go Johanna! :D Love the addition of wattleseed! I was actually thinking of making something like this for the Crunchy cookbook theme, but you've pre-empted me with awesomeness :P

  4. I think I've been living under a rock. I don't think I've ever heard of a chocolate fridge cake. Clearly this needs to be rectified pronto...oh this could be deadly.

  5. I have to say, I have loved hearing all the hype about the wedding cakes and they were truly gorgeous! Now I really want to try this chocolate fridge cake and see what all the fuss is about! Yours looks delicious.

  6. I think it's delightful of Prince William to be so charmingly nostalgic in his request for a chocolate fridge cake... We all have such wonderful childhood memories of this cake, and I'm sure he does too, so I think it makes an enchanting groom's cake. My grandmother always put dried fruit and candied peel in hers, and my mother always put oats and toffee in hers, and I remember they used to lovingly argue about whose was best... :-) Thank you, Prince William and Johanna, for bringing back my own fond memories! :-)

  7. The Royal Wedding certainly engaged the Nation. I watched it with my 93 year old Nan who liked the young couple but reckoned it was a 'load of old pomp!'. My sister-in-law was a clapping flag waver on the Mal!
    They seem very down to earth and I hadn't seen anything about the food so great to read your post and check out the cakes and what family GGG got up to :o)

  8. Oh I havent had hedgehog in years! I will have to make a GF versioN!

  9. I feel like I'm really missing out having never tried one of these cakes. Yours looks delicious! I thought that both the wedding cake and the groom's cake were both beautiful!

  10. Great post Johanna and thanks for the link to the chocolate biscuit cake. I'd seen photos of the traditional fruit cake (which I thought looked beautiful) but not the chocolate one. We kicked back with a glass of sparkling wine too and a low brow dinner to watch the coverage. I thoroughly enjoyed it, not doubt helped along by the sparkles!

  11. Thanks choclette - maybe I should try wattleseed shortbread - agree that it is a hard decision between fridge cake and brownie

    Thanks Nic - I've never been big on the white fondant cake decoration but I think I could get into chocolate cake decoration - love the name chocolate sludge

    Thanks Hannah - had not even thought of this for the crunch theme - have a couple of savoury cookbook challenge dishes coming up - but agree sometimes you need sickly sweet

    Thanks city hippy farm girl - I am not very familiar with the name but have been eating our version - hedgehog - ever since I can remember and highly recommend you try some

    Thanks Joanne - you really should try it - tastes great and is even more fun with a bit of wedding hype :-)

    Thanks Astra - I would love to be there at a bake off by your grandmother and mum - am sure I would enjoy sampling both! I love the nostalgia about the slice too - makes William seem one of us

    Thanks Nic - I would love to have watched the royal wedding with your nan - she sounds like a character with her heart in the right place - actually all your family sound like good value

    Thanks Lisa - yes you must make hedgehog again - and the GF freelicious tea biscuits that you used for the gf tim tams work very well in hedgehog according to my sister

    Thanks Lorraine - if only I could send you a few pieces - it is so good

    Thanks Quince Poacher - glad you enjoyed some bubbly to celebrate the wedding and happy to share some wedding cake link love :-)

  12. In Germany, a cake like that is called "Kalter Hund" (cold dog). :) Thank you for the links, now I'll check out the wedding cakes! :D

  13. Wow! Totally wow! Those cakes are artwork! :O

  14. Looks lovely Johanna, And thanks for the links!

    Have you tried the Malteaser fridge cake on Nigella's website? Do you have Malteasers in Australia?

  15. Thanks Kath - I told E what you call the cake and he was outraged at calling it a dog - made me laugh because I call it hedgehog which is every bit as strange - and yes cakes are amazing

    Thanks Helen - haven't tried malteaser cake YET but must do - yes we have them in Australia and I love them

  16. I just went gaga over the wedding cakes - but we don't have the same ingredients here in the U.S. that you folks have. Do you know of any U.S. substitutes for the tea biscuits, etc.?

  17. Hi Heidi - am not sure what is the best biscuit to use in the US as I am not so familiar with yours but I think that graham crackers might work - any plain sweet (but not overly sweet) crisp cookie or sweet cracker should work - you could even try crisp sugar cookies as I think they are similar - good luck - even if they don't hold their shape I am sure the slice will be yummy

  18. Yummm I really want to try out this biscuit cake! I never knew that fruitcake was the traditional wedding cake until a couple of years ago. I've never seen it at a wedding before!


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