Updated: Sep 5
My grandma used to make this wonderful cake during the Eid Mubarak or Hari Raya festive season. Partly due to the fact that we used to have a large number of Muslim neighbors. Perhaps, that's when my grandma mastered her skills in making "Keks" & "Kuehs"; she'd probably learned from her neighbors.
I have very fond and nostalgic memories with this kek in particular. Very much like kek lapis, the end results (whether it is a failure or success) will only reveal when the edges are trimmed. I remember vividly the way she shouted in joy when she succeeded in her 1st attempt. The outline of the biscuits pieces is indeed a beauty to gaze at.
I decided to give it a shot during this festive season. I am glad I did cos I got it right on my 1st attempt and every bite is nostalgia. However, I amped up her recipe with a chocolate ganache layer (hope she wouldn't mind). I am also glad that I managed to find Marie Biscuits during this lockdown phase.
You can use graham crackers. Or any low-sugar and neutral flavored crackers/biscuits will work fine. As long as it has a snap when you break it into pieces. Digestive biscuits will not work as they crumble too easily. I hope you will get the idea of which biscuits/crackers to use. The trick is knowing when to stop adding the biscuits during the cooking process. Too little biscuits, will not have a beautiful outline. Too many biscuits, it will not hold its shape when setting. You will have to use your judgment and intuition.
It is okay if you can't get it on 1st try. Keep trying and experimenting until you get it right. That's what makes cooking and baking so exciting and addictive. Anyway, enough jibber-jabber. Let's get started with the recipe.
(Make one 8 inch square cake)
Marie Biscuits / Graham Crackers, About 400g
Unsalted Butter, 150g + 10g
Condensed Milk, 114g
High Quality Cocoa Powder Preferably Valrhona or Callebaut, 38g
Australian Milo, 90g + More For Dusting
Hot Water, 89g
Sea Salt, 1/2 TSP
Pure Vanilla Paste, 1/2 TSP + 1/2 TSP
Heavy Whipping Cream, 200g
High Quality Chocolate Preferably Valrhona or Callebaut 70%, 200g
Raw Cacao Powder Preferably Nature Superfoods, For Dusting
8" Square Cake Pan
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Lay parchment paper on the cake pan with sides overhanging.
Break biscuits into coarse pieces. Not too big and not too small.
If you cannot find any Marie Biscuits, you can use Graham Crackers.
Any crackers or biscuits will work as long as they are not sugary, neutral flavor and have a snap when you break them.
You probably will not use all 400g too.
Set the biscuits pieces aside.
In a skillet over low heat, melt butter.
Once the butter has completely melted, add in condensed milk.
Whisk to combine well.
Add in cocoa powder and whisk to combine well.
Add in milo and whisk to combine well.
Add in hot water and whisk to combine well.
Remove from heat and whisk in the egg.
Once the egg has fully incorporated, return back to the heat.
Add in salt and 1/2 TSP of vanilla paste.
Whisk to combine well.
Add in 1 handful of the biscuit pieces.
Fold to coat the biscuits well.
Add another handful, folding and coating the biscuits well.
Keep adding, folding and coating until the biscuits do not have much sauce to coat.
Stop adding in the biscuits.
*You will have to judge. If the biscuits are less than the sauce, you will not get a beautiful outline as you slice the cake. If the biscuits are too many, it will not hold it's shape well when chilled.*
Transfer into the cake pan, distributing to the edges, making sure all corners are well covered.
Using an offset spatula, press to compact the biscuits mixture.
*It is okay to use a bit of strength as the biscuits have softened during the cooking process.*
Chill in the fridge to set.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add cream.
Bring it up to a boil.
Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl of chocolate and butter.
Set aside for a couple of mins.
Stir to combine well and until the chocolate has completely melted.
Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 TSP of vanilla.
Give it a final stir to combine well.
Pour this chocolate ganache over the biscuit layer.
Swirl the cake pan to distribute the ganache evenly.
Give it a few taps on the counter to remove any excess air bubbles.
Chill in the fridge overnight to set.
Unmold and dust with raw cacao powder and milo.
Slice to trim off the edges.
Slice and serve immediately.
Here's the recipe video: