Tiffin

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Our famous, traditionally Scottish recipe for chocolate tiffin. Biscuit & raisin base, topped with yummy milk chocolate.

As seen at Foodies Festival Edinburgh 2017

A small pile of tiffin tray bake slices. The digestive biscuits, raisins and milk & white chocolate topping are visible.

Another day, another tray bake. I know I always say tray bakes are super easy but this one really does take the biscuit! If we’re being completely honest, I’ve not felt myself recently. And as such, the desire to bake has just not been there.

So I needed something super simple, just like Tiffin, to get me back into my baking routine.

Tiffin is another one of these recipes that when I start digging around for a bit more information on it, I first realised it was a Scottish recipe.

I feel like there’s so much in my food-life of which I assume the world is aware of, but in actual fact they’ve no idea what I’m on about. That being said I do think Tiffin has grown in popularity and as such, people are more familiar with the simple pleasures of this biscuit-y delight.

In terms of ease, this chocolate Tiffin recipe is incredibly simple, and one which we will generally always have the ingredients ready to whip together. Plus the crushing of biscuits can be somewhat therapeutic, particularly when like myself, you’re not feeling 100% and need some sort of release!

Like most of my favourite recipes, this Scottish Tiffin can also be mixed up and altered to suit your own taste. Traditionally it calls for the biscuit of most tray bakes to be used; Digestives. That’s not to say you can’t opt for your own favourite, such as Rich Teas or Ginger Snaps. Or how about instead of raisins so dried cranberries or some dried apricots? The options are endless!

"One of the best things in the world! Love, love, love it!!"
Steven
A handful of slices of home made chocolate tiffin, made to a traditional Scottish tiffin recipe.

Ingredients:

Butter or Margarine
It’s personal preference whether you use margarine or butter; I like margarine as a way to omit some of the dairy. But if you are using margarine be sure to use a block margarine, as opposed to the spreadable versions.

Caster Sugar
A little bit of sweetness to our Scottish tiffin is a must. Caster sugar is perfect because it is quite fine and mixes well with the melted butter/margarine and golden syrup. If you want to dial back the sweetness a little, you can swap for a golden caster sugar.

Cocoa Powder
Although a little bit of chocolate is added to the tiffin base mix, the majority of the chocolate flavour comes from cocoa powder.

Golden Syrup
A real favourite when it comes to tray bake recipes! Golden Syrup not only adds some extra sweetness and another depth of flavour, it also helps bind the ingredients together. Out-with the UK and unable to get a hold of golden syrup? Take a look at my Golden Syrup guide for possible alternatives.

Digestive Biscuits
By far the most popular biscuit when it comes to tray bake recipes here in the UK. The humble digestive is the perfect taste & texture to get creative with, and when crushed they make the ideal base for tiffin. If you want something a little bit different though, why not try mixing it up with some rich teas, gingernuts or Oreos instead?
Or if you’re in the states and giving tiffin a go, Graham Crackers are generally considered the closest substitute to our famous Digestive favourites.

Raisins
Juicy raisins are perhaps the best part of a chocolate tiffin. The perfect contrast to the crunchy biscuits, and the perfect compliment to the sweet chocolate. Alternatives that could also work are any other dried fruits; sultanas, currants, cranberries, apricots… Make your tiffin uniquely yours.

Milk Chocolate
You’ll use a little bit of the chocolate in the tiffin base but the majority will be smothered on top, giving that beautiful chocolate layer. I like to decorate with a little white chocolate to finish too, but you could swap this for dark chocolate if you prefer, or leave as smooth & simple milk chocolate finish, if that’s more your thing.

Granny's Top Tips

• For easy biscuit crushing, whack the digestives into seal-able sandwich bag and hit it with a rolling pin. This saves you getting crumbs all over your kitchen and also means your don’t need to wash your rolling pin at the end.

• How do you cut chocolate tray bakes neatly? Start by letting your tray bake come to room temperature again. Then score the top of the chocolate where you want to cut it first. Finally, cut right through the tray bake with a large, sharp knife; with confidence! It won’t be perfect every time but it does get easier with practice.

What is Golden Syrup?

Golden Syrup is a popular baking ingredient in the UK… But what is it? Where can you get it? And what can you use as a substitute?

My in-depth Golden Syrup Guide has all the answers to your questions!

A small pile of tiffin tray bake slices. The digestive biscuits, raisins and milk & white chocolate topping are visible.

Tiffin

Traditional Scottish recipe from chocolate tiffin tray bake.
5 from 5 votes
PRINT RECIPE
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British, Scottish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line your tray-bake tin with greaseproof paper. A 23x23cm baking tray (or equivalent) is ideal. Set aside.
  • Crush your digestive biscuits. You want most of it to be quite fine but leave some bits in bigger chunks to give your tiffin a bit of texture.
  • Add the butter/margarine, sugar, cocoa powder, golden syrup and 30g of milk chocolate to a large bowl and melt over a bain-marie or in short burst in the microwave, stirring often.
  • Add the biscuits and raisins, and mix well. Press the mixture into your pre-lined tin.
  • Melt the remaining milk chocolate in a bain-marie or in short bursts in the microwave, stirring often. Pour the chocolate over the biscuit mixture and smooth over evenly, right into the corners. Decorate with melted white chocolate if desired.
  • Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours (but ideally over night) before cutting into individual portions.
Tried this recipe?Tag @bakingwithgranny or use the hashtag #bakingwithgranny!
Chocolate Tiffin recipe from Baking with Granny. Traditional recipe for chocolate tiffin tray bake. Easy to make.
Scottish Tiffin recipe from Baking with Granny. Easy recipe from home made chocolate tiffin tray bake.

16 Responses

  1. Saw you at the foodies festival, Edinburgh last week- tiffin was VERY yummy! Just wanted to ask, Can golden syrup be substituted for honey? X

    1. Hello Stef!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the Tiffin – I’m just happy it was so well received!

      In terms of substituting with honey, you certainly could. It may alter the taste slightly with honey having such a distinctive taste, and depending on your choice of honey, you may need to experiment with quantities and consistency but by all means it is a good alternative to Golden Syrup.

      In fact I do have a post on Golden Syrup, including alternatives for those who can’t obtain it (usually in the States) as well as a bit of history, including that it was originally a popular, cheaper option to using honey in recipes! (https://bakingwithgranny.co.uk/tips/golden-syrup/)

      Hope that help :)

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! didn’t have everything in so had to substitute sultanas for raisins and raided the bairns chocolate stash so used a mixture of milk, dark and hazelnut chocolate, worked out fine and tastes delicious, thank you

  3. Hello, I live abroad and am unable to get digestive biscuits, can you suggest any other type of biscuit to use instead.
    Thank you

    1. I use ginger nut biscuits and add some stem ginger to the mix. Just gives it a wee bit of a lift I feel.

    1. Hi Ray. The baking time refers to the total time to make Tiffin. It doesn’t actually involve any baking, so no oven temperature required.

  4. The exact recipe my Mother aged 85 made occasionally as a treat when we were children. She got it in Aberdeenshire where she grew up. Fab recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! It was gone before I had a chance to take a photo!! Making it again this weekend for hungry grandson and his university friends! Will try to get a photo before it disappears!

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Hi! I'm Amy

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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