Chocolate Biscuit Cake Doukissa
This creation goes by many names Chocolate Biscuit Cake, Tiffin or in Cyprus Doukissa. It is a wonderful mix of condensed milk, 70% chocolate (Lindt if you can), butter and a tot of optional brandy that mixes into this thick glossy blend of chocolate and binds the biscuits to form a cake. We love using Digestive biscuits in this recipe, a clever twist that my daughter requested for the saltiness they bring. This allows the dark chocolate to shine through and although you have used condensed milk and chocolate the result is not overly sweet. My daughter loves this so much that she chose it as her birthday cake. When I shared her desire (which I thought was a little off-piste) my mum told me Prince William chose a similar recipe as his groom’s cake!
Doukissa is a staple in every Cypriot bakery like you would find a tiffin or a fridge cake in some family bakeries, they have wonderful slices beautifully decorated in their display cabinets.
The origins of the name which means Duchess in English are unclear and it is also referred to as Kormos, which in Greek, means the bark of a tree. Another name is Mosaiko meaning mosaic and this is exactly what the inside looks like mosaic tiles. The biscuit looks as if they are suspended in a thick coating of chocolate like perfectly formed mosaic tiles.
I’m partial to icing especially on a carrot cake, that icing I can eat with a spoon, however, coating doukissa in even more chocolate does not appeal. It does look beautiful though. In Cyprus, the icing varies from a buttercream style covering to a shiny rich ganache. For our family we aren’t sweet-toothed, so we enjoy it as is.
Prince William chose a similar cake for his groom’s cake. This differs in that it has eggs in it and was a mammoth size. His cake was made with 17 kg of chocolate and 1,700 McVities biscuits. McVities gifted the cake to Prince William. The recipe was a family favourite from their nanny and the originator of the recipe was her mum.
My recipe can be served to pregnant friends and is suitable for those who have egg allergies.
I love symmetry, so I make most things in a loaf or square pan. For this recipe, I use a rounded loaf pan. It cuts wonderfully and if I need to transport it to friends the loaf tin fits well into a cooler bag on a summer day with a few ice blocks. I also make this in smaller Victoria sponge tins as edible gifts and they freeze well if you are wanting to get ahead.
This is super easy to make the recipe, taking minutes to melt and stir together it is the ideal make-ahead treat to have in the house and for young children to ‘bake’ with you.
Let’s talk about the biscuits:
There is no need to bake homemade biscuits for this recipe. It is supposed to be a quick and easy recipe. You can use any of your favourite shop-bought biscuits French butter biscuits, Rich Tea but as I mentioned above my daughter loves the saltiness that Digestive biscuits bring to the doukissa. She cleverly says they cut the sweetness and add a little salty note.
We have also made this with Lotus biscuits and shortbread over the years and they are equally delicious.
This is wonderful to make, it straddles the times you feel like a cake, a biscuit or dessert. It is everything rolled into one.
This is easy to turn into a gluten-free dessert with gluten-free biscuits. Find your favourites and add them to the mixture.
Vegan Doukissa Option
I am yet to try the vegan condensed milk but using that, a vegan spread to replace the butter and your favourite shop-bought vegan biscuits, I don’t see why this recipe would not easily adapt with vegan ingredients. I would say to make it ahead of time and if it looks a little soft pop it in the freezer to set.
I love the Doukissa in that you just stir it together in minutes and you have to make it ahead of time. This recipe is a brilliant get ahead and let it sit overnight or for at least 6 hours ahead.
Crush the biscuits, melt the butter, chocolate and add in the condensed milk, cocoa powder, salt and brandy or vanilla essence. Stir the chocolate through and that is it.
- 300 grams of dark chocolate (70%), broken into small pieces
- 50 grams of cocoa powder (ideally organic)
- 150g of butter cut into small cubes
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of brandy or ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 packet of digestive biscuit (400g)
- 1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
- Cling film
- Prepare your chosen tin, either a 30cm round cake tin or a 30cm x 10cm x 5cm loaf tin, lined with cling film. Or you can form this into a salami shape by pouring the mixture onto a large square of cling wrap.
- Add the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder into a large pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients.
- Melt the mixture while stirring continuously so that the mixture does not catch and burn.
- Take the pot off the hob/stove and add in the condensed milk, salt, brandy or vanilla essence and allow the pot to cool for a few minutes, while you prepare the biscuits.
- You can break the biscuits by hand into ¼ or add the biscuits into a plastic bag and gently crush them with a pestle or rolling pin. You want larger chunks rather than crumbs. these form a wonderful looking mosaic inside when cut.
- Add the biscuits to the chocolate mixture and stir.
- The mixture will look like there are too many biscuits for the chocolate, keep going and they will coat all the biscuits perfectly.
- Fill your chosen container or roll the mixture into a salami shape using cling wrap. If you are creating a salami shape smooth and roll the mixture to form a cylinder.
- Place the doukissa into the fridge overnight or a minimum of 4-6 hours.
- Remove the cling wrap, place on a serving plate or board and slice through and serve with your drink of choice.
In a large bowl melt the butter and chocolate in short bursts and stir often so as not to burn the chocolate.
When the mixture has melted add in the condensed milk, brandy or vanilla essence and cocoa powder. Stir well to combine add the mixture back into the microwave and give it another 10 seconds.
The recipe can easily be halved, doubled or tripled.
Heat butter in a pot that can hold all the ingredients and add in the chocolate and cocoa powder. Stirring continuously until the mixture has melted. Set aside for a few minutes, 4-7 minutes.
Pour in the tin of condensed milk, add and add the salt and brandy/vanilla essence.
Mix the biscuits into the chocolate mixture, it will look like there are too many biscuits for the chocolate mixture but keep going it will soak in and coat everything.
Get a large piece of parchment paper into a rectangular shape pour the mixture onto the paper.
Without touching the mixture with your hands shape into a long salami shape.
Once you get desired shape twist the ends of the paper.
Now get some cling film and wrap this around the salami shape tightly
Shaping it again to the desired shape.
Put in the freezer for 2 hours at least
It should come out nice and firm and ready to serve.
Using a sharp knife slice through cling film and baking parchment and you will get nice round salami thick slices!
Great with a Greek coffee/tea
PS I have made this so many times and each time it gets devoured. These are the leftover pieces from a small Vitoria cake tin amount I held back for us to enjoy. One day I’ll snap the cake in its full glory!