We discovered this treat in a tea shop in Wexford, Ireland. Was intrigued with the name because the only “tiffin” I was familiar with is the India tiffin.
During the time of the British Raj, it was used to define the British custom of afternoon tea. It is derived from “tiffing”, an English slang term meaning to take a little drink. By 1867 it was used by Anglo-Indians in northern British India to mean luncheon. In South India and Nepal, tiffin is generally a snack between meals. In other parts of India, it mostly refers to a packed lunch.
The tiffin we tried was a cake-like confectionary that doesn’t need baking. Instead, following preparation of the mixture, it is chilled until set. Apparently, it was invented in the early 1900’s in Troon, Scotland.
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup or light corn syrup
- 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 8 oz. crushed rich tea biscuits or McVitie’s Original Digestive Biscuits
- 1/3 cup raisins, or to taste
- 8 oz. milk chocolate chips
- 8 oz. dark chocolate chips
- Combine butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat; cook and stir until smooth about 2-4 minutes. Stir in crushed biscuits and raisins. Pour into a 8”x8” pan; press down firmly to flatten.
- Melt the milk and dark chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently and scrape down the sides of the pan with a spatula to prevent scorching. Watch carefully. Cook 3-4 minutes. Pour melted chocolate over biscuit base.
- Refrigerate until set. This will take at least one hour. Cut into squares.