Before I say anything else, I’m going to tell you what chocolate tiffin is.
Because I certainly had never heard of it until just a few years ago. (And now I’m obsessed.)
Chocolate Tiffin is a traditional Scottish dessert made by smashing up Digestive Crackers, dousing them in a butter/cocoa powder/sugar mixture, spreading the digestives out in a baking dish, then covering the whole thing in liquid chocolate.
THEN you wait for the chocolate to solidify, and the crackers to set.
Sounds pretty easy right?? Yes, it is! SO easy. And delicious.
But now you probably have another question: what are Digestive Crackers, and why would any food ever be marketed with such an unappetizing name?
Well, apparently these delicious cookie-crackers were invented by two Scottish doctors in 1839, who believed that their invention would help with—you guessed it—digestion.
So do they?
I have no idea.
But there’s bran and wheat flour and whatnot in most digestive crackers. So probably.
All I care about is that they taste AMAZING—a kind of a cross between a Ritz Cracker and a shortbread-ish cookie—and make excellent tiffin.
Digestive Crackers Broke Up The Beatles
In fact, digestive crackers, despite the name, taste so good, they caused a fight between The Beatles’ George Harrison and John Lennon: while recording the Abbey Road album in 1969, Yoko Ono ate a couple of George’s McVitie’s Digestive Crackers. And George was so not cool with it, he and John got into a big fight. Some say the fight contributed to the actual break-up of the Fab Four.
You know if The Beatles are fighting over crackers, they better be pretty good!
Chocolate Tiffin in Prague
I first had tiffin while spending a few months in Prague. I was grabbing a quick snack at the airport before flying to Bordeaux to visit one of my best friends ever, and the tiffin in a cafe display caught my eye.
It was unlike anything I’d ever tried before, and I couldn’t get enough. After that trip to Bordeaux, every time I left Prague during my time abroad, I looked for tiffin at the airport.
I call my tiffin recipe Prague Chocolate Tiffin, despite this dessert’s Scottish roots, because I put dried cherries in my tiffin. I can’t say that dried cherries are historically or culturally traditional in Czech pastries, but I sure associate dried cherries with my time in Czech Republic. It seemed every bakery I went to (and there were many!!) during my time in Prague and Brno had some sort of delicious confection or bread that involved dried cherries. And as a huge fan of cherries, these were among the desserts and breads I always tried and loved.
Prague Chocolate Tiffin: Easy, Delicious, ADDICTING!!
So here’s my easy, delicious, addicting recipe for Prague Chocolate Tiffin. It’s a little taste of Europe for me every time I make it. I hope it will be for you as well!
A Few Things!
McVitie's for Chocolate Tiffin!
There are many brands of digestive crackers, but in my book, you have to use McVitie’s. This is the brand that sparked a fight between George Harrison and John Lennon, after all.
You can usually find McVitie’s at World Market, but if you don’t have a World Market nearby, here they are on Amazon [aff. link].
My Favorite Offset Spatula for Chocolate Tiffin
And if you don’t yet have an offset spatula, check out my favorite set here [aff. link]. You’ll want an offset spatula to help you evenly spread out the digestive cracker mixture, and to spread the liquid chocolate out evenly. You’ll be shocked at how often you use these spatulas, for everything from this tiffin, to frosting cakes and cookies, to spreading condiments on sandwiches and burgers. (Just to name a few!)
Prague Chocolate Tiffin
For the butter/cocoa mixture:
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 package digestive crackers, (14.1 oz, crushed to 1/2 inch-1 inch pieces; I prefer McVities’s brand)
- ¾ cup dried cherries, or your choice of dried fruit, but cherries are so good here!
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ pounds baking chocolate, roughly chopped (semi-sweet, dark, or milk, whatever your preference)
Prepare the crackers and cherries
- In a large mixing bowl, crush the digestive crackers to ½ inch- 1 inch pieces. (I just use my hands.)
- Add the dried cherries to the bowl with the digestive cracker pieces, and toss everything together with your hands. Set aside.
Prepare the butter/cocoa powder mixture
- To a small sauce pan, add the butter. Turn the heat on to medium, and stir the butter with your spatula while it begins to melt.
Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and corn syrup
- Once the butter has melted a little bit, add the sugar and the cocoa powder. Keep stirring until the sugar and the cocoa powder are almost incorporated, then add the corn syrup.
- Stir the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and corn syrup together until everything is incorporated, and the butter is almost completely melted.
- Take the butter/cocoa powder mixture off the heat, and continue stirring until the butter melts completely.
Mix it all together
- Now pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the digestive crackers and dried cherries.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt.
- Now stir the butter/cocoa powder mixture, vanilla extract, and salt into the digestive crackers and dried cherries with your spatula. You can use your hands as well if you can take the heat. (It isn’t too hot for me, but I DO have mom hands…!)
Transfer to the baking dish
- Once the crackers are all coated in the butter/cocoa powder mixture, transfer everything to a well-oiled 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Use your offset spatula to help spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate
- In another small saucepan, melt the chocolate pieces over medium-low heat, stirring the whole time.
- Once the chocolate pieces are almost completely melted, take them off the heat, and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely smoothed and melted.
- Now pour the chocolate evenly over the top of the digestive crackers. Use your offset spatula to help get that chocolate spread evenly and smoothly over the crackers.
Let the tiffin set
- Let the tiffin set. I prefer to put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, until the chocolate top is hard, then take the tiffin out of the freezer, and let it come to room temperature before slicing.
- Alternately, you can let the tiffin set in the refrigerator for 1 ½- 2 hours until the chocolate top is set, then take the tiffin out, and let it come to room temperature before slicing.
Serve and enjoy!
- Once the tiffin is completely set and at room temperature, slice, serve, and enjoy!