This easy, classic, chocolate tiffin recipe is an irresistable delight. A chocolate fridge cake with no baking, just 5 ingredients and minimal washing up!
Chocolate tiffin recipe
Chocolate tiffin is such an easy recipe and yet it’s such a treat. Intensely chocolatey and rich, with a nice bite to it, it’s perfect for lunch boxes, coffee breaks and afternoon tea.
Tiffin is known more prosaically as chocolate fridge cake. Whatever you call it, this is an easy recipe every home cook needs to know.
Tiffin is easy, adaptable, delicious and uses minimal equipment. Who doesn’t love a recipe that doesn’t make too much washing up?
Although the name is linked to the British Raj in India, chocolate tiffin actually comes from Scotland. Thought to originate in Troon, the west coast town also known for golf, it is a staple of Scottish coffee shops and tea rooms.
Small batch tiffin
I usually cook and bake for two (there are more two person households than any other in the UK), so I like to bake in modest quantities.
This tiffin recipe is based on the perfect quantity for the two of us. Made in an 8″ square tin, it yields 16 pieces. This allows us one or two pieces of chocolate tiffin a day while it is still fresh and at its best.
Alternatively, it’s enough to put out with coffee or tea if we have guests. The slices are quite thin but that suits us.
You can easily double or even triple the recipe, if you are catering for a party or have a bigger household.
Why make chocolate tiffin?
- It is so easy – 5 minutes hands on time!
- Just 5 ingredients!
- A nostalgic crowd pleaser
- Endlessly adaptable
- Perfect for scaling up for bake sales and pot lucks!
Chocolate fridge cake ingredients
- Digestive biscuits – Everyday supermarket own brand digestive biscuits. There’s no need for anything fancy here. You could try hob nobs, rich tea or shortbread in this chocolate tiffin recipe if you prefer.
- Golden syrup – I prefer to buy this in a squeezy bottle for ease of measuring and pouring. I’ll even decant it from a tin or jar to a bottle to make life easier!
- Butter – Regular butter, salted or unsalted, if using unsalted add a pinch of salt.
- Cocoa powder – Makes this extra rich, chocolately and intense.
- Chocolate – I usually use a mix of dark and milk chocolate, or for a richer, less sweet chocolate fridge cake use all dark. Children and people with a sweeter tooth might prefer this tiffin recipe made with all milk chocolate.
How to make chocolate tiffin – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this tiffin recipe perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Crush the digestive biscuits. You want a mixture of crumb and some larger pieces for texture.
Do this in a mini food processor, or pop the biscuits in a plastic bag or bowl and then bash with a rolling pin. I try to avoid using a plastic bag, however, as it seems wasteful.
Step Two – Put the butter, chocolate, syrup and cocoa in a saucepan, and melt over a low heat until you have a smooth glossy mixture.
If you prefer, you can use the microwave to do this. Put the ingredients in a jug and heat on low power in 30 second bursts, then 10 seconds bursts, stirring in between, taking care not to overheat and causing the chocolate to seize.
Step Three – Add the crushed digestives to the melted chocolate mixture and stir them in.
Step Four – Now line an 8″ cake tin with parchment. Put the chocolate fridge cake mixture in the tin and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Take care to press the mixture well to the edges and corners.
Leave in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to set.
Step Five – Once set, remove from the tin and cut into 16 pieces (a 4 x 4 grid). I use the lining paper to lift the tiffin out of the tin before cutting.
- Use a different biscuit – hobnobs, rich tea and shortbread all work well.
- Vary the type of chocolate
- Add up to half a cup of chopped dried fruit, glacé cherries and/or nuts.
- Make it gluten free with gluten-free digestives or other biscuits.
- Pour over a layer of melted chocolate on top.
Keeps in an airtight tin for up to a week. In hotter weather, keep in a sealed container in the fridge to avoid a gooey mess. Let your chocolate tiffin come up to room temperature before serving.
Hints and Tips
- Try to keep some texture in the crushed biscuits. I like a mix of a fine crumb with some chunks.
- Press the mixture down well, taking care with the corners and edge of the tin,
- Allow to firm up before slicing. Use a sharp, heavy knife so you get a clean cut.
- If using golden syrup from a tin, warm the spoon by dipping it in a mug of just boiled water for a few seconds. Dry it and use the hot spoon to scoop the syrup. It will just slide off.
Rocky road is a similar chocolate fridge cake recipe, orginating in the US. The main difference is the addition of marshmallows and sometimes other sweets and even popcorn.
It will last at least a week if stored correctly. I find it usually disappears before it can start to deteriorate!
You could, but I wouldn’t choose to. It lasts well and is quick and easy to make, so there’s no need.
You can use white chocolate but you need to adjust the recipe, because white chocolate is softer than dark or milk. Reduce the quantities of butter and syrup by about a third.
- Mini Egg Tiffin – a fun variation on the tiffin recipe, with extra crunch
- Cocoa Brownies – rich and meltingly delicious
- Chocolate Fudge – tempting homemade fudge, so easy in the microwave
- Classic Blondies – buttery, caramelly and hard to resist
- Marmalade Cake – a sticky delight
- Tea Loaf – the traditional tea time favourite
- 120 g digestive biscuits (8 biscuits)
- 50 g butter
- 25 g golden syrup (1 heaped tbsp)
- 15 g cocoa (1 heaped tbsp)
- 120 g chocolate (mix of milk & plain)
- pinch salt (if using unsalted butter)
- First, crush the biscuits, leaving some small chunks for bite. You can use a food processor, put the biscuits in a sealed bag and crush with a rolling pin, or put in a bowl and use the end of a rolling pin or a mug to crush them.120 g digestive biscuits
- Put the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, to melt the butter and chocolate. Mix well to combine everything. If you prefer, heat gently in the microwave in short bursts.50 g butter, 25 g golden syrup, 15 g cocoa, 120 g chocolate
- Add the biscuit crumbs to the chocolate mixture and mix well to coat and combine.
- Put the chocolate tiffin mixture into a prepared, lined square baking tin. Spread out evenly, working the mixture into the corners, and pressing it down well.
- Chill in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
- Lift the tiffin out of the tray with the lining paper. Cut into 16 squares with a sharp, heavy knife.