Thursday, May 5, 2011

Prince William's Groom's Cake/Chocolate Biscuit Cake.

This post comes a little late, considering how the The Royal Wedding Show has finally drawn to a close. But some how, in the middle of all the Doctor-ing, I couldn't do a post on something quintessentially British, in commemoration. Yes, I'd do that even if I did not have a food blog.

I know the Royal Family gets a lot of flak... they are thought of as leeches sponging off on the average citizens' taxes. Probably even on a bit of the bounty acquired from various countries under the colonial rule. I love them anyway; the branches of the Queen Mother's family tree, at least. Does that make sense? It isn't the Post-Colonial Raj hangover. It isn't some inborn servitude gene to my older generations' white masters.

I think trust fund babies and trophy Plastic wives are worse (not that I have any God-given right to judge). These people have already lost a lot of what was "rightfully" theirs'. They even have to pay inheritance tax now! Let them have their titles, the last of the crown jewels and their dodgy history, eh? The populace gives back. And besides, they are a HUGE draw for tourists.

The royal family, ever since Diana entered it, has undergone a sea of change, anyway. Philanthropy, Prince Harry's stint in Afghanistan and Prince William (who did not let his mother down) marrying an unabashedly-common commoner, and treating her like a literal Princess. Some how, things like these make you believe in Fairy tale endings. And we could all use some of that belief.

It isn't just the Royal family. A few of my favourite things? Julie Andrews! And then some. Many.

I love the guards of the Buckingham Palace, my grandmother's rendition of God Save The King (which was the anthem when she was in school, this was the pre-Independence era) and my country's irreplaceable Koh-i-Noor on the Queen's crown. I love the way Audrey Hepburn and Colin Firth wave to the public (Roman Holiday and The King's Speech, respectively).

I love the curliculesque script on the wedding invitation and the stoic and the stiff-British-upper-lip-ish way in which the young Princes' followed Princess Diana's casket. I love Princess Di's frothy, old-fashioned wedding gown, Kate's Sarah Burton's period number and all the crazy Philip Treacy hats the glitterati wore.

I love Gordon Ramsay/Nigella Lawson/Jamie Oliver/Rachel Allen/Anjum Anand. The chefs who deserve their celebrity status, and who are working steadily to counter the bad rap British food gets. Which I've realized is way more than fried sausages and Smarties in a tube. Or Fish and Chips (which I can't have any more and sorely miss-beer in the batter!) and Chicken Tikka Masala (which I won't eat even if you pay me).

I love the colour red of the famous red telephone booths-the red of McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives, Kit Kats, Walkers' Shortbread and Twinning's English Breakfast Tea.

I adore Enid Blyton's (man, was she a Racist if there ever was one!) complete works and the original Madame Tussaud's at London. I feel Richmal Crompton is severely under appreciated, I'll stand in line to meet Jeffrey Archer, and Agatha Christie's whodunnits still manage to get my curiosity piqued. Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Meera Syal? Sounds like a fun afternoon to me.

I even like the Spice girls (I was ten. Aaaah tell ya what I want, what I really-really what, so tell me what you want, what ya really-really want), Westlife, Sting and U2, eventually becoming Duffy/ Adele/ Amy Winehouse (yes, talent down the drain, sigh).

All of this makes me sound like an Eighties product of a convent school and a thoroughly uncool semi-Anglophile, but that is how it is.

So, when it comes to cooking up something for High Tea, I had almost made up my mind to whip up scones to serve with clotted cream (Cliche Alert), but then I noticed Prince William's groom's cake making the rounds on the internet. It was a sign. A girl who weeps over I do's always, always believes in signs.

Dark chocolate, a couple of tablespoons of butter and crushed McVities' Rich Tea biscuits maketh the 'cake'. The Rich Tea biscuits can be substituted with Digestives, but I used Britannia Marie biscuits, because that's the closest substitute, and using something named Britannia blah-blah seemed apt.

Halved the recipe, because I didn't know if there would be many takers for something that is 70% butter, but shockingly, it was well-received, so I'm posting the untouched original. And I like it better when it's frozen; the original recipe says to refrigerate, but the biscuits get a bit deflated that way. Oh, heck. You can't really spoil something with chocolate and sugar and butter.

Royal groom's cake


240 g/8 oz. Britannia Marie (1.5 long Maries) or McVities' Rich Tea Biscuits.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
360 g or 12 oz. dark chocolate
1 egg, beaten


1. Grease a small (6-inch) cake ring or springform pan with butter. Place on a parchment-lined tray.

 I used a biscuit pan so I could get smaller portions.

2. Break each of the biscuits into 4 bits; set aside.

Blitz the sugar once or twice in the food processor or mixie so that it's not powdery, but definitely not too crunchy.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.

3. Melt 120g or 4 ounces of the dark chocolate in a double boiler.

Take it off the heat. Beat in the butter-sugar mix. Beat in the egg.

 Make sure the hand-mixer is always running, so that the egg doesn't get cooked.

Fold in the biscuit bits with a spatula, so they get fully covered.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Refrigerate, at least 3 hours.

5. Scoop the cake out of the tin. It's OK if it gets a bit damaged, because you're going to smooth it over with melted chocolate.

Melt the remaining chocolate in a double-boiled or microwave.

Smooth the melted chocolate over the mini cakes. I froze my cakes after this, so the biscuits remained nice and crunchy.

Serve straight out of the freezer.

Cut into triangles, maybe, so you can enjoy a little at a time, without the biscuits de-crisping and the chocolate making an almighty mess.

There isn't tea in the pot or sugar in the sugar bowl, in case you're wondering. Mum loves any opportunity to show off her wedding cutlery, and if I'm going to do cliches, I'm going to go all the way. Curtsey, and exit Stage Left. Cheerio.


  1. if it isnt for yr plain, unfancy cookware, I would have taken yr writing to be pirated. What an excellent piece of posting, mirroring my thoughts, but presented eloquently....I know many whose language is exceptional, I know others whose thoughts are worthy, but to combine them are definitely GIFTED...keep going in life....oh commenting on your recipe, I leave it to the real expert none other than yr famous Rabia aunty....ta da...

  2. By the way, your mom's wedding cutlery gives the authentic English setting...Tell her that and I am sure the anglophile will radiate with pride

  3. Nice work, but we do have a product similar to this called rocky Roadies. Contains the same ingredients as this is, plus some marshmallows to it. One of the fastest selling product in supermarekts. Good Try Rabia!!!

  4. Sithi machi: Aw.. thank you so much :) You know mum inside out! Thanks to your comments, she finally decided to let me use the fancy cookware!

    Anitha: Thank you so, so much! I love Rocky Road brownies and ice-creams, you've given me great, fattening ideas!

  5. It looks so so tempting, I am making it this weekend :D
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