Monday, 11 February 2013

Tiffin


The word 'tiffin' has caused some debate among friends and family lately. When my friend Emma mentioned her love for tiffin, a special treat from a Sheffield deli, I looked blank and said I had never heard of it. It sounded like a very Yorkshire word to me, like 'snap' (steelworker's lunch) or 'clarty' (muddy or sticky) but when I asked my dad - the only native Yorkshireman in my immediate family - he said he thought it was a light meal, or "summat to tide thi ovver 'til tea". 

When Emma kindly bought me a piece of tiffin from this deli to further my education, my first thought on tasting it was 'this is my nan's Chocolate Digestive Crunch!' And so with a few alterations to that family recipe, I now bring you my recipe for tiffin. This particular batch was made for Emma's birthday, to see whether it stands up to the deli version. I'm also informed that Cadbury do a version of tiffin. Good excuse to track some down and test it out if you ask me. 

You will need:

5oz butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup 
4 teaspoons cocoa 
8oz Rich Tea biscuits, crushed (I always use digestives for the 'crunch' recipe, but Rich Tea seem to give tiffin a more cakey flavour.)
A handful of raisins (this is the big difference between the recipes)
8oz chocolate - milk or dark, whichever you prefer. I used half of each.

This recipe is easy peasy and speedy. Melt the butter, syrup, sugar and cocoa in a pan. Stir to combine well, and don't let it boil.

Then add the biscuits and raisins to the liquid, and mix well together.



Take a greased and lined tin, and press the mixture into it. Be firm here so the finished tiffin doesn't go all crumbly.



Lastly, melt your chocolate, pour over the top, and once the tiffin is down to room temperature pop it in the fridge to set. Lick the bowl. Remove from the fridge once set and store in your best vintage tin. 




Have you heard of tiffin?



30 comments:

  1. I have heard of tiffin as in 'tiffin tin' meaning a snap box to hold your snap in (packed lunch) so closer to your Dad's explanation - I know your cake as 'fridge cake' - it all looks so yummy and your table setting is so, so pretty, almost (I did say almost) a shame to tuck in and spoil it.

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    1. 'Fridge cake' is the term emerging most today, but pleased that someone else knows what a tiffin tin is! x

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  2. Ooh I do love Tiffin. I was lucky enough to have a colleague who made it on a regular basis so I have tried it many times :)

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    1. Lucky you! What a wonderful colleague ;) x

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  3. Why yes I have Anna, in the context of the above tiffin treat. Although Mr Once Was was in the Airforce and was served tea and tiffin at 4 o'clock everyday in the Mess and it consisted of tea and toast (and no this wasn't in the 1940's) . Obviously lots of regional variations. My Mum used to love the Cadbury Tiffin bars when I was a little girl. Debs - Once Was.

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    1. I haven't managed to find a Cadbury Tiffin bar yet Debs, but will be eagerly hunting one down. Also wouldn't say no to tea and toast each day at 4pm. Now there's something we should reinstate during the working day! x

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  4. I didn't know tiffin was a thing apart from the Cadburys bars. But I do want b to give this recipe a go! Thanks for sharing Anna! Hazel x

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    1. Really, really must track down this tiffin by Cadbury! x

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  5. I had heard of it, but didn't know what it was. Now you've shown us your recipe I see it's just like Nan's chocolate biscuit cake, my fav!! x

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    1. The same revelation as me then! One thing we all agree on, it's yummy and holds warm childhood memories! x

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  6. I know the word, but wouldn't have been able to give you a definition! The recipe reminds me of what we used to call "chocolate fridge cake" - seems like everyone has a different name/version of it. Your recipe sounds yummy! I think the raisins are super important and I might even be tempted to add a few sliced glacé cherries...

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    1. Mmm, cherries would be amazing, they'd add a little extra gooeyness. Is 'gooeyness' a word? x

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  7. Hi Anna,
    I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. More details on my last post.
    Rosie x

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    1. Oooh thank you Rosie! Will check it out :) x

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  8. Oh I do love a good chunk of Tiffin!

    Jem xXx

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    1. Aha! Somehow I knew you'd be in the tiffin gang! x

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  9. Ooh, ooh, ooh!!! Mmmmmm! Looks and sounds delicious! I will definitely have to give that a go some time...I've never heard of it either and I'm from North Derbyshire! :-) x

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    1. I'm starting to think the southerners are as well up on it as us further north! Do give it a go though. x

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  10. I've personally never heard of Tiffin either, but from the looks of your lovely photographs, it looks absolutely mouthwatering. I love your floral china too, adds an elegant touch :) xx

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    1. Thank you, the floral china is one of my favourites. I don't think of tiffin as a particularly elegant... erm, cakey thing, so nice to bring a touch of class to the proceedings! x

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  11. I've always seen these referred to here in the States as "icebox cakes." I have a couple of books that accompanied refrigerator purchases (one is from 1927 and the other from 1931) that have various recipes for cakes that instead of being baked set up in the "icebox."

    I LOVE the combination of chocolate and digestive and went nuts when we were finally able to get the chocolate-covered McVitie's digestives here in Kansas. I've actually never had a Rich Tea biscuit before.

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    1. So like a fridge cake here then? I can imagine you would go crazy for the arrival of digestives, there's nothing like a good choccy digestive! I prefer the dark chocolate ones. Rich Tea, I'd say, are inferior to the digestive, but nonetheless handy for recipes such as these. A fridge book from 1927 sounds very modern for its time! x

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  12. Sounds and looks so yummy! one to try I think
    Thea x

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    1. Quick to make and excellent for when you have people round too :) x

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  13. ~ Hello, Anna....
    LOVE Tiffin with a nice cup of Lady grey tea... :) ~And I like that it is easy and fast to make! my kind of baking!
    Thanks for kind words over on mine and it is always lovely to pop over here too!
    leaving YOU with a smile..:) Maria x

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    1. All these tiffin fans, now I do feel like I've been on the wrong wavelength all this time! Have a smiley tiffiny day. x

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  14. Oh dear - how naughty of you. Here's me trying to shift a little of my festive flab and here's you putting up the most delightful pictures of my most favourite cake! I LOVE TIFFIN x

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    1. I think we should all make a batch of tiffin, eat it all without guilt to get the need out of our systems, and then be good. And I absolutely will definitely not post any more pictures of yummy naughtiness (okay, that's a lie). Thank you for following! x

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  15. This Tiffin was amazing, was such a treat Anna! I loved this recipe as well, it was not too sweet, sometimes I find that some recipes can be too sweet and claggy - which usually means I can't eat it all in on sitting!

    I have sadly had to eat all the batch you made for me (with a little help from Mum and Dad) as I have given chocolate up for Lent! (Such a shame!)

    I will definitely be using this recipe at Easter when I can eat chocolate again! It was a very enjoyable early Birthday present, thanks! :) x

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  16. We call it refrigerator cake. I REALLY want some now.

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