As the world mourns Queen Elizabeth II, I have come to learn quite a bit about Her Majesty.
I've read about the major milestones she hit during her 70-year reign, and she has definitely lived through it all. However, I felt like I still hadn't known much about the Queen's personality, until I stumbled on an article that revealed she had a bit of a sweet tooth.
Apparently, the Queen LOVED a specific kind of chocolate cake — so much that she frequently requested to have it during afternoon tea. Chef Darren McGrady, Her Majesty's former personal chef, said in 2017 that his chocolate biscuit cake was "her favorite cake that she eats until it is all gone."
"If there is anything left when she has it at Buckingham Palace," Chef McGrady added, "it then goes to Windsor Castle so she can finish it there. I used to travel on the train from London to Windsor Castle with the biscuit cake in a tin on my knee. It was half eaten.”
It's a dark chocolate cake made with Rich Tea biscuits, which are apparently very similar to graham crackers.
I already knew Queen Elizabeth II had great taste in food — I actually made the Queen's Scotch pancakes last week, and those were delicious.
But as a bona fide dessert lover, I was certainly curious to see what sort of things the ✨royals✨ liked to indulge in, so I decided to make it for myself.
Here's how it all went:
If you're more of a video person, I also made a TikTok of this entire process.
It seems like there are a few different ways of making this cake, but I decided to use this recipe from Lavender & Lovage, since it was the most straightforward and beginner-friendly. I gathered the ingredients, which include butter, heavy whipping cream, dark chocolate, caster sugar or baker's sugar, and Rich Tea biscuits.
Luckily, I lived pretty close to a specialty grocery store that sold these, and they were able to provide the goods!
First things first, I greased a springform cake pan (a loose-bottomed pan, per the instructions) with butter. You can use a regular cake pan, too — it just takes a little extra effort to remove the finished cake when it's ready.
Since the recipe listed all its measurements in grams, I brought out the ol' kitchen scale and poured out 225 grams of the biscuits — roughly 3/4 of the pack.
I then transferred the cookies into a large Ziploc bag and crushed the pieces into small bits, smaller than about an inch for each piece. The recipe emphasized the importance of making sure they were still large enough chunks and not completely crumby.
I then let the butter soften.
I placed the softened butter into a bowl, followed it with the caster sugar, and then used an electric mixer to whip everything until smooth and fluffy.
I also melted the chocolate by putting it in a bowl and microwaving it in 30-second increments, for a little less than 2 minutes.
I continued by adding the melted chocolate to the butter mixture, and then using a hand whisk to mix everything until smooth.
Once it's all combined, the consistency should be thick and velvety.
Next, I transferred the biscuit pieces into the cake pan, spooned in the chocolate-butter mixture, and mixed until everything was nicely incorporated. I then pressed everything into the pan so it would take a nice circular shape.
I put the cake in the fridge and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I personally found out later that this wasn't long enough for the chocolate to set, so you should learn from my mistake and let it set for 1–2 hours.
When your chocolate biscuit cake is nearly set, you can start to make the chocolate ganache. For this, I used more dark chocolate.
I chopped it up into small pieces, so it would melt evenly into the hot cream.
That being said, I measured out about half a cup of heavy whipping cream, put it in a pan over medium heat, and let it come to a simmer.
I put the chocolate chunks into a bowl, poured the hot cream in, and then whisked until I had a shiny smooth mixture.
I set the ganache to the side, and I got the cake out from the fridge and took it out of its pan.
I poured the chocolate ganache over the cake and smoothed everything with a spoon. Don't worry if it's not perfect — this is where the toppings come in.
I decided to chop up more chocolate and put a biscuit on top. But obviously, the artistic liberty is in your hands, and you can decorate it however you'd like!
After I decorated the cake, I put it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes for the ganache to set.
Half an hour later, it was time to try it! I was honestly really proud of this cake and thought it turned out great.
I took the first bite, and it was AMAZING, and I wouldn't say something tasted amazing if it didn't. The biscuits were perfectly crunchy and went so well with the smooth texture of the ganache. The chocolate was just the right amount of sweet, and the flavor of the cacao was potent, but in a good way.
If you love dark chocolate, you'd love this! I had mine with some earl grey tea, and now I can completely understand why the Queen wanted to eat this so often.
I also liked how this was a relatively simple no-bake cake — I feel like those don't really have enough time in the limelight! Although, I will point out that this entire process, including the wait time, is around two and a half to three hours. So, making this cake is ideal for a day where you have some time to kill.
Have you tried chocolate biscuit cake before? Let me know in the comments! And if you'd like to make it yourself, I'd highly recommend following Lavender & Lovage's recipe.
Oh, and here's the link to the TikTok I made of this entire process, if you want to check it out.