Until a few years ago, I had no idea what tiffin was.
In case you’re in the same boat, here’s what it is.
Tiffin is a traditional Scottish dessert made by smashing up Digestive Crackers, dousing them in melted chocolate, spreading the digestives out in a baking dish, then covering the whole thing in more melted chocolate.
Then you wait for the chocolate to solidify, and the crackers to set.
As you can probably surmise from these simple instructions, tiffin is incredibly easy to make. It’s also delicious and addicting.
Now you’re probably wondering what a Digestive Cracker is.
And why anyone would be tempted to eat something with such a name, let alone put it in a dessert.
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.
Digestive crackers taste like a cross between a Ritz Cracker and a shortbread-ish cookie.
They’re sweet enough for dessert, but not too sweet to pair with chocolate.
Which makes them perfect for tiffin.
Digestive Crackers Broke Up The Beatles
Digestive crackers, despite the name, taste so good, they’re responsible for the fight between The Beatles’ George Harrison and John Lennon that arguably broke up the group.
While recording the Abbey Road album in 1969, Yoko Ono ate a couple of George’s McVitie’s Digestive Crackers. And George wasn’t ok with it.
So much so that he and John got into a big fight. Some say it was this fight that sowed the seeds for the eventual demise of the Fab Four.
You know Digestive Crackers must be pretty good if The Beatles fought that destructively over them.
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 recipe Prague Chocolate Tiffin—despite this dessert’s Scottish roots—because I discovered it in Prauge. And also 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 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.
Prague Chocolate Tiffin: Easy, Delicious, Addicting
So here’s my easy, delicious, and addicting recipe for Prague Chocolate Tiffin. It’s a little taste of Europe every time I make it.
A Few Things!
There are many brands of digestive crackers.
But in my book, you have to use McVitie’s. This is the brand that sparked the fight between George Harrison and John Lennon.
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].
You can also find McVitie’s in my Amazon Store.
Also in my Amazon Store, you can find my favorite offset spatula. It’s perfect for spreading the melted chocolate on top of the tiffin.
Prague Chocolate Tiffin
For the butter/cocoa mixture:
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 package digestive crackers, (14.1 oz, crushed to 1/2 inch-1 inch pieces; I prefer McVities’s brand)
- ¾ cup dried cherries
- 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, add the vanilla extract and salt, and continue stirring until the butter melts completely.
Mix it all together
- Now pour the butter/cocoa powder mixture into the bowl with the digestive crackers and dried cherries.
- Now stir the butter/cocoa powder mixture into the digestive crackers and dried cherries with your spatula. Use your hands to help, if needed.
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 dish. 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. 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 the chocolate spread evenly and smoothly over the crackers.
Let the tiffin set
- Let the tiffin set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until the chocolate top is solid.
Serve and enjoy!
- Once the tiffin is completely set, slice it into pieces. If it's too hard to slice directly out of the refrigerator, let it sit on the countertop for 10-15 minutes, then slice.Serve tiffin slightly chilled or at room temperature, and enjoy!
What an interesting recipe, Shannon! I am originally from the Czech Republic and have not tasted this before – I need to give it a go! And dried cherries are super delicious, aren’t they?
Definitely Katerina! I am such a fan of dried cherries. They are so perfect in tiffin. 😋
These look really good! I’m not much of a sweets eater, but with the digestifs they’re probably not terribly sweet, right? I had never heard of them until I went to England. I’d never eat them on their own…
Same here! My first trip to England, I saw digestives and just couldn’t get over the name haha. But I was hooked as soon as I tried them. Absolutely love Digestives, especially in tiffin! Digestives are the perfect vehicle for chocolate and dried cherries. 😋
Digestives are very popular here as well and as they say, there are digestive and then there’s McVitie’s digestive. IMHO, McVitie is the best and the only brand we have in our house. We can get a chocolate tiffin made with raisins here, but I’ve not seen them with dried cherries. Also, I had no idea that they can be easily made by a non-pastry cook like me. Thanks for the inspiration…
Yesssss, I totally agree Ron! McVitie’s is the only brand we buy as well! Oh for sure, tiffin is the best of both worlds, delicious and so easy to make. 😋
What a fun recipe! In a way, these remind me of a much more refined version of chocolate-covered Ritz crackers. (Those are delicious, by the way!) The salty + sweet combination is a hook, and now I need a batch of tiffin in my life. Perfect for the holiday season!
Oh yes I totally see it! Chocolate covered Ritz sounds AMAZING, I need to try that. Haha thanks David!