This chocolate tiffin cake is a delicious mix of nuts, dried fruits and crushed biscuits, bound together with cocoa and syrup, then topped with melted chocolate.
It's perfect as a treat or as a gift, and is particularly good at Christmas, so I've added dried cranberries for a festive twist.
And the best bit? Aside from melting a few ingredients, there is no cooking in the oven. This makes it great for getting the kids involved too.
Tiffin is a traditional chocolate cake that is not baked, where the main ingredients are raisins, biscuits an chocolate.
It's a refrigerator cake, served cut into squares and is still very popular since it was created in a bakery in Troon in the early 1900s.
Chocolate tiffin cake is very different to British tiffin.
British tiffin originated at the time of the British Raj, where a traditional light Indian meal was replaced by afternoon tea.
The word arises from 'tiffing', which was a slang word for an afternoon tipple.
Today, the word is still used in part of India to refer to lunch or a childrens' packed lunch.
I'm sure that many countries have a refrigerator cake a bit like this one, as when I made this as a child, it was always referred to as Polish cake.
It's great to make with kids, and you can easily swap some of the fruits and nuts to vary the changes for Christmas, Easter or other celebrations.
Even better, you can use up those annoying packets or dried fruit that always seem to be in the cupboard!
Great for kids or for adults with coffee after a dinner party, these little chocolate fridge cakes
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Store cupboard ingredients.
- No baking involved.
- Fun to make with children.
- Easy to vary the ingredients.
- Simple and delicious.
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- Biscuits - rich tea or digestive biscuits.
- Sugar - white granulated sugar.
- Almonds - whole blanched almonds or almond pieces.
- Chocolate - milk chocolate.
- Butter - salted or unsalted. I used salted as the salt counteracts the sweetness.
- Cranberries - dried cranberries.
- Cocoa - pure unsweetened cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate or chocolate drink.
- Golden syrup
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- baking parchment
- 20 centimetre square tin
- small saucepan
- mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
- glass bowl
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- food processor or bag and rolling pin
Put the butter, sugar, cocoa and syrup into a small saucepan.
Melt, stirring occasionally over a medium heat.
💭 Top Tip
- To measure syrup accurately it makes it easier to put an empty saucepan on the scales and add the syrup.
- It helps to put the open tin in a jug of hot water for a few minutes to warm the syrup. This makes it thinner and makes it easier to pour or measure with a spoon.
- If you need to use a spoon or measuring cup for a smaller amount then it's easier if you have a jug of hot water, (from a boiled kettle), nearby. Put the spoon in the water for 10 seconds then measure the syrup or treacle. It should slide off much easier. You can keep dipping into the water as you need to.
Roughly chop the almonds.
I like to have quite large pieces, so prefer to do this by hand.
If you prefer, use a food processor, but this can quickly render the nuts to dust, so pulse sparingly.
Pulse the biscuits in a food processor or place in a large plastic bag and use a rolling pin to break into smaller pieces.
The aim is the have about the half of the biscuits in the form of crumbs and the rest in small pieces for texture.
Put the biscuits, dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl and combine.
Add the melted cocoa mixture and stir together thoroughly.
Line the tin with baking parchment and add the tiffin mix.
Press down well with the back of a metal spoon and smooth the surface.
Chill for 20 minutes.
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a glass bowl.
Either melt the chocolate in a microwave on full power at 20 second increments, stirring in between.
Alternatively set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, known as a water bath or bain marie.
💭 Top Tip
- It's important to not let the water touch the base of the bowl as this can ruin the chocolate. It's also important that you don't allow steam to escape from the saucepan as this can make the chocolate seize. When chocolate seizes it changes texture and becomes stiff and grainy.
Pour the chocolate on top of the base and tilt the tin so that it covers
Place in the fridge to set for a further 20 minutes or until set.
Cut the Christmas tiffin into 16 pieces and use the baking parchment to lift out the pieces.
🥗 Serve with
This chocolate fridge cake is the perfect pick me up with a cup of tea, but it would also be delicious as part of an afternoon tea with some of these ideas.
- Jamaica Ginger Cake
- Coronation Chicken Sandwiches
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwiches
- Fruit Loaf
- Cherry Madeira Cake
- Lincolnshire Plum Bread
- Butterscotch Tart
- Cheese and Bacon Scones
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Sultana Scones
- Raisins - use sultanas or currants.
- Golden syrup - use corn syrup or maple syrup.
- Digestive biscuits - graham crackers.
Try swapping the nuts, biscuits or fruit for these ideas.
- Glacé cherries
- Biscoff biscuits
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Dried chopped apricots
- Mini eggs
- Dried strawberries
Use different toppings such as:
- Plain chocolate
- White chocolate
- Mix of chocolates swirled together
- Store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to 2 years.
- Refrigerator - store in the fridge of at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Freezer - freeze in containers for up to 3 months, using parchment to separate if needed. Take out portions as required and thaw overnight in the fridge.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare a few days in advance and store in an airtight tin.
More festive recipes
- Slow Cooker Christmas Pudding
- Puff Pastry Mince Pies
- Sausage Roll Wreath
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- Raspberry Cranachan
- Honey Roast Gammon
- Turkey and Ham Pie
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Raised Turkey Pie
- Rib of Beef
- Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats
Chocolate Tiffin Cake
- baking parchment
- 20 centimetre square tin
- Small saucepan
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- glass bowl
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- food processor or plastic bag and rolling pin
- 250 g digestive biscuits
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 50 g almonds
- 300 g milk chocolate
- 200 g butter
- 50 g dried cranberries
- 100 g raisins
- 3 tablespoon cocoa
- 110 g golden syrup
- Put the butter, sugar, cocoa and syrup into a small saucepan. Melt, stirring occasionally over a medium heat.
- Roughly chop the almonds.
- Pulse the biscuits in a food processor or place in a large plastic bag and use a rolling pin to break into smaller pieces.
- Put the biscuits, dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl and combine.
- Add the melted cocoa mixture and stir together thoroughly.
- Line the tin with baking parchment and add the tiffin mix. Press down well with the back of a metal spoon and smooth the surface.
- Chill for 20 minutes.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a glass bowl.
- Either melt the chocolate in a microwave on full power at 20 second increments, stirring in between. Alternatively set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until melted.
- Pour the chocolate on top of the base and tilt the tin so that it covers evenly.
- Place in the fridge to set for a further 20 minutes or so.
- Cut into 16 pieces and use the baking parchment to lift out the tiffin.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More Christmas recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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