This supremely simple cake is inspired by a dessert my husband loves form his childhood in the North of Spain. It’s a simple combination of crumbled cookies, an easy chocolate sauce, and chocolate ganache. The most difficult part of making this cake is waiting for it to set overnight in the fridge before cutting into it! I call this a “terrazzo cake” because of the gorgeous pattern you see in the cake when you cut it. It reminds me of the pattern found in terrazzo floors and that’s so on-trend right now in products and design.
In Spain, ‘galletas marias’, or Maria cookies, are as common as goldfish crackers or Cheerios to use as snacks for hungry kids. They’re a thin, crisp, and flat disc of a cookie with a flavor that’s very similar to American animal crackers. The cookies come in tubes covered with plastic or mylar. Goya sells Maria Cookies in the US that are actually produced in Spain. The Spanish brand that we love the most is Gullón. If you can’t source Maria cookies I’d suggest substituting animal crackers for this recipe. However, you can probably find them on Amazon or in the Latin Foods section of your grocery or even at Walmart or Target. My husband loves to eat Maria cookies with chocolate-hazelnut spread like Nutella or the Spanish brand, Nocilla.
I love the texture of this cake and it gets better over the course of a couple of days. It’s not quite as wet as many American no-bake cakes tend to be, but the moisture from the sauce still combines with the cookies to make a great hearty texture. It keeps well for at least 4 days in the fridge, probably more.
No-Bake Terrazzo Cake with Maria Cookies
This no-bake cake is a simple combination of crumbled cookies, an easy chocolate sauce, and chocolate ganache. It sets overnight in the fridge and when you cut it, the cookies and chocolate make a beautiful terrazzo pattern.
- 4 packages Maria Cookies – Galletas Marias 800g – you can substitute animal crackers
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup sugar 200g
- ½ cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocao Powder 60g – you can use regular cocoa powder if you like, but I like how the Special Dark makes the sauce black
- 11 tbsp butter 150g – cut into chunks or slices
- 1 cup water
For the Ganache:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces chocolate chips 240g – I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet chips
- LOTS of Sprinkles
Clip a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of your spring-form pan. Cut a strip of parchement the depth of the pan and line the sides with it.
Crumble the Maria Cookies into a large mixing bowl.
Add the chocolate sauce ingredients to a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly and then hold at a simmer for 7 minutes… while continuing to stir constantly. Really keep stirring because you don't want it to burn!
Remove from heat and allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
Pur the chocolate sauce over the crumbled cookeis and stir well. Make sure every piece is totally coated. It won't be a wet mix of ingredients, but there will be enough sauce to coat everything.
Pour the mixture into the lined spring-form. Make sure to scrape all the extra sauce in and use a wooden spoon or spatula to press the mixture down as much as you can. Press it down anf try to make the top as flat as possible.
Now the pan needs to rest in the fridge for an hour. I like to add another piece of parchment and put an 8-inch layer cake pan on top and stack on a heavy cast iron pan to weigh down the mix to hel compress it together.
After an hour, begin to make your ganache. It's so easy, you just bring the heavy cream to the boiling point over medium-low heat. Stir constantly.
Next add the chocolate chips and set aside for 3 minutes and then stir until the chocolate and cream are completely combined and silky smooth.
Get the cake from the fridge and remove the weights and parchment. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and tap the pan on the counter a few times to try to get out air bubbles. Add sprinkles and make it look amazing!
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it in the fridge overnight.
When you're ready to serve the cake, remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Un-spring the pan and slowly peel away the parchment from the sides. Carefully transfer the cake to a cake stand or plate.
Cut with a clean and sharp knife and wipe down the knife after each cut. When the cake is very cold it can take a little effort to cut, but it yields the best looking slices. You can allow the slieces to come up a bit in temperature before serving, or just serve it cold.