ST VALENTINE'S DAY TIFFIN
Actually we’d eat this any day of the year but nothing says ‘I love you’ like a big tin of home-made chocolatey deliciousness.
We pretty much threw the contents of the kitchen cupboard at this, so feel free to vary the contents to your heart’s content, but try to include something crunchy (biscuits essential, Maltesers optional), something fruity and (allergies permitting) something nutty.
It’s very rich, so once it has set, use a knife dipped in hot water (and dried) to cut into small squares. It’s best stored in the fridge, covered, but let it come to room temperature before cutting otherwise the chocolate topping will splinter.
This recipe uses rather more chocolate than usual (how awful) because you need a smooth top to do the marbling. If you prefer to make it without the swirls, use 50g less each of milk and plain chocolate at stage one.
200g good quality plain chocolate
200g good quality milk chocolate
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup
200g digestive biscuits
75g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
200g glace cherries, some halved, some left whole (or try chopped dried apricots)
For the topping:
150g white chocolate
100g plain chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper (use a dab of butter at the corners to stick it down). Put the biscuits in a freezer bag and bash gently until broken into a mixture of bite-sized pieces and smaller crumbs. Place in a large bowl with the dried fruit, nuts and Maltesers, if using.
Break up 200gg each of plain and milk chocolate and place, with the butter and golden syrup, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. Stir occasionally until it’s all melted together.
Allow it to cool slightly and then pour three-quarters of it over the biscuit mixture and stir well to coat. Press it all into the brownie tin with a wooden spoon, right into the corners, and smooth the top. Pour the remaining melted choclate over the top to fill any holes, so you have a level surface. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, until firm.
Melt the chocolate for the topping in three separate bowls, again over pans of simmering water, being careful the bowls don’t touch the water.
Blob them onto the surface of the tiffin and using a skewer, swirl to give a marbled effect. Leave to set in the fridge for at least four hours.
If you have any leftover chocolate, try making chocolate bark. Put a thin layer of one colour onto a sheet of baking paper, smear it flat with a palette knife, then blob on the remaining colours and swirl with a skewer. Scatter with freeze-dried raspberries or any other decorations of your choice. Chill until set then break into shards.