There is a small bakery near the Country Homes & Interiors office that has been turning out the most legendary cakes and bakes for the past 20 years. Whether we’re celebrating a birthday or a super-successful issue, we head to Konditor & Cook to pick up an indulgent lemon chiffon cake or a gorgeous sweet hit of bakewell slab. Their new cookbook is definitely one for your collection. It’s packed with classic recipes including this one which actually requires no baking and can be made really quickly. You just need a little patience while it sets in the fridge. Unsophisticated it may be, but it’s utterly delicious and, if you want to have some kitchen fun with your kids this long weekend, it should appeal to aspiring junior bakers everywhere. And of course everyone who is searching for a little something sweet for a weekend treat.
Makes 1 large cake
150g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
200g dark chocolate (54 per cent cocoa solids), chopped
1 medium free range egg, lightly beaten
330g digestive biscuits (or similar)
100g glacé cherries
75g brazil nuts
1 Line a 23cm square cake tin or similar-sized flat dish with baking parchment. (You could use individual silicone loaf tins to make your own chocolate bars, in which case you will need to break the biscuits up smaller. Or you could use a 20cm x 34cm brownie tin but only fill three-quarters of the tin with biscuit mixture.) Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a saucepan then bring to the boil. Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and stir with a whisk until the chocolate has melted.
2 Gradually add the beaten egg and continue to stir with the whisk until the mixture has thickened a little and formed a shiny emulsion. The egg will cook in the heat of the mixture but be careful not to let it boil (the temperature shouldn’t reach above 85°C). Remove from the heat.
3 Break up the biscuits into large chunks (quarters are fine), put them in a bowl and add the walnuts, sultanas and half the glacé cherries. Pour the hot chocolate mix over the dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon. Decant the mixture into the prepared tin, leaving the runny chocolate on the side of the bowl for now. Press the mixture flat in the tin.
4 Put the brazil nuts in the bowl that contained the chocolate mixture and, using a spatula, coat them in the liquid chocolate from the side of the bowl. Sprinkle them in a loose pattern over the biscuit cake, then place the remaining glacé cherries among them. For an American touch, you could also decorate it with mini marshmallows. Chill for 3 hours or until set, then cut into bars or long fingers.
*Recipe taken from Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking by Gerhard Jenne (Ebury Press, hardback £20). Photograph: Jean Cazals 2014
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