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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kate and Will's Big Day

Well, it's finally here.  After months of speculation we are finally going to see the dress.  All I can say is that it better be good.  With all of the frenzy surrounding what Kate is going to wear, she better hit it out of the ballpark.

I have to admit that I'm excited.  I've been watching the Today Show and their exhaustive coverage of all things royal for the past week.  I'm setting my alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. and I'm getting up to watch.  Hey, it's history, kind of.  And besides, who doesn't love a good love story?

Years ago, the summer after I graduated from college, I took my first trip to London.  I saved and saved and took myself on a TWA Getaway tour.  Ten days to England, Scotland, and Wales.  My trip happened to coincide with Charles and Diana's first wedding anniversary and I went to see the Changing of the Guards on the day.  The Buckingham Palace marching band played The Anniversary Waltz in honor of the happy couple.

That trip was magical, and not just because I celebrated Chuck and Di's first anniversary with them.  The tour package, which included hours and hours on a "luxury coach", is what gave me the travel bug.  In a funny way, despite having now been to lots of places much more far exotic than Great Britain, it is that trip that, in my mind, stands out the most.

I did all the sights and tasted all the food.  I walked miles in my bright white Reebok's.  Yes, there I was, the typical ugly American and proud of it.  It was on that trip that I began my lifelong love of cashmere.  I bought it in Scotland and it was a bright yellow sweater vest.  Looking back, that sweater probably wasn't my best color but I wore it proudly for years until it finally gave up the ghost.  It was on that trip that I discovered Burberry, although back then it was far too pricy for me to ever consider a purchase.

So here we are, back in 2011 and Will and Kate's wedding day.  There will be two wedding cakes.  The main cake will be a fruitcake, which is traditional in England for wedding cakes.  The groom's cake will be a McVite's Digestive Biscuit Cake.  Only the British could make a dessert using digestive biscuits.  I had never heard of such a cake, and after all why would I have, so I did a little Google research.

So, this cake sounds seriously delicious.  Lots and lots of dark chocolate, digestive biscuits (or a butter type cookie if you prefer), Lyle's Golden Syrup, and more chocolate.  What could be bad?

I'd say this is the perfect way to cap off Will and Kate's big day.

Recipe:  McVite's Biscuit Cake
(Adapted from katu.com)

*  Note:  If you can't find Rich Tea Biscuits you can other toasted tea biscuits.  If Lyle's Golden Syrup is not available, although they have it at many supermarkets, use an equal amount of honey.


For the Cake:
7 ounces McVite's Rich Tea Biscuits
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 65% cacao)
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate


Lightly spray an 8 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.

To make the cake, break up the biscuits with your hands.  Don't make the pieces too small -- about 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces are best.  You don't want crumbs.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream, Golden Syrup, butter, and bittersweet chocolate.  Set it over a pan of simmering water until melted.  Stir well until the mixture is glossy.  Remove the bowl from the water and stir in the biscuits.  Combine well.  Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight, if possible.

Once the cake is chilled, prepare the glaze.  In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, combine the butter and cream.  When the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the semisweet chocolate,  Stir well until completely melted and glossy.

Carefully remove the sides from the spring form pan.  Invert the cake onto a wire rack, then remove the bottom of the pan from the cake.  Set the rack over a pan to catch drippings.

Pour the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing it to drip down completely to cover the top and sides of the cake.  Allow it to firm up, then transfer the cake to a serving plate.

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