This is one of the easiest dessert recipes out there…
We Sri Lankans love our Marie biscuits. We love munching on it at random or in between meals, dunking it in a hot cup of sweet tea or slathering it in butter and jam in a miniature sandwich or simply, just soaking it in milk and shoveling it by spoonfuls into our mouths. But most of all, we love it in our puddings. And this pudding, we call by numerous names – Sri Lankan biscuit pudding, chocolate biscuit pudding, Marie biscuit pudding – whatever you call it, any full blooded Sri Lankan would definitely know what you are talking about.
Growing up in Sri Lanka, there was no sight as exciting as spotting multiple Marie biscuits packets on the counterpane. I would then instantly look in the fridge for blocks of butter and in the cupboard for icing sugar. Ever heard of children bouncing off the walls when they eat too much of sweets? Well for me, the results of my foodie detective work was enough to work me up into a frenzy.
Children have a keen sense, almost an animal instinct when something they like is cooking. I suppose I was no exception to this rule. I would dance about, sing and pester my mother and whoever had the misfortune of loitering around the house that day for no reason whatsoever, drunk on the thought of what is coming.
A decadent mix of cocoa powder, butter, sugar and biscuits, this is no feat for the weak hearted. I mean it – dear God, two servings of this can legitimately send you into a sugar comma.
Chocolate biscuit pudding
- Butter - 250g
- Marie biscuits - 3 packets (Approximately 60 biscuits)
- Cocoa powder - 80g, unsweetened
- Milk - 1 cup, warm
- Vanilla essence - A dash
- Raisins - 1 cup
- Icing sugar - 300g, sifted (You can of course adjust this to your taste)
- Cream - 1 tblsp
- Brandy - 1 tblsp (optional)
- Nuts or chocolate curls to top
- Cream together the butter and the icing sugar. Add a dash of vanilla, brandy and mix well.
- Add in the chocolate powder. Mix well. Add the cream and mix.
- Dip the biscuits in the warm milk and line them along a deep dish with a wide mouth. Slather some chocolate-sugar mixture over it to cover it fully. Sprinkle some raisins over it. Add another layer of dry biscuits. Repeat process with biscuits, chocolate and raisins alternating between biscuits dunked in milk and dry biscuits.
- Finish with a layer of chocolate on top. Top with chocolate shavings or nuts of your choice.
- Refrigerate for about 4 hours before digging in. I know it’s hard, but you sorta have to.
I’ll share a secret with you though. Few Marie biscuits heaped with the chocolate mixture do tend to make their way into my mouth sometimes. Well, a lot of times. I think the best part about being a grown up is that you don’t have to have your mom’s permission for licking the bowl – or grabbing whole spoonfuls of the batter for yourself for that matter.
The first bite will be slightly hardy, like chocolate that has been in the fridge. But give it a few seconds and a bit of warmth from the mouth and it will melt, overwhelming you with the sheer opulence of it all. The silky sumptuous chocolate, the crunchy biscuit, the tangy raisins going “plop” at each bite, all plumped up by absorbing the milk from the biscuits, the textures will surprise and beguile. Beneath the rich, creamy chocolate you will get the warmth of tropical vanilla, the piquant current of brandy, all coming together in the milkiness of it all. It is a melange of flavours – the heady, the piquant, the tangy and the sweet along with the full bodied cocoa dominating your tongue.
Some tips & tricks
- Don’t use hot milk to soak your biscuits. Slightly warm milk will do. Hot milk will make your biscuits too soggy and you don’t want a soggy pudding.
- This Sri Lankan favourite is such a familiar with us islanders that we have the most amazing variations for this. Some add a little coffee to the chocolate mixture to get a mocha flavour going, some use whipped cream while some just use a sort of chocolate ganache. Likewise you can easily customize to suit your tastes. My personal favourite is however, the recipe I have shared above.
- I have added chocolate coated rice crispies in between the layers in the photos above and found that it doesn’t really work as they tend to get soggy. In the past I’ve added soft milk chocolate chips, plums and M & Ms in the past to create that textural difference and found that I liked them better.
- I like to serve it with jell-O. A strawberry jell-O works best I’ve found, or raspberry. I like that taste contrast between sweet and tangy. Ice cream works too if you are one with the sweet tooth.