I have a son who loves making cupcakes and a husband who loves eating them but this was requested instead of a birthday cake this year. It went so well we have made it several times with slightly different ingredients depending which supermarket we were shopping in. Here in Germany the supermarkets are much smaller than the UK and so the range of choice can be a bit limited. Come back Tescos Extra all is forgiven!
Luckily this recipe is very forgiving and it is easy enough for the older kids to make themselves as the only "cooking" is melting chocolate and butter in a microwave.
150g plain chocolate (supermarkets own cheapo one is fine but don't use cooking chocolate or cake covering as it can be vile)
2 tbsp golden syrup or treacle or honey depending on what you have to hand
250g plain biscuits (digestives or rich tea if I am in the UK, graham crackers in the US or butterkekse in Germany)
100g nuts - any kind you can get (except roasted peanuts obviously!)
200g dried fruit such as sultanas, glace cherries,cranberries, apricots, blueberries, whatever you can get/like best
2 tbsp orange juice (or rum/brandy if for grown-ups only!)
Grease a swiss roll cake tin (or line with clingfilm). Alternatively re-use the aluminium tin that comes with supermarket croissants:)
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a large microwaveable bowl along with the butter and syrup. Set to one side whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Chop the nuts.
Chop any large pieces of dried fruit and soak in the liquid. Warm in the microwave for 20 seconds.
Crush the biscuits. The most effective way to do this is to place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin but it is much more fun for the kids to put in a high sided bowl (we use a big measuring jug) and crush with the end of the rolling pin or with a plastic drinks bottle - don't however be tempted to use a normal bowl as over enthusiastic helpers can end up firing biscuit shrapnel all over!
Now everything else is prepared heat the chocolate butter and syrup mixture in the microwave until melted. We do this in 30 second blasts (takes about 2 mins but this depends on the individual microwave), DO NOT allow to boil or the chocolate will go gritty.
Stir in all the remaining ingredients and press into the prepared tin. Press down well. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Cut into pieces and serve.