Chocolate Refrigerator Squares
A foolproof recipe for a deliciously rich no-bake chocolate cake.
Vegetarian. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 10 mins (plus refrigerator time).
Contributed by (August 2005).
Photo © Veg World
This is a ridiculously easy no-bake chocolate cake recipe, even for cooks who claim not to be able to bake a cake. I especially like making it on hot days when I don't want to turn the oven on. It makes about a dozen good-sized squares, and will keep in the fridge for several days.
The recipe calls for digestive biscuits, which are a distinctly British commodity. They are readily available in supermarkets and groceries throughout the UK but are often hard to find elsewhere. In the USA and Canada, a good substitute is Graham crackers. But check the label before purchase, as some brands of digestive biscuits are made with animal fat (McVitie's, the leading British make, is OK for vegetarians).
I've specified raisins in this recipe, but I've also had good results with chopped glacé cherries, fresh blueberries and chopped dried apricots. So feel free to experiment. In place of the walnuts, you could try flaked almonds.
As you've probably realized, this recipe does not exactly fall in the low-fat healthy-eating category. The term indulgent is one that more readily comes to mind. But you can take some consolation in the fact that the chocolate provides a good source of certain essential minerals such as calcium and iron.
- ¾ cup (6 oz, 175 g) unsalted butter
- 5 oz (150 g) good quality plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp. light syrup (golden syrup)
- 9 oz. (250 g) digestive biscuits or Graham crackers
- 1 cup (3.5 oz, 100 g) walnut pieces
- 2 cups (7 oz, 200 g) raisins
- A few drops of vanilla essence (if available)
Put the butter, chocolate and syrup in a small pan and heat gently until the butter and chocolate have melted. Leave to cool.
Crush the biscuits or crackers to make fine crumbs. The easiest way to do this is to put them in a polythene bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Place the biscuit crumbs, the melted butter and the remaining ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture into an oiled tin or flat dish (I use an 8 x 12 inch, 20 x 30 cm, baking tin). Press down with a fork.
When the mixture is completely cool, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours. When the cake has set firm, cut it into squares, which should then be returned to the fridge.
By the way, if you like cooking with chocolate as much as I do, you really should take a look at The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. It has some really stunning recipes.
Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.