I love the word tiffin. In south Asia, it’s a packed lunch or between-meal snack. In the UK, it’s come to mean a sort of fridge cake made from (usually) crushed biscuits and chocolate, although the word cake here is misleading. Whatever, it’s quick to make and seems to be popular with chocaholics, children, husbands and builders. So pretty much everyone really, unless you’re the sort of person who shudders at the mere thought of sweet things (and yes, they do exist).
It makes a good after-dinner sweetmeat with coffee and rather a nice present, neatly cubed and boxed or bagged up. Take it into the office and your workmates will be queueing up to make your tea and coffee.
I used a maple and pecan crunch breakfast cereal (like granola) as the base but you can use digestive biscuits instead if you prefer. It just won’t be as nubbly and you might want to add a small handful of chopped nuts. Mix and match ingredients to your liking.
Chocolate Tiffin Crunch
250g maple and pecan crunch or granola (or bashed up biscuits)
100g dried apricots, chopped
75g raisins or sultanas
150g golden syrup (about 5 x 20ml tbsp)
125g good-quality plain chocolate
Break up any really big lumps of the breakfast cereal, or if you’re using biscuits put them in a plastic bag and bash them into pieces with a rolling pin but don’t pulverise them – they provide the crunch. Put them in a bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients.
In a double boiler, or a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter and golden syrup. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or the chocolate can go grainy. Stir occasionally until it’s all mixed and melty.
Line a small shallow tin (mine measured 19cm x 29cm – you can go a bit smaller but not bigger) with cling film, letting it overlap the edges.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the dried mix and stir well to coat, then pour everything into the lined tin, pushing it into the corners and pressing down well. Put it in the fridge for a minimum of an hour and a half, then turn it out, remove the plastic wrap and cut into small squares. A little goes a long way (for most people).