A pretty pink-and-green chocolate and caramel dead-cinch no-bake cake for Kate

For part of my ‘day’ job I run the HR function for a company with some sixty employees spread across six countries. We’re in the depths of the Coronavirus lockdown, and the standard birthday card, signed by all those on the same site, is an impossibility. What to do?

The answer is a virtual birthday cake! This one was made for a colleague with a chocolate habit. The recipe and some enticing images were sent out to everyone, a great success.

It doesn’t just taste great, but although it takes a couple of hours, most of that is chilling time. In terms of time and effort, it lives up to its name… it’s a dead cinch…

no-cook chocolate cake recipe
It takes about two hours, but most of the time is chilling time.



This cake keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe for a chocolate and caramel dead-cinch cake for Kate

Serves 8


  • 250g/8 oz digestive biscuits
  • 150g/three-fifths of a brick /5 oz of butter
  • 250g dark (70% plus) chocolate
  • 230g/8 oz salted caramel sauce – Joe and Seph’s is good
  • 240ml/1 cup double cream
  •  2 tbsps chopped pistachios
  • 5g/3 tbsps freeze dried raspberries and some edible gold to decorate… or anything else you have in your cupboard


  1. Line a springform cake tin (23cm/9”) with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
  3. Separately, in a bain marie (or a heatproof bowl over, and not touching a pan of simmering water) melt the chocolate. Add about a third of the melted butter (about four tbsps. or ¼ cup), Stir and take off the heat.
  4. Put the digestive biscuits into a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin. Add to the butter, mix well. Then press the biscuit base down onto the cake tin. Put it in the fridge for half an hour.
  5. If the caramel sauce is quite liquid and easy to pour you can then spread it over the hardened, chilled biscuit base. If it’s a bit too solid, loosen it up in the microwave for a few seconds. Return to the fridge for another half hour.
  6. Whip the double cream until softly stiff while you gently reheat the chocolate mixture just so that it is loose again… no longer solid. Fold the chocolate into the cream. Pour this chocolate mixture over the salted caramel layer.
  7. Return to the fridge for at least an hour.
  8. When you plan to eat it, take the cake out of the cake tin, put it on a cake stand, decorate it, and serve.


no-cook chocolate cake recipe
If you add some chocolate eggs to the decoration, it becomes an Easter cake.



Music to play while you make this

Three tracks from the film, Chocolat



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