I am a walking disaster when it comes to whipping up desserts and cakes. I make cakes that turn out to be cookies and cookies that looks more like cakes. The simple reason is because I’m a rebel when it comes to precisely measuring out ingredients, following recipes, temperatures and timings to a T because I personally feel it takes out all the fun out of cooking. I like adapting ingredients and cooking methods to suit my convenience and hey, don’t we already live in a too rigid and rule-driven world to constraint ourselves to recipes in the kitchen as well? Having said so, I do really admire those who have the patience and the ability to whip up petite and delicious desserts that are too pretty devour – just that it ain’t my cup of tea.
My expertise (If I can even call it expertise) in desserts are limited to probably 5 or 6 recipes – Custard & Blancmange which I learnt from Ammi, Betty Crocker Cakes – not that it counts, a Fruit Trifle I learnt from a mutual friend, a Crème Caramel my friend taught me, a Watalappan which I actually managed to nail with my MIL’s help and my all-time favorite – a delicious Chocolate Biscuit Pudding recipe that Akki and I coined up when we were kids.
Sri Lankans out there would probably agree with me that a good Chocolate Biscuit Pudding is to die for and though there are many versions of it– my favorite up to this day is that lip smacking pudding from the Kandos shop opposite Thurstan College. I have no idea if that shop still exists or if they still carry that tub of deliciousness anymore but man, I would sure give anything to have one of those again. And while we are at it, let me also declare that no matter how many artisan chocolates I may taste, Kandos will always be my favorite – I even had a photo taken with the Kandos man when I was about 7 years old and still carry a whole load of crackerjack with me when I return from holidays! I am loyal like that!
Anyway, being the youngest in the family, that too by 6 years, I had (still do!) the charm to sweet talk my dad into stopping by the Kandos shop to pick up a few tubs and some chocolates whenever we drove pass – which was pretty often :’) But if I remember correctly, somewhere around the late 90’s – when I was still a little brat, Kandos discontinued their biscuit pudding and I was flabbergasted. As inquisitive kids who were deprived of their favorite dessert, my sister and I read the list of ingredients from the Kandos tub and concocted our own version – without using any of that icky icing sugar and butter stuff!
Currently honeybunch and I are going through a ‘no-sugar’ phase (more like he is, and I am dragged into it by default) but a little bit of coaxing and ‘it’s for the blog noh darling!’ statements, I made him agree to let me make this peacefully without his grunts at the background. Thank God for the Blog 😉 This is one of those recipes that I hold very dear to me as it engulfs many sweet memories. So if anyone gives this recipe a go, don’t forget to let me know how it turned out!
Cast of Characters:
- A pack of Marie Biscuits
- One and a half cartons of milk
- Sugar (I used 7 sachets cos that’s all I had at home)
- About two cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 table spoons of Cocoa powder
- A knob of butter
- A drop of vanilla extract
Don’t worry too much about the quantities as it is quite a forgiving recipe and you could adjust as you like.
Pour 1 carton of milk into a large saucepan and heat it up. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix in the cocoa powder, the sugar and a bit of vanilla extract and pour in some milk and combine well.
Next, add this mixture into the milk in the saucepan and let it boil and thicken over a medium flame.
Once the mixture has come to a boil, add in the chocolate chips and let the whole thing thicken. Basically you are looking for a chocolate sauce consistency. There’s only one drawback in this recipe as compared to the icing sugar and butter method – this takes time. But we all know things that take time always taste good, right?
Remember to use a large enough pot as this mixture is prone to boil over as it thickens. To prevent this from happening, I always keep a wooden spoon over it plus reduce the heat when it threatens to boil over.
Basically the sauce should go from something like this to..
..something like this.
Once the chocolate mixture comes to a saucy consistency, add in a knob of butter (salted, unsalted – whatever; I am not particular and whatever is in the fridge works just fine). The butter will help the sauce to achieve a glossy sheen.
Once the sauce is done, remove from heat and set aside.
Now add the rest of the milk into a deep dish and soak some of the Marie biscuits in it. But don’t do this too early or you might end up with a milk-biscuit cereal. What you hope to achieve is biscuits that are semi soft but with a little bit of bite, about one minute max. I would advise to do this step in batches.
Then pour in a layer of the chocolate sauce, followed by another layer of soaked biscuits and sauce and so on. Remember to ensure that the last layer is chocolate sauce.
Next let it cool down and pop into the fridge for a few hours to chill and set. Cut into squares/ rectangles or just scoop a huge portion out and serve. Some would dust a bit of icing sugar, cashew or even serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we two chocoholics just dived in straight with a few raspberries for that extra zing!