...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Let There Be Chocolate And Giveaways

Picture the scene. Willy Wonka leads you into the heart of his fabled chocolate factory, his instructions as follows:

Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three.

You’d probably wish for a lot of chocolate, right? At least that’s what I’d wish for under the circumstances. In any case, it turns out that we’re both in luck because there will be lots of chocolate on the streets of Dublin when the Temple Bar Chocolate Festival hits town on Friday October 30th, for what is shaping up to be three days of serious cocoa action.

Temple Bar Chocolate Festival

The detailed programme has just been published and I am already loosening a few notches on my belt in anticipation: truffle making, chocolate tasting, chocolate stout tasting, a screening of the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and a Chocolate Fair in Meeting House Square on the Sunday, with more chocolate than you could hope to shake a stick at. Some events are free but do require advance booking – the folks in the Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre [ph. 01 888 3610] can help you out with that. There’s no need to book for Sunday’s Chocolate Fair, though, it’s free and open to all comers.

Better still, the Temple Bar Cultural Trust have kindly offered Spud readers two pairs of tickets to attend a talk by Willie Harcourt-Cooze, which takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday October 31st in the Button Factory in Temple Bar. Willie should be familiar to folks on this side of the pond following the Channel 4 series, Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, which followed his exploits in setting up a chocolate factory in Devon.

Willies Chocolate Factory Cookbook

By now I realise that legions of you are cursing at your screens because you have no hope of attending the festival or the talk, so, in an attempt to make it up to you, there will also be two copies of Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook up for grabs, which, if you should win, will be sent to you, wherever you’re at.

So let me know in the comments if you want your name in the hat for a copy of the book, a pair of tickets for the talk, or both. I’ll leave this open until midnight GMT on October 26th and let the winners know thereafter. In the meantime, you’d best get your festival training underway with some chocolate+chocolate+chocolate biscuit cake. It’s the stuff that chocolate dreams are made of.

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Roly’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

First I should explain the theory behind chocolate biscuit cake (for those untutored in these matters): melt lots of chocolate, add in some broken digestive biscuits, leave to set. Couldn’t be simpler, really. If you’re in the US and don’t know what a digestive biscuit is, think graham cracker.

This recipe below is the Roly’s Bistro version, taken from my recently acquired Zest! cookbook. The original recipe topped the chocolate/biscuit mixture off with some chocolate icing. I skipped that part, however, figuring that I already had quite enough chocolate to be going on with. Instead, I sprinkled some nice salt on top of the biscuit cake and that was a fine addition.

As you can see, this contains a humungous amount of chocolate. The original recipe stated that this amount would make dessert for 10-12 people. I would say that you could feed many more than that, as it is unashamedly rich. You could easily make half this amount and still keep yourself in chocolate biscuit cake for days. The other thing to say, of course, is that because this is mostly just chocolate, the quality of the chocolate really matters. I used a mixture of Lindt and Green & Black’s chocolate bars for this.

The Summary:

  • If you cut the slab into pieces measuring roughly 3cm x 3cm, you’ll get around 45 little chocolate biscuit cubes; takes approx. 20 min to prep + 2 hours to set

You’ll need:

  • 400g milk chocolate
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 275g golden syrup
  • 275g digestive biscuits
  • some good quality salt, such as fleur de sel, to sprinkle on top (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • A large heatproof bowl for melting the chocolate mixture plus some kind of baking tray or dish to hold the chocolate biscuit mixture while it sets. I used a 28cm x 18cm x 3cm baking tin, which was just about big enough to hold this amount.

The Steps:

  • Line your dish or tray with greaseproof or parchment paper.
  • Break each digestive biscuit into 3 or 4 pieces.
  • Break all of the chocolate into very small pieces or chop finely.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces.
  • Place your heatproof bowl over a pot of hot (but not simmering) water and over a very low heat. Add the golden syrup and butter.
  • Once the butter has started melting, stir in the chocolate pieces and, stirring constantly, allow the whole mixture to melt together gently.
  • Remove from the heat as soon as the chocolate has melted. Add the biscuit pieces and stir to combine.
  • Fill your dish or tray with the chocolate biscuit mixture and, if you like, sprinkle with fleur de sel or other salt flakes.
  • Allow to set in the fridge for about 2 hours, then cut into slices of whatever size and shape you desire.

The Variations:

  • For some reason, I fancy adding some very finely grated or juiced fresh ginger to this.


  1. Jenni

    Chocolate Biscuit Cake?! Hell, I’m moving over there right now. What an inspired idea! We have something kind of along the same lines here–chocolate wafer cookies dipped in milk and spread with whipped cream. Stack them all together, ice the whole log o’ goodness and let sit in the fridge for a few hours, until the cookies are all soft. Zebra cake. Heaven:)

    Oh, and just as I was about to start holding my breath in protest ’cause I can’t come to the chocolate festival deal and I felt you were Taunting me, I realize that, indeed, I do have a slim chance of winning a Thing. I would like to be considered for the Consolation Book Prize, ma’am!

    And fleur de sel on the chocolate biscuit cake is inspired. Way better than frosting, I think.

  2. Heather

    oh my gosh. i love chocolate! this cake sounds amazing! i have a cookbook called chocolate and vanilla – it’s totally cute. you read it 1/2 way through and it has all chocolate recipes. then you flip it and the other 1/2 has all vanilla recipes. it’s one of my faves. chocolate rules. even more so for about 5 days every month, when i swear it is the only reason i am able to stay alive!

  3. Tangled Noodle

    Did someone say chocolate? And a giveaway? Sign me up for a shot at the book! I’d love to say that I would be perfectly content with this recipe for chocolate biscuit cake but I’d be lying. Like a dog. If dogs could eat chocolate without falling seriously ill. Which isn’t the case with me – I love chocolate.

    Did someone say chocolate? And a giveaway . . . ?

  4. Kate

    Mmmm, chocolate, the answer to all of life’s problems. If only we had given John O’Donoghue and all his cronies some of that chocolate biscuit cake they would have been too distracted to worry about spending all the taxpayers’ money, and too fat to get on the government jet!!!

    Sign me up to enter into both competitions please…it’s a recession after all!!!


  5. Hot Cross Mum

    Chocolate. Book. Giveaway. Three of my favourite words in the English language! Please throw my chocolatey hat in for the book. As I am currently reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to my little fella, it would be great to have a gorwn up version for mummy! Chocs away……:-)

  6. Dianna B.

    A chocolate festival – sounds like heaven! If only I was in Dublin. Well, no such luck. So right away my greedy little thoughts go to winning the cookbook…please!! Does begging help? Guess not, lol.

    The chocolate biscuit cake looks delicious. We actually have something almost similar here in Denmark. But we don’t use Digestives/graham crackers. Oh no, that would add fiber and maybe make it a tiny bit healthy. But maybe I’ll try it with Digestives – shock people! Always fun. :)

  7. Mary

    Please oh please oh please can you pull my name from the hat for the book and even tickets for the talk :) it might make it up to me for drooling all over my keyboard at the sight of all that chocolate :) ….off to kitchen now to get soem paper towels to mop up;)

  8. Raluca

    Wow!!! The recipe looks amazing and so is the photo..I’ll try it soon, to surprise my chocolate addict of a husband :).
    Please sign me up for the book :). I’d love to go to the event as well, but can’t make it to Dublin that weekend.

  9. George@CulinaryTravels

    Oh God that chocolate slice looks fabulous. I must stop looking at blogs I’m getting so hungry and getting no work done either. Uh Oh.

    Please put my name in the hat for the book, much as I’d love to go to the event my chances of making my way to Dublins’ Fair City are incredibly slim, mores the pity.

  10. Kate W

    Ooh you said the magic word CHOCOLATE. I’d love to be put in the hat for a copy of the book please!

  11. dee

    mmmmm, need lunch now. rather than looking at food blogs when I cant get off a call for a while!
    please enter me for both!

  12. Daily Spud

    Jenni: In a spirit of international exchange, I think I should swap you some biscuit cake for some zebra cake. I’ll just get my people to talk to your people and sort the whole thing out. But first I will get my people to put your name in for the book, it’s the least I could do :D

    Heather: the chocolate & vanilla book does sound very cute and they do go so well together – I also agree that there are some things for which chocolate is the only answer!

    Tangled Noodle: I do believe I said chocolate, followed quickly by the word giveaway – consider yourself considered in the matter of the book

    Kate: welcome! I’m liking your suggestion vis a vis John O’Donoghue – a lot of chocolate biscuit cake would a very fat cat make :) Meanwhile, you’re in for both competitions.

    Hot Cross Mum: thanks for popping ’round – the draw of chocolate is indeed great :) Your name’s in the hat for the Mummy version of the Chocolate Factory book…

    Dianna B.: hello there & welcome – so you have chocolate biscuit cake minus the biscuits which would make it, let’s see, pure chocolate cake… where do I sign up? :) As for the begging, well it doesn’t do any harm and you’re definitely in with a shot for the book

    Mary: anything to stop the drooling – you’re in for both

    Raluca: thanks – will count you in for the book draw and can I also just say that I think this is definitely a recipe to suit the chocolate addict in your life :)

    George: would be lovely if you could make it to Dublin but, failing that, your name is in the pot for one of the books

    Kate W: thanks for dropping in Kate, you’re in for the book

    dee: food blogs can be such a distraction, can’t they? :) name in hat for both

  13. nuttycow

    This was my favourite recipe as a kid. I can tell because the page with it on is covered in chocolate splodges!

  14. Leticia

    Yes, I want them!!

  15. Leticia

    About my previous post: the cake and the book that is :-)

  16. Kate

    This looks soooo good! Count me in for the book. :)

  17. Kristin

    I had a chocolate biscuit cake as my wedding cake seven years ago, this has inspired me to have a go at making it myself. I’d love to be in the draw for the book.

  18. anahita

    oh!!! what a coincidence! i actually made a similar recipe: a chocolate covered espresso biscuits! but nothing would beat getting this wonderful wonka cookbook. plz put my name in your hat!

  19. ilysen

    chocolate anything!!!!I would love to win the cookbook

  20. Margaret

    Yuuummmmmm…chocolate!!! I am about to embark on a second career and am enrolling in culinary school!!! I shall soon be “student loan poor” so can’t even afford the chocolate to make this recipe but would love a copy of the cookbook!!

  21. Chris M.

    No chance for the festival for me either, so the cookbook chance it is. Thanks!

  22. Carla

    Mmmm…chocolate! That recipe looks scrumptious! And I’m always up for another cookbook…especially one using chocolate, so count me in on the giveaway for the cookbook.


  23. Lan

    i’d loooove to win a book!
    when you say golden syrup, do you mean maple syrup?

  24. Daily Spud

    nuttycow: splodges on a cookbook are a sure sign of a favourite recipe!

    Leticia: no prob, you’re in with a shout for the book

    Kate: gosh, you’re the 3rd Kate to enter the draw for the book – might have to have a separate Kate-based competition :D

    Kristen: Chocolate biscuit cake as your wedding cake? Gotta love that! Consider yourself entered for the draw

    anahita: your name is now in my hat – if you could just send over some of those chocolate-covered espresso biscuits, that would be lovely :)

    ilysen: you’re in!

    Margaret: well, may I wish you the very best of luck in both your second career and in the draw for the book!

    Chris M.: you’re in with a shout for the book so

    Carla: sure you can never have too many cookbooks :) consider your name in for a chance at another one

    Lan: ah, I should have explained the golden syrup – it’s a common ingredient here in Ireland and the UK but not in the States; it’s a thick, amber-colored liquid, like a thick honey, which is a by-product of refining sugar cane; you could try substituting honey or possibly corn syrup; meanwhile, you are, of course, in for the draw

  25. Triona

    Pop me in the hat for the book, one can never have enough chocolate books….
    Sadly i wouldnt be able to attend the talk :(

  26. Lisa C.

    Ohmygosh! That looks like a HUGE KIT KAT!! <3 I'd also love a shot at a CHOCOLATEeEEe cookbook teehee :D

  27. OysterCulture

    Chocolate and a give away – count me in! Another book to add to my Irish collection would be just the ticket – I may have dedicate a shelf to my collection. Or maybe he’s English given his factory in Devon – in any event if he comes up with the recipes like the one you’ve provided here, which looks lovely and decadent by the way. Have a wonderful time at the event!

  28. Robert

    Those look excellent. Put my name into the hat for the book if you would!

  29. Ashlie

    Well I would love to attend the talk, but I don’t think I could convince my thesis advisor that it is an acceptable excuse for missing out on work :). So, put my name in the hat for the book pretty please.

  30. The Duo Dishes

    You are asking for someone to jump through the screen right now. That biscuit cake looks awesome. Too bad we can’t take the tickets unless they come with all-expense paid trip, but the book would be nice!

  31. Doreen from Virginia

    I cannot wait until my quiet time every evening to log on to your site. I love everything you make. This cake looks devine.
    I would love to add another cookbook to my collection.

  32. Meaghan

    That sounds amazing!! I’d love to be included in the draw for the book!

  33. Shelley

    For the cookbook please! Would love the other, but alas I’m too far away. Your chocolate biscuit cake looks amazing!
    Can’t wait to make it. Thanks!

  34. Jodi Calhoun

    please enter my name in the drawing for one of the cookbooks. Sorry, I will be unable to attend the event, but, I can enjoy it vicariously. Now, excuse me, I have a Chocolate Biscuit Cake to make.

  35. Susie

    I’d love a chance to win the book please!

  36. fizah

    oh gosh the cake looks amaaazing! if you’re offering plane tickets i would so attend the festival.. otherwise i’d be happy with my name being in the hat for a copy of the book. :)

  37. Sophie

    This chocolate cake is a typical Dutch dish. It is ooo goood too!!!

    The book looks so good to me too,….

  38. Daily Spud

    Triona: it’s the least I could do to add your name into the hat for the book!

    Lisa C: why it is like a giant kit-kat :D (which has got to be a good thing!) – and of course you’re in for the book

    OysterCulture: Willie is apparently the product of an Irish mother and Burmese father and did quite a bit of his growing up in Ireland. He’s based in England now, but did spend a lot of time living in South America – phew! He certainly sounds like an interesting guy, am hoping to get to the talk myself – meanwhile, I will happily add your name in for a chance to increase the size of your cookbook collection :)

    Robert: thank you! happy to add your name in for the book

    Ashlie: well, you’re in for the book and, you’ll just have to work on your thesis supervisor for that time off :D

    Duo Dishes: that cake is one serious chocolate hit, let me tell ya! wish I could offer plane tickets as part of the deal but, failing that, you’re in for the book

    Doreen: so kind of you to say so – delighted to put your name in for the book :)

    Meaghan: no problem, consider yourself added in for the book

    Shelley: enjoy the biscuit cake, I’ve only got a small bit of mine left – will have to make some more! And you’re in for the book draw too, of course

    Jodi: get thee to your chocolate biscuit cake while I add your name in for the draw :) I certainly plan on reporting after the festival, so you will indeed get to experience it, even if only vicariously!

    Susie: sure thing Susie, you’re in

    fizah: you’re not the only one who would love for plane tickets to be included – maybe next time :D – meanwhile, you’re in for the book draw

    Sophie: it’s so simple but so good! Will add you in for a shot at the book

  39. suzanna

    Chocolate, it sounds fantastic in any time, any form. The cake looks great, I will definately try it.
    Thanks for letting us know about such event, hope I can be there.
    And, please, could you put my name into both draws?

  40. irene

    please enter me for just the BOOK, as i can’t make it to the festival. thanks, hope it’s a great time for those who go!

  41. Veronica

    This looks a heck of a lot like a Christmas cake i Norway: http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=delfiakake

  42. Michelle

    Ye Gods. 43 comments, I knew you must be giving something away. I’m all for cooking that doesn’t involve the oven given that my people-in-res are little people (there go your across the big pond readers thinking it must be true after all about those leprechauns).

    That cake is just the answer to the annual oh my God what do we get teacher for Christmas question. Enjoy the choc fest. Please add me into the book hat.

  43. Daily Spud

    suzanna: absolutely, you’re in for both

    irene: you’re entered and I’m sure a great time will be had by whoever can make it to the festival :)

    Veronica: wow – never heard of delfiakake before but it certainly does look a lot like chocolate biscuit cake

    Michelle: …and into the book hat you go; I hope you and your little people are well – I heard you even got a sample of Spud’s own biscuit cake the other day…

  44. Lisa

    Hmm having some trouble posting a comment, maybe it will work this time. I would love to be in the draw to win a copy of your book, unfortunately there will be no chocolate festival for me, since I am in NZ. Your chocolate biscuit cake is going on to my ” must make” list :)

  45. ikkinlala

    If Canadians may enter, I’d love a chance to win a copy of the book.

  46. Rachel

    I would love to win the chocolate cookbook. Looks decadently good!

    And feel free to drop by my blog, The Crispy Cook, to enter my monthly cookbook giveaway.

  47. Rachel Nelson

    The cookbook looks like great fun, i would love a copy!

  48. Zahra Duffy

    Oh my goodness, a chance at the cookbook would be incredible!

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