Cherry & Coconut Chocolate Tiffin

Tiffin is one of those things that seems so simple it barely warrants a recipe. I mean, really, what am I telling you to do here? Crush some biscuit, mix it up with some other bits and pieces, and cover it in chocolate. Hurrah, you have tiffin. You don’t need me to tell you how to do that. You can definitely do it all by yourself.

That said, the reason you are getting a recipe for tiffin today anyway is because I’d forgotten how delicious it is. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things like messing around caramelising white chocolate, or developing an apricot, hazelnut, and cardamon cake. Which is all well and good. But it’s easy to forget the simple pleasures. Tiffin is definitely a simple pleasure. And yet, somehow, I haven’t made it for years.


I actually remember the last time I made it very well: it was when I lived in my old flat and had just gotten together with James. We had friends over, I’d made tiffin, and I went to get a bottle of wine out of the fridge and the the shelf on the fridge door somehow broke. A glass bottle of tonic water fell out and shattered over my arm, and I still have the scar from where they had to pull a bit of glass out at minor injuries. Maybe I have subconsciously been avoiding tiffin since, due to traumatic associations.

Tiffin is, incidentally, one of James‘s favourite things. He nods and smiles politely when I produce some towering, massively over the top cake, but given that his other favourite thing is rocky road, I think he’d  secretly be happiest if I just kept it simple.



Obviously you can make any number of adjustments to this. Dark chocolate on top? White chocolate on top? Swirly marbled chocolate on top? All fine. Prefer hazelnuts to pistachios? Got some raisins but no cherries? Think coconut is the devil’s work? Make your own adventure. This is just a tiffin combination that I happen to like. Rich tea biscuits, digestives, and gingernuts also make excellent bases here, in case you don’t like Hobnobs (you’re wrong though, by the way).

I have used an 18cm round cake tin here, purely because I felt like cutting the tiffin into wedges. You could also use a 20cm square tin if you’d prefer tiffin squares or bars. Finally, you could double the recipe very easily and use a large traybake tin or well-lined roasting tin to feed a bigger group.


120g butter
60g golden syrup
25g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
225g Hobnobs/oat biscuits
70g dried cherries
50g pistachios, roughly chopped
50g dessicated coconut
200g milk chocolate


  1. Line a non-stick 18cm (or thereabouts) cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter, golden syrup, caster sugar, and cocoa powder together in a large saucepan over a gentle heat.
  2. While they’re melting, roughly crush your biscuits (either by putting them in a sandwich bag and bashing them, or blitzing them in the food processor) until you have a mixture of fine crumbs and some fairly big chunks.
  3. When your syrup mixture has melted to a glossy dark liquid and the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat. Mix in the crushed biscuits, then the cherries, pistachios, and coconut. Make sure everything is well combined.
  4. Spoon your mixture into your prepared cake tin and press it down in an even layer. Pop the tin in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate. Melt your chocolate either in the microwave on low heat or in a glass bowl over gently simmering water. Pour melted chocolate over the cooling base and give it all a shake so the chocolate is even, then put the whole thing back in the fridge to set for around 1 hour, or until the chocolate is firm.
  5. Cut, serve, try to resist eating whole thing at once by yourself.