We Should Cocoa: The Fame Challenge

This month I have the honour of hosting We Should Cocoa, a blogging challenge created by Chele at Chocolate Teapot and Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog. We Should Cocoa usually asks participants to pair chocolate with another ingredient (you may remember the chocolate and coffee edition last June) but this time I want you to share a famous chocolate recipe. It could be Jennifer Lawrence’s chocolate cake, or the chocolate ice cream most favoured by Brad Pitt. You might be famed for your never-fail chocolate mousse, or your neighbour might be renowned for her chocolate muffins. Either way, I want you to share the recipe.

Taking part is easy. The full rules of engagement are here – but essentially all you need to do is make something involving fame and chocolate, write about it on your blog (including a link to this post, and to Choclette and Chele). Then, come back and add your post to the linky thing below. Tweet me when you’re done (using the hashtag #weshouldcocoa) and I’ll spread the word. In the meantime, let me introduce you to a recipe that deserves wider fame and fortune.

Martin Clunes’ Cold Dog Biscuits
When I was about seven, one of my brothers dared me to eat a dog biscuit. I still recall how it tasted – like a dry, wholemeal slab with a hint of beef stock – but what I remember more was the absolute fear of opening the massive drum the biscuits were stored in in the garage. Seven-year-old girls don’t much like the taste of Tux dog biscuits, but rats love them. I was petrified of opening the drum and a rat jumping out (or worse, wriggling down to the bottom, waiting to jump out or nibble my fingers).

I hadn’t thought about that experience until recently, when a pencil-scrawled recipe fluttered out of an old notebook. It was for Martin Clunes’ Cold Dog Biscuits – a recipe I’d copied out of The Independent in 2005. Then, Martin Clunes was omnipresent on English TV and at work our TV writers were forever going on set visits to Cornwall to watch him make Doc Martin. I couldn’t stand the show and detested that we devoted so much time and energy to the cult of Martin Clunes on behalf of Britain’s newspaper readers. This recipe though, was enough to make me hate him a little bit less. I just wish he’d explained why they were called Cold Dog Biscuits, because they are absolutely delicious. The chocolate is soft and velvety, punctuated by nuggests of cherries, walnuts and smashed up biscuits and pretzels. Just one and you’ll be like one of Pavlov’s dogs as soon as you see fridge door opening.

175g plain sweet biscuits (Rich Tea, Superwine, Digestive – that sort of thing)
50g pretzels (or use more biscuits)
100g glace cherries, halved
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
225g good quality chocolate
225g butter
2 eggs
2 Tbsp caster sugar
1 Tbsp rum or brandy

Line a brownie pan – about 20cm x 30cm with baking paper and set aside.
Put the biscuits and pretzels in a thick plastic bag and seal tightly. Bash the bag with a rolling pin until the biscuits are broken, but not pulverised into dust. Set aside.
Melt the butter and chocolate together over very low heat. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the rum. Stir this mixture into the chocolate, then add the smashed biscuits, along with the cherries and walnuts. Mix until well combined, then scrape into the prepared tin. Smooth the top, then put in the fridge for at least two hours to set.
Slice into small pieces – a little goes a long way – and store in a covered container in the fridge.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you’re in Wellington, come and buy some baking from me at the Newtown Street Fair on Sunday. If you’re somewhere else, get your We Should Cocoa thinking cap on…



  1. February 28, 2013 / 7:31 pm

    Fun theme Lucy, will have to get thinking. Cold dog biscuits don't sound very appetising but I love tiffin and these sound very tasty indeed. Dogs, of course, shouldn't have chocolate, so make sure you snaffle them before Fido does. I used to nick our dog's biscuits and remember them with great affection – maybe that's why I'm instantly drawn to these.

  2. February 28, 2013 / 8:32 pm

    Oh goodness, what a challenging theme – I'll definitely have to get my thinking cap on for this one! I love it though – can't wait to see what everybody comes up with… These "dog biscuits" do sound super yummy though – way better than actual dog biscuits!

  3. March 1, 2013 / 8:03 am

    I must admit my first thought when I read your theme was "oh no!" But I have just found THE BEST recipe to submit! Am chuckling just thinking about it 😉

  4. March 1, 2013 / 8:50 am

    Fame…I wanna live forever…eating those cold dog biscuits although I doubt I would look good in my leotard and leg warmers if I did! I don't look good in a leotard and leggings anyway so I'll go with the famous dog biscuits. Great challenge, very errr…challenging. Hope to be back with something fabulous at some point.

    • March 2, 2013 / 1:09 am

      Ok Janice – and for anyone else who thinks they might struggle to come up with something – if you post a picture of yourself in a Fame get up (legwarmers, leotard, headband etc) with your chocolate recipe, that will do… What do you think?

  5. March 1, 2013 / 10:11 am

    Oh dear, I have literally no idea what to bake for this! This really will be a challenge…

  6. March 1, 2013 / 11:23 am

    Brilliant challenge. I do love Marin Clunes but have never watched an episode of Doc Martin although I did used to like him in Men behaving badly!

  7. March 1, 2013 / 11:43 am

    Love the theme – very challenging but hope my cake fits the bill. At first I thought maybe there was a cookbook from the Fame film when I saw the heading 🙂 Love the name of these biscuits – The Doc Martin character is a terribly dour one – makes Martin Clunes look quite cheerful on Men Behaving Badly.

  8. March 2, 2013 / 9:33 am

    I love these no bake dishes. Very chocoltey x

  9. March 3, 2013 / 7:47 am

    It's a genius theme! I have no idea yet what to bake but ill find something… and if I don't ill just make something up and pop on some leg warmers! Those biscuits look so good. The recipe is fab too and I live the story. Fab post. Can't wait to get thinking!

  10. March 3, 2013 / 11:40 pm

    Interesting challenge – I'll try really hard to find some time to do some cooking for this one. I do remember that a friend of mine once served a dessert consisting of a scoop of (shop bought) vanilla ice cream with a Mars bar sticking out of it. That was quite famous among the people that I knew at the time, anyway. Martin Clunes once beat me to a taxi outside Waterloo station but maybe this recipe makes up for it. He can move quite quickly when he wants a taxi.

  11. March 5, 2013 / 10:07 am

    Brilliant can't wait to see everyones ideas in here. Got my eye on your next posts.

  12. March 6, 2013 / 4:55 pm

    Appreciate fantastic food. I just now meant it was and this sampled brilliant: -)
    Excellent web site by using meal tasty recipes me for anybody who is intrigued I have a blog with cake recipes myself if you are interested. You can find it at http://recipes-for-food.com/

  13. March 8, 2013 / 12:45 am

    Oh I share your loathing of Doc Martin, and for Martin Clunes in general come to think of it (possibly because of Doc Martin), but I'm sure one bite of these could soften my heart a little too. Surely anyone who can come up with something so delectable can't be entirely loathsome.

    I'm going to also put my thinking cap on and see if I can come up with some infamous chocolate concoction for your challenge. We Should Cocoa is a new to me blogging challenge, but I'm always keen to join in a good blogging event.

  14. March 8, 2013 / 7:03 pm

    Love the theme – and the biscuits! They look very indulgent, and much more tempting than their name suggests!

  15. March 13, 2013 / 11:44 am

    GREAT challenge and LOVELY theme! I am in Lucy! Karen

  16. March 18, 2013 / 3:20 pm

    Hi Lucy, I don't know quite what happened, but photo 11 of my Mississippi Mud Pie isn't there! Think I did something wrong with the sizing – oh dear! If you could put it right for me, I'd be grateful, but if not, then the photo's on my blog to be seen!

  17. Anonymous
    April 19, 2013 / 9:05 am

    thanks for share.....

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