[Posted by Joan]
Today was a glorious day, full of sunlight, color, and falling leaves. I felt giddy with joy as I rode the bus home from the Y, feeling the ease of my muscles after yoga, a run and a swim. I felt the anticipation of an afternoon at home, to take care of postponed tasks like moving my winter clothes out of the cedar closet. And I decided to cook something fun and sweet--that was also somewhat healthy.
I chose Chocolate Biscuit cake. I first tried this confection in Ireland, after buying a square of it at the Dublin farmer’s market in Temple Bar. It looked like a chewy, fruit and nut-filled cookie bar. But when I bit into it I had a jolt of surprise. It was hard and crumbly/crunchy. It was made of solid milk chocolate, raisins, nuts and crumbled biscuits (rich tea cookies). Although the bar was very sweet, I nibbled away at it for a day or two, and decided I liked it. A year later I saw Chocolate Biscuit cake bars for sale in the Dingle Farmers’ Market, and it reminded me of how I wanted to try making my own version.
I decided to make a somewhat healthier version than the one in Ireland. Instead of tea biscuits I would use digestive biscuits (like a whole grain graham cracker). And I would use good dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I found a recipe online (I searched for vegan Chocolate Biscuit Cake http://www.vegancampaigns.org.uk/resources/recipes/chocolate-biscuit-cake) and made a few substitutions (organic coconut oil for margarine, honey for golden syrup, pecans for walnuts). I also added some vanilla.
The recipe goes together quickly and requires no baking, just melting the chocolate, oil and honey together, then mixing in the rest. The mixture is poured into a greased loaf pan to chill for four hours. When finished, it can be sliced and served.
Irish Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- 4½ oz (125g) organic coconut oil
- 2½ oz (75g) honey
- 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate (I used large chips)
- 3 oz (60g) digestive biscuits (I used Jacobs, bought in Ireland) I used more than the original recipe as the batter seemed too thin, graham crackers are an alternate.
- 2 oz (60g) whole pecans or walnuts
- 2 oz (60g) sultanas (golden raisins)
- 1½ oz (40g) dates
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Next time I will add a pinch of salt or sprinkle with al ittle flaked sea salt
- Grease loaf tin (8” x 4”).
- Combine and melt together the oil, honey and chocolate, stirring until smmoth.
- Break up the biscuits into large chunks, and add to the chocolate, along with the dried fruit and nuts and vanilla.
- Mix well.
- Spread into the pan and smooth the top.
- Chill for 4 hours. Then slice and serve.
Here is the finished cake out of the pan:
Goes well with a good cup of dark coffee! And is the perfect complement to a beautiful fall day!