Recipe from Retro Cakes and Cookies by Wendy Sweetser (CICO Books, 2013)
Photography by Stuart West
A great recipe for getting children into the kitchen, especially if they’re allowed to sample the results! This cake is very rich, so cut it into very thin slices or small bars using a small, serrated knife.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: several hours or overnight
Serves about 20
- Oil for greasing
- 8oz (225g) bittersweet (plain) chocolate, chopped
- 1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, diced
- 1⁄2 cup (115g) cottage (curd) cheese
- 1⁄2 cup (50g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Generous 1⁄3 cup (75g) candied (glacé) cherries, chopped
- 2⁄3 cup (115g) golden raisins (sultanas)
- 1 1⁄2 cups (225g) graham crackers (digestive biscuits), coarsely crushed into small pieces
- 1 heaped tablespoon (25g) chopped candied (mixed) peel or candied (glacé) pineapple
1. Lightly grease a 7-inch (18-cm) round or square cake pan (tin) by brushing with oil, and line the base and sides with parchment paper.
2. Put the chocolate and butter in a saucepan large enough to take all the ingredients, and melt them over very gentle heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool, then beat in the cottage (curd) cheese until evenly combined.
3. Stir in the chopped walnuts, cherries, golden raisins (sultanas), graham crackers (digestive biscuits), and candied (mixed) peel or candied (glacé) pineapple, until completely coated in the melted chocolate mixture.
4. Spoon into the cake pan, pressing the mixture down firmly with the back of the spoon, and smoothing the top. Press a piece of parchment paper over the surface, and cover the pan with foil.
5. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, until firmly set. Turn out, peel off the lining paper, and cut into thin slices, or small bars to serve.
VARIATIONS In the US, the baked version of this type of chocolate and nut cake is known as Rocky Road. It doesn’t contain fruit, and has chopped or mini marshmallows stirred into the mixture. If you like a touch of warm, sweet spice, one-third of the cherries could be replaced with chopped preserved (stem) ginger.
Cook’s Tip Before chopping the cherries, put them in a sieve, and rinse with hot water to remove their syrup coating. Pat the cherries dry with paper towels (kitchen paper).