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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Royal Adventure: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

I was never big on the whole prince charming thing, but something about Will and Kate's royal romance seemed whimsical. (I know, I know... they're now supposed to be referred to as William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but that's much too long and proper.) But as I was saying... In this day and age where people are more concerned with Facebook status updates and the latest tweets, the royal wedding brought something classic back into our lives. Kate essentially lived every little girls' fantasy of finding her prince and having that fairy tale ending.

Originally, I had no intention of staying up to watch the royal wedding (it was at 3am!), but curiosity got the best of me. I gasped along with the rest of the world when Kate stepped out of her car in her gorgeous wedding dress and chuckled when the newlyweds drove off in their Aston Martin - how "common" of them!

While watching some of the royal wedding coverage, I discovered that the groom's cake was a Chocolate Biscuit Cake. It was one of the Queen's favorites and she and Will delighted in it when they had tea together when Will was growing up. Upon hearing this, I knew that this had "culinary adventure" written all over it!

After a bit of Googling, I found a recipe for Chocolate Biscuit Cake on Oprah from Darren McGrady, the former royal chef to Princess Diana. To my surprise, this no-bake cake was incredibly easy to make. The problem was locating the key ingredient. The original cake called for McVitie's Rich Tea Biscuits, but I couldn't find them in any of my local supermarkets. Believe me, I searched at Ralph's, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's one after the other on my quest to make this cake! (I know you can order them off Amazon, but I didn't want to pay for shipping.)

A bit discouraged and biscuit-less, I returned home and searched for an appropriate substitute for the allusive Rich Tea Biscuits. I found that people suggested digestive biscuits (another English cookie), graham crackers, animal crackers, shortbread cookies, Maria cookies, and even Nilla wafers. I wanted to stick as close to the actual recipe as possible and didn't want to eat chocolate-covered graham crackers so I put the whole Chocolate Biscuit Cake adventure on the back burner.
Chinese McVitie's Digestive Biscuits
That is... until I went grocery shopping at the 99 Ranch (an Asian supermarket)! Unexpected, I stumbled across McVitie's Digestive Biscuits! Of all places! An Asian supermarket! (Notice the Chinese on the packaging! I found that very amusing.) I was ecstatic! If I couldn't use McVitie's Rich Tea Biscuits, McVitie's Digestive Biscuits would be the next best thing.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Here is how my Chocolate Biscuit Cake turned out! Aside from substituting Digestive Biscuits for the Rich Tea Biscuits, I omitted the raw egg and just added a bit more milk. People claimed that eating raw egg was fine, but the eggs in my fridge weren't freshly laid so I didn't want to risk it. Also, the original recipe was for a 6-in cake made with a cake ring, but I only had a 9-in cake pan so I made 1.5 times the recipe to accommodate for the larger pan size. To make the cake easier to remove from the pan, I lined the bottom with parchment paper.

Taste-wise, it was very similar to the bottom half of a Twix bar. Throw in some caramel and I'm sure it would've been a Twix cake. My brother loved it and was sad when I told him I was bringing in the rest to work. The people at work raved about it and it was gone before anyone knew it! Just know that cutting the Chocolate Biscuit Cake was no easy task because the cake would crumble, but aside from that, the cake was delicious.

I'm quite pleased with the outcome of this adventure. I may not have been able to attend the royal wedding, but I was able to taste a slice of it. :P

All this talk of princes reminded me of this clever quote I heard growing up: "Someday your prince will come. Mine just took a wrong turn, got lost, and is too stubborn to ask for directions." Haha, I wonder how true this is... I do hope my "prince" is still on his way... But at least for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, her prince came and swept her off her feet. Congratulations to the royal couple and may married life be just as sweet as Chocolate Biscuit Cake!


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