One of the first things I learned to make by heart was ‘Caroline’s Chocolate Slab’ from Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes. From memory, it involved butter, cocoa and crushed up wine biscuits (what we colonials call plain, sweet biscuits), topped with a rich chocolate icing. If the breathless news reports are to be believed, this is the sort of thing guests at Buckingham Palace will be nibbling on on Friday morning. But guests at our royal wedding party will be offered a silver tray of this, a slightly more posh (posher? poshly?) version.
Posh Chocolate Slab
This recipe is a version of something from an old Annabel Langbein book. I had a spot of bother when getting a chocolate cake out of a tin a few months back and the resulting broken pieces have been waiting in the freezer to be turned into crumbs for this express purpose. You could just as easily use a chocolate sponge (or indeed, any sort of sponge) from the supermarket. If you use a plain one, then up the cocoa in the recipe by a couple of tablespoons.
250g plain sweet biscuits
2 cups chocolate cake or sponge crumbs
2Tbsp caster sugar
2Tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup condensed milk
250g dark chocolate
2Tbsp dark rum or brandy
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup cranberries
125g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cream
Line a brownie tin or sponge roll tin with clingfilm, allowing for plenty of overhang. Reduce the biscuits to gravel in a food processor (or use a rolling pin and brute strength). Add the cocoa and blitz again.
Put the butter, sugar golden syrup, condensed milk and chocolate in a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter and chocolate have melted. Stir well, then add half the cocoa biscuit crumbs. Mix, then tip in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Tip into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Melt the second measure of chocolate with the cream, stir until smooth and pour over the top. Let set, then cut into small, elegant squares with a sharp knife.
(I apologise for the dreadful photo, but there comes a time in every blogger’s life where they think, argh, I have spent long enough fussing over this photo and I’ve already smudged the edge and I need to get dressed and make breakfast and get the Small Girl up and put the washing on and get to work… Trust me, it looks a lot prettier in real life!)