Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Childhood treats from NZ

Today we're going to take a trip down memory lane while I share with you something that all kiwi kids love, and everybody else loves after I have shared it with them: chocolate fudge-cake. It's really simple, the type of thing that children themselves will learn to make. There are loads of different recipes out there and I myself never actually made this as a child, only when I moved overseas and wanted to make treats for friends. Did I mention that it is unbaked? I should have sooner because that is one of the great things about this. It's really good if you want to make something desserty and have no oven on hand! It uses crushed plain biscuits, which in NZ are called Wine biscuits for some reason but here in Ireland the closest thing I can find is Tea biscuits. Some recipes call for eggs, some for condensed milk and some for normal milk. I have read comments about not wanting to use eggs because they're not really cooked, and could give you salmonella. Now, I'm afraid to tell you this, all you people that read magazines and the internet and just assume them to be knowledgeable, trustful sources, but this is not really true. I mean, if the chicken has salmonella, then you may not want to eat the egg raw. There is not much point anyway, unless it is for a specific dish, seeing as you actually get much more protein from cooked egg than raw egg. The risk of salmonella in an egg is incredibly low and even if you did have a raw egg that had the bacteria in it, you might not be infected as your immune system is actually pretty good at its job. If you buy clean, uncracked eggs and keep them in the fridge, you should be right. Yet, despite the fact that I think it unlikely that you would get salmonella from eating fudge-cake made with eggs, my own recipe from my friend's mum (my second family really) uses milk, so there is nothing to worry about!

Chocolate Fudge Cake

250 grams plain biscuits
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
125 grams butter
125 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (this is not absolutely required, and at home people often use walnuts, which I don't even like)
*Mini marshmallows (my own addition, to make it sort of like rocky road)
*Chocolate icing
-1 cup icing sugar
-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (or a bit more if you like it dark)
-1 tablespoon butter
-2 tablespoons boiling water

Prepare a rectangle slice tin, like a swiss roll tin or something, by greasing it well or lining it with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the butter and sugar together in a pan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Let this mixture cool and then add the cocoa, vanilla and milk.

Crush the biscuits (a food processor makes this much easier). You want some of it to be crumbs but some still in chunky pieces. Add to the biscuits the nuts, and if you want the marshmallow version add those now too, and combine it all as well as you can.

Pour the chocolate mixture over and mix well. Press it into the prepared tin and chill it until it is hard.



The general thing to do in NZ is to then ice it with chocolate icing, which may seem sort of like overkill but it really isn't. Plain chocolate icing is really easy. You simply sift your icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, place your dollop of butter on the top, pour the boiling water over and give it a good beat!

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