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Chocolate Biscuit Log Cabin Cake with Louise Lennox

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Louise is showing us how to get creative this Xmas by making a chocolate biscuit log cabin.

Louise Lennox - Chef

After a childhood in Dundrum, Co Dublin and inspired by her mother's baking skills, Louise was nine when she burnt her first cake. 2 years later her 5th class teacher encouraged her to tackle her dyslexia, by using cookery books for to help her reading skills improve. Louise baked cakes for homework and thus proved to herself, and her classmates, that she had discovered her creative strengths.

Fast forward to Leaving Cert, and while the others in the class were studying for high points, Louise was working as a commis chef for the 'Irish Management Institute'. So while she did complete her Leaving Cert, Louise's focus was already on her true passion and future career.

For 3 years Louise studied professional cookery at Cathal Brugha Street. There she discovered her natural flair for pastry work and quickly moved to a prime job in Mahers in Dublin 4. Two years later, aged just 22, she became Head Pastry Chef at the renowned Dobbins Restaurant under the ownership of the late John O'Byrne. It was here that Louise honed her skills in the art of the plated dessert, and where her creations in edible art, such as sugar skills and chocolate work, were recognised. Nowadays you will find Louise, the self-employed pastry chef, selling her breads, biscuits and cakes in the Cup Cake Cottage in Airfield in Dundrum. She also sets aside time to give cookery lessons to children, a job she particularly loves. Louise has contributed to many radio programmes including Boiled, Baked and Basted; Family Flavours; Christmas Eve Food Special and The Tubridy Show, and is currently a contributor on the Will Leahy Show on radio 2FM.

Louise made her debut on television on The Restaurant, and as a longtime fan of the show she is particularly thrilled to be part of the team. Louise is also a contributor to The Afternoon Show on RTE One.

Chocolate Biscuit Log Cabin Cake

Ingredients for Cake
. 285g Dark Chocolate - melted
. 1 tin of Condensed Milk
. 225g Unsalted Butter (1 packet)- melted
. 500g Digestive biscuits
. 300g Rich Tea biscuits
. 4 Crunchie Bars
. 1 packet of Mini Marshmallows

Ingredients for Decoration
. 1 Packet of Royal Icing
. 26 Flake bars (yes 26!)
. 4 Packets of Chocolate Fingers
. 750g Chocolate Spread
. 1 Packet of Roll out or Fondant icing
. Red and Green food colouring
. Edible Silver balls
. Any Edible Christmas decorations

Method for Cake
1 Put the biscuits and crunchie bars into a freezer bag, or between two pieces of cling film and using a rolling pin roughly crush. If you don't have a rolling pin, use an unopened tin of baked beans, tomatoes etc.
2 Pour the crumbs into a bowl and mix in the mini marshmallows.
3 Stir in melted butter and then the condensed milk
4 Mix well and then add the melted chocolate
5 Line a 13inch Deep roasting tin or a 9inch Square with cling film.
6 Spoon the biscuit mixture into the tin and flatten with the back of a spoon.
7 Place the cake in the fridge for 4 hours.

Method for Decoration
1 Remove the cake from the tin by turning it up side down. And place on a board or tray.
2 If using a roasting tin cut the cake in half, spread a tin layer of chocolate spread over it and put then other half on top.
3 Cover the whole cake with ¾ of the jar of chocolate spread
4 Layer the chocolate fingers on all 4 sides of the cake leaving a small gap at the front for the door.
5 To make the roof stick 3 chocolate fingers down the middle on top of the cake cover them with some chocolate spread and repeat twice more.
6 Spoon a small amount of chocolate spread on each end of the Flake bars then stick one end to the chocolate fingers.
7 Colour 1/3 of the roll out (fondant) icing red and 1/3 green. When colouring icing use only a drop of food colouring. A little goes a long way!
8 Roll out the red icing onto a rectangle to make the door and stick it to the front of the cabin. Roll the green into a cone shape then snap with a small scissors to make a Christmas tree use a little royal icing to stick on silver balls.
9 Make the royal icing according to the instructions on the packet. Then spread all over the board to give a snowy effect.
10 This is where YOU become creative and decorate Santa's Log Cabin.

Louise Lennox