For Chantal’s birthday, I was looking for a recipe for one of those fantastic cakes entirely covered in Maltesers, but along the way, I got distracted by this “Malteser tiffin”.

I found the recipe over at BBC Good Food but had to do some research on this as I never heard of a tiffin. No, it was not related to Tiffin, Ohio nor the one in Iowa. No, it was not the Indian English word for a luncheon, nor the stacked boxes in which they are usually transported.

A tiffin is a cake-like confection composed of crushed biscuits, sugar, syrup, raisins and cocoa powder covered with a layer of melted chocolate. This type of chocolate bar dates back to early 1900s Scotland. Instead of being baked, a tiffin is chilled until set; hence its other name ‘fridge cake’.

The recipe

For the base layer

  • 7oz / 200g milk chocolate
  • 3½oz / 100g unsalted butter
  • 2½ tbsp / 40ml golden syrup
  • 4½oz / 125g digestive biscuits
  • 5oz / 140g Maltesers

For the topping layer

  • 7oz / 200g milk chocolate (I used mocha and bitter 70%)
  • 1oz / 25g unsalted butter
  • 1¼ tsp / 20ml golden syrup
  1. Line an 8″/20cm square baking tin with baking parchment. Place the chocolate, butter, and syrup in a heat-proof bowl and melt over a pan of barely simmering water
  2. Once almost melted, remove from the heat, and gently stir until any tiny bits chocolate have melted. Allow cooling a little
  3. Place the biscuits and 1½oz/40g of the Maltesers in a freezer bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin. You want mainly crumbs, but a few small chunks of the biscuit is fine (I blitzed them in a food processor)
  4. Top the crushed mixture and whole Maltesers to the melted chocolate and stir until coating everything. Press into the prepared tin
  5. For the topping, melt the remaining chocolate, butter, and syrup as before and spread over the biscuit base
  6. Cover the tin with cling film or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before cutting into squares.

What worked and what didn’t:

Absolutely brilliant chocolate evilness!

The closest thing we could think of to compare it was a Twix. Admitted, it doesn’t have a gooey caramel layer, but overall we liked it better as it is compensated by solid chocolate top layer and the super crunchy, slightly salty, biscuit/Maltesers base. For the topping, I deliberately used equal parts bitter chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and mocha milk chocolate to give the topping a different taste from the base layer. In short, we liked this tiffin very much.

As it’s not needed for the overall sweetness – even having used bitter chocolate – I tried to find out why syrup is added. I found many recipes online that don’t add any at all, but from the few that did it seemed to me that the syrup (or sugar) results in a more velvety consistency of the melted chocolate and for a little extra sheen. Therefore, it seems sensible to me to keep using it. However, if you think it’s too sweet, using more bitter chocolate would be the best remedy.

Trying to cut it up in neat squares proved almost impossible as the cold chocolate shattered immediately, but I always intended to go for that “rustic” look anyway 😇. I also met this problem with slicing a millionaire shortbread, so any tips are welcomed!

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe is accurate and yields 16 to 36 “squares” depending on how you manage to cut the tiffin.

Suggested tweaks:
You can still add the raisins or other dried fruits in the base mix for some additional chewiness or add some chopped pecans or pistachios to the topping or finish it with some salt flakes.

Verdict: 9/10; Will definitely be made again

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