Next time you are needing to take a plate of something sweet to share, or next time you are just wanting a treat for yourself then make this. If you like chocolate and you like pecans then you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Anyone can make this. It is one of those recipes that require very little skill and very little ingredients but seems to be a huge hit. I have given this recipe to so many people because everyone who eats this asks for the recipe. I can’t even take the credit. This is a Belinda Jeffery recipe and it is brilliant.
When I was taking photos of the Higgledy-Piggledys my eldest, Levi, who isn’t a fan of nuts told me to write:
This is really delicious even though it has nuts. You don’t even really notice the nuts are there.
I feel it is important to add here that yes you do notice they are there. In fact, if you look carefully at the photos you will see them. I guess the point is that even fussy children love, love, love this slice. I can bribe my kids to clean up and be good when I have Higgledy-Piggledys stashed in the fridge – not that I would!
This should come with a warning – exercise moderate consumption. It is made up of crushed biscuits, sugar, butter, chocolate and pecans. So I tend not to follow the recipe when it instructs you to break up the slice into higgledy-piggledy pieces. This is lots of fun but there are lots of tiny pieces that don’t quite make up a real piece and I feel the only proper thing to do is eat them and that can add up. Best to use a big knife and cut the slice up into pieces that are roughly the same size.
If you aren’t serving this straight away then pop in an airtight container in the fridge or better still, the freezer – out of sight, out of mind. It really is that good and when we run out I don’t know whether to be sad or happy.
chocolate and pecan higgledy-piggledys
(from ‘Mix & Bake’ by the fantastic Belinda Jeffery)
21 McVitie’s Digestive biscuits (about 320g) finely crushed
1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
300g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I did use milk chocolate this time to make it more child friendly but dark is best)
200g roasted pecans thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a large 37 x 25cm baking tray with foil leaving a bit of foil hanging over the edges. Press the foil into the corners.
In a large bowl tip in the crushed biscuits and mix in the brown sugar and salt and then stir in the cooled butter. (I do this step in the food processor – blitz the biscuits then add sugar and salt and blitz again. Then finally the butter. Blitz until the mixture looks like wet sand.)
Tip mixture into prepared tray and press down firmly. I have a plastic dough scraper which I press down on to make the mix perfectly flat. Pop this in the oven for 12 – 14 minutes or until a little darker. Remove from oven and leave to sit for a minute or two to firm up.
Sprinkle over the finely chopped dark chocolate evenly and then pop the tray back in the oven for a minute just to allow the chocolate to melt. Then run a palette knife over the chocolate to make it smooth. Scatter over the sliced pecans, pressing them down gently into the chocolate. Leave to cool.
Pop the tray in the fridge or the freezer until the biscuit base is firm and then lift the overhanging foil up and pull the whole slab out. Break into pieces or use a big knife and slice up. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It can last for 2 weeks in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer – not that I would know.