December is here and I’m busy thinking about sweet treats for the festive season.
Chocolate tiffin is pretty easy to pull together but the finished result is delicious and I find slightly addictive. Cut into squares it is easy to bring out at Christmas gatherings or to wrap attractively to give as a gift.
Believed to originate from Scotland tiffin is just another variation on what would be known as a fridge or icebox cake in other parts of the world as it doesn’t need baking, just chilling. At its most basic it consists of crushed biscuits and raisins mixed with melted chocolate and allowed to set. British chocolate company Cadbury’s make a “Tiffin” bar which is essentially raisins and biscuits in milk chocolate. It was reintroduced last year after being off the shelves for more than a dozen years.
The joy of making your own tiffin is that it gives you endless license to customise it to your own tastes, choosing the type of chocolate, what type of biscuit and what other additions to use.
After a good deal of experimentation I’ve landed on the basic technique from this recipe from the brilliant chocolate maker Paul.A.Young but have then taken it in my own direction. I love his suggestion of a blend of dark and milk chocolates which makes for a well balanced chocolate layer. Like him I use digestive biscuits for crunch (usually McVities) and raisins, but for this version I soaked the raisins overnight in brandy to make things a little more christmassy. If you want to skip the alcohol, plain unadulterated raisins will work fine. From his recipe I skip the glace cherries (not a big fan) and hazelnuts (allergic) but I do add a couple of other ingredients from the world of British confectionery. Maltesers add both texture as well as nuggets of malty flavour, whilst Crunchie bars add little pockets of honeycomb sweetness.
Chocolate Tiffin with Brandy Soaked Raisins, Crunchie, Maltesers and Digestive Biscuits
1 tbs brandy
2 Crunchie bars (40g / 1.4oz each)
3 bags of Maltesers (37g / 1.3oz each)
8oz Digestive Biscuits
6oz light agave syrup
0.5 tsp salt
6oz milk chocolate, chopped
6oz dark chocolate, chopped
The evening before you want to make the tiffin, mix the raisins with the brandy and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, start by placing both Crunchie bars in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to crush. The aim is small chunks, not too big, and be careful not to produce a pile of Crunchie powder.
Crumble the digestive biscuits. Once again aim for small chunks rather than fine crumbs.
Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
Place the butter, agave syrup and salt in a medium pan and melt together over low heat, stirring frequently.
Add the milk and dark chocolate to the pan and stir continuously until smooth.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into generous chunks and enjoying.