This is one popular dessert in Europe. Some say that it is a truly Italian recipe, I say that many countries in Europe have at least one version of it. If it came from Italy or not, I don’t know, but what I can say is that I grew up with this recipe back in Romania as it was a cheap, economic way to put a dessert on the table. It was nothing fancy, just few sweet biscuits or graham crackers, tossed in a syrup made out of water, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and different flavors. The mixture was then molded as a log or a “salami” as we liked to call it. It was refrigerated, then sliced and served as a dessert or a snack.
The recipe is passed from generation to generation and it makes a delicious dessert for any day of the week. As I said before, the original recipe was shaped as a log, or as a salami, as we used to call it. As a matter of fact, in Romanian it is called indeed : Salam de biscuiti, or Biscuits Salami. This time, though, I decided to shape the mixture as a cake, because I needed an easy, no bake dessert that looked fancier. And it really looked very pretty, don’t you think?
The No Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake uses digestive biscuits, very popular overseas. If you cannot find them, you can use regular graham crackers. Some people use crushed biscotti or animal crackers, or simple sugar cookies. The bottom line is that you can use whatever sweet simple cookie, biscuit or cracker you like. This makes the recipe flexible and easy to put together using ingredients from the pantry.
My version of this recipe is flavored with rum, a very popular flavor used in the Romanian desserts. If you don’t like that flavor, use vanilla, almond flavor or anything you like. I also used walnuts, but if you don’t like them or have them, replace them with hazelnuts or crushed almonds. Dried or candied fruits work really well in this recipe.
As you can see on the picture below, it really resembles a “salami” inside. The biscuits, the nuts and the dried fruit have different textures that make this dessert really amazing.
Advice: If the mixture looks kind of dry after mixing the biscuits/crackers with the syrup , do not add more liquid. The ratio between dry and wet ingredients is a perfect one to get the right consistency after refrigeration for few hours. The biscuits will have time to absorb the flavors and become soft. The perfect pan for me was a springform pan because I find it easier to remove the cake before serving.
- 28 oz/800g digestive biscuits or graham crackers
- 1 cup/100g toasted walnuts, chopped
- Chocolate Syrup
- 1 cup/200g granulated sugar
- ½ cup/60g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup/240 ml cold water
- ⅔ cup/150g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1teaspoon rum flavor
- ½ cup dried or candied fruits
- Chocolate Ganache
- ½ cup/120 ml heavy cream
- 4 oz/120g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 oz shaved chocolate for decor
- Make the chocolate syrup first:
- Place the sugar, cocoa powder, water and butter in a small pot.Place the pot on the stove, on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the syrup for about 7 minutes, mixing constantly.
- Remove from the stove and let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted chopped walnuts, the rum flavor, the vanilla and the dried/candied fruits. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, break the graham crackers in small pieces and place them in a big bowl.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the crackers and mix all together until crackers are coated.
- Place the mixture into a springform pan and press it down to become compact.
- Refrigerate for an hour.
- Chocolate Ganache:
- In a small pot, bring the heavy cream to a boil, then remove it from the stove and add the chopped chocolate.
- Mix the combination until the chocolate is completely melted and mixed with the heavy cream.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and spread it with a spatula.
- Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or over night.
- Remove the springform and place the cake on a platter.
- Decorate with shaved chocolate.
- Cut and serve.
- Keep it in the refrigerator.
- Note: If the mixture looks kind of dry after mixing the biscuits/crackers with the syrup , do not add more liquid. The ratio between dry and wet ingredients is a perfect one to get the right consistency after refrigeration for few hours. The biscuits will have time to absorb the flavors and become soft. The perfect pan for me was a springform pan because I find it easier to remove the cake before serving. The result also looks prettier.