Queen Mother’s Cake

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

Simple pleasures are often life’s finest–for rich and poor alike.  In fact, it’s often in the little luxuries of life where we find our common ground. For instance, Queen Elizabeth could afford any number of fairytale confections, but it’s a simple childhood sweet that’s said to be one of her favorites. Unbaked, made of broken tea biscuits and more commonly associated with British children’s birthday parties than with the House of Windsor, this chocolate biscuit cake is uncommonly delicious.

Although tea biscuits are easier to find in England, you can use any number of not-to-sweet cookies. In fact, good quality animal crackers would even make a fine substitution. If you don’t happen to have a cake ring on hand, get creative. I made a simple cardboard ring, covered in foil as a stand-in. You could even make individual servings by cutting out both ends of tin cans. Or, I suppose, a crown might work, in a pinch.

Whatever variation of biscuit cake you end up with is bound to be delicious if made with love. There are lots of things little hands can do here, from breaking up the biscuits to stirring and molding. So, this Mother’s Day, treat Mum like royalty with this commoner’s rich delight.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

12 ounces dark chocolate, divided

4 ounces granulated sugar

4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

8 ounces Rich tea biscuits

1 ounce milk chocolate, optional, for decoration

Lightly grease a 6-inch by 2 ½-inch cake ring and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten. Melt 4 ounces of the chocolate and add it gradually to the butter mixture while stirring. Beat in the egg, then fold in the biscuit pieces until thoroughly coated.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a wire cooling rack. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake and lift it onto a tea plate. Decorate as desired.