The first thing to say is this: I habitually misspell ‘refrigerator’. The abbreviation is ‘fridge’, right? (I had to go and look this up in a sudden fit of uncertainty but, yes, it is). So, why is the abbreviation ‘fridge’ when the word *doesn’t have a d in it*? I have never and will never understand it, and I think Something should be Done.
So, anyway, however you spell it, refri(d)gerator cake is an excellent bit of baking to undertake if you’re a smidgen short on time. It’s extraordinarily flexible, and you can add all your favourite things to it. There is no baking involved, and it can’t fail. There will be no sinking as it cools; no curdling in the pot; no burning, smoking, scorching or any other oven mishaps. The following recipe is very loose, and it’s more of a technique than anything, but I’m sure you’ll get the gist.
I made this as part of my drive to be making and baking in ways that are easier, quicker and create as few dishes as possible. It really fit the bill. It takes hardly any time to put together; the longest part of the process is waiting for it to chill, which you can do overnight while you’re probably otherwise engaged with sleep.
My own refrigerator cake was an attempt to replicate one of my favourite chocolate bars past: the Cadbury’s Fuse. The Fuse was around in the 90s, and was discontinued in 2006, much to the chagrin of many. It was a solid chocolate bar with raisins, nuts, biscuits and crunchy cereal through it – very delicious. So I tried to redo this, using some ingredients from my last Foodie Penpals parcel as two of the main components. Here’s the result:
It’s awfully yellow, isn’t it? I’m still making friends with my new camera, and still not using appropriate extra lighting in the kitchen when I take photos in the evenings. Thankfully the nights are getting noticeably lighter now – it’s light past 4pm now, what a treat!
So, the rough recipe for this particular cake:
- handful seedless raisins
- two handfuls chocolate puffed rice cereal (by which I mean Coco Pops)
- four chocolate covered fudge bars (by which I mean Cadbury’s fudge), cut into small pieces
- ten almonds (ideally delicious cinnamon and cocoa glazed almonds), chopped
- 100g fruity dark chocolate
- 100g standard plain chocolate (from the baking aisle)
- 200g milk chocolate
- 100g unsalted butter
Start off with the baking dish you’re going to use – I used a 7″ square tin. Put your filling ingredients in the dish and mix around, to see how they look. Imagine cutting the slab into bits, and how much of each ingredient would be in one of those bits. Add more of anything you’d like more of – the above amounts will make for a very chocolatey snack, so you could increase the other ingredients to make it more like a classic Fuse, which was more cereal/raisin/fudge/nut than chocolate.
Once you’re happy with the proportions, melt the chocolate and butter together (I always use the microwave) and make sure they’re well combined. Then, tip the fillings out of the baking dish and into the bowl or jug you used to melt the chocolate, and mix again.
Line your now-empty baking tin with greaseproof paper, to make it easier to remove the finished cake. Pour the chocolate mixture back into the tin, and allow to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge overnight to set, then slicing into squares.
Other ingredients you might like to add include:
- other dried fruits like blueberries or cherries
- candied orange slices
- broken up banana chips
- macadamias, pistachios or pecans – or any other kind of nut
- popcorn – caramel or maybe even salted would work
- broken biscuits
- spices like cinnamon, chili or pepper
- white chocolate chips (these might be best sprinkled over the top)
You can also monkey with the proportions of dark and milk chocolate, or use only one, and reduce the amount of butter. These proportions gave quite a soft, melty end result, so next time I’d probably go more chocolate, less butter. It’s the kind of recipe you make your own, and make often.
Probably best not to use all of these variations at once – moderation is key, yes?