Thankfully it was Wills who requested the chocolate refrigerator cake, if it had been Kate (‘the commoner’) the tabloids would have written about nothing else all week. Wills can get away with it as ‘a cake for the boys’, an American groom cake that is just a little bit of fun; for Kate it would have been social suicide. And with Raymond Blanc coming out as a ‘dessert man’ this week and Dessert Bars set to ravage our cities, the ‘pud’, ‘afters’ or simple dessert is the new cherry on top of the proverbial fairy cake of food fads.
With that in mind, I decided to carpe diem the moment and have a go myself. That stalwart of food in the Telegraph, Xanthe Clay, kindly published a near facsimile of the royal refrigerator recipe at the weekend and here are the ingredients:
An 11oz/300g packet of Rich Tea biscuits
6oz/170g golden syrup
14oz/400g plain chocolate
140g/5oz raisins (if possible, soaked overnight in 4tbsp whiskey or rum)
Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them until they are a mixture of crumbs and postage stamp-sized pieces. Put the syrup, chocolate and butter in a pan and heat gently until melted. Stir in the broken biscuits and the raisins. Scrape the mixture into a 12x8inch tin lined with cling film and press down well. Refrigerate until set and cut into squares.
Easy peasy. I will concede that it is quite delicious and perfect for some late night scoobie snacks. The whisky in the raisins combats the sweetness, as do the Rich Tea biscuits (a little hint of royal genius). A top tip is to use expensive 70% dark chocolate, in this case Lindt. What you get are little squares of gooey bitter chocolate, studded with plump boozy raisins, with some crunchy relief from the Rich Tea. It’s not unlike that mafia-famous Sicilian dessert, the cannolo: a twisted roll of plain biscuit with sugary ricotta in the middle, polka dots of chocolate and candied orange peel. Sicilian food legend has it that they were eaten after successfully dispatching an enemy. Death-dessert. It could only happen in Italy.
The fun of watching chocolate melt into golden syrup, the action of smashing up biscuits and squashing it all into a tin, is completely satisfying in its childishness. A gourmet version of George’s Marvelous Medicine: in reverse. While George chucks together nail varnish, anti-freeze, flea powder and other sundries to cure grandma’s miserable attitude, the Kate ‘n’ Wills fridge cake adds a bit of frivolity to a very formal occasion. And who knows, granny may even have a bit …