(aka English Fridge Cake)
This dessert is known in my house as Viennese Square, which is what my mom has always called it.
I have no idea where this “Viennese” notion came from, because I couldn’t find any search results for “Viennese square” dessert. Turns out this isn’t a Viennese creation at all, but a British one.
Looking at the ingredients—digestive biscuits and golden syrup—this should have been obvious. It’s also the Queen’s favorite afternoon tea cake; what could be more English?
It tastes like a crumbly fudgy cookie-brownie combination, or an extra-thick bar of crust from an Oreo cheesecake, and it’s super easy and no-bake! Unfortunately it’s not at all healthy, but you can’t have everything.
- 2 oz butter
- 4½ oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp golden syrup (or high-fructose corn syrup)
- 8 oz digestive biscuits
- Crush digestive biscuits into crumbs. (Put them in a zip-lock plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin, or use a food processor.)
- Melt butter, chocolate, and syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently to mix and prevent burning.
- Pour melted chocolate mixture over cookie crumbs and stir to combine.
- Press mixture into an 8″-square baking tin.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to set before serving.
- Add mix-ins like chopped-up chunks of walnut, pistachio, maraschino cherry, marshmallow, meringue, dried apricots, rum-soaked raisins, or dark chocolate. My brother and sister and I like ours plain, though!
- Press the mixture into a loaf pan instead of a square pan, to make the finished product taller and narrower. Slice into long, thin bars, which look more sophisticated than regular squares.
- Dust icing sugar or cocoa powder over the top (through a sieve) to make the bars look prettier.
 See this Today article for the recipe from the Queen’s head chef.
 If you can’t find digestive biscuits at the store, I recommend making your own (recipe). Graham crackers are usually a decent substitute, but here I think they would be too dry and lacking in oaty flavor.
 See, for example, the elegant appearance of Vivalinka’s English Fridge Cake Bars.
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