This Polish Cake is a no-cook, chocolate refrigerator cake. The recipe was given to my mother by a Polish friend over 50 years ago, but it certainly stands the test of time. Polish Cake is easy for children to make and is a great addition to a party table, however old you are!
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Although the recipe still tastes great, making it is easier now. For example, instead of just greasing the tin I now use a non-stick reusable liner. Just cut it to size and keep it in the tin. This an ideal product for an Everyday Cook – it cuts down on the washing up as the tin is cleaner without greasing and the cake doesn’t stick. Best of all it goes in the dishwasher.
The only change I’ve made to the actual recipe is that I use half and half milk and very dark chocolate as a coating. We probably used a cake covering rather than real chocolate as it was all the rage in the 1970’s. I wouldn’t touch the stuff now as it’s more of a chemical equation than a food. I know chocolate has the odd emulsifier as well, but at least most of the ingredients are things that are familiar – cocoa, sugar, milk, vanilla. On the whole, the darker the chocolate, the fewer the added extras. I do like to eat as naturally as possible, and chocolate doesn’t really fall into that category, but I apply my ‘everything in moderation’ philosophy to it and I don’t feel guilty about a little chocolate pleasure.
I like Waitrose Belgian Milk Chocolate for cooking, but I couldn’t get it this week so I used Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. But really, any milk chocolate will do. My go-to dark chocolate for cooking is Waitrose Continental Plain Chocolate, which is 72% cocoa solids. The combination of the two is particularly nice – just the right amount of sweetness for me. If you make this for children, maybe it will need a higher proportion of milk chocolate. On the other hand, you could just try and educate their palates – or eat it all yourself.
Polish Cake - a no-cook chocolate refrigerator cake
For the Polish Cake:
- 300 g Rich Tea biscuits
- 150 g butter
- 40 g light brown soft sugar
- 200 g golden syrup
- 25 g cocoa powder, (not drinking chocolate)
- Grease the tin with a little butter OR
- Line the base with baking parchment or a linerThe advantage of lining the tin is that it's easier to clean and the finished cake comes out more easily
For the Polish Cake:
- Crush the biscuits: Put the biscuits in a large bag. Beat with a rolling pin until the biscuits are in small piecesSome of the biscuit will be powdered and some will be in larger pieces - that is what you want
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, and golden syrup and mix well
- Turn off the heat and add the crushed biscuits and cocoa. Mix thoroughly. The chocolate colour should be quite evenly distributed
- Press the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon. Push it down firmly. Turn the spoon over and use its edge to tidy up the edges of the cake base
- Leave to cool.
For the topping:
- When the base has cooled, tip it out of the tin and remove the liner
- Melt the chocolate. Put the chocolate in a small basin and EITHER melt in the microwave on 30-sec bursts OR Put the basin over a saucepan of hot water. Don't let the water boil or touch the bowl. Keep stirring.For step-by-step instructions see How to Melt Chocolate
- When the chocolate has melted, pour over the base and spread evenly using a knife
- Leave to cool, then cut into squares
- If the cocoa has lumps, don't bother to sift it. Just make sure you mix it in thoroughly, pressing the lumps out as you go
- Instead of lining with baking parchment every time, I use a non-stick reusable liner. Just cut it to size and keep it in the tin