If you know me personally, you’ll know that I am the queen of ‘last-minute’. I’m always showing up late, but usually I’ll have something home made in hand. I make lists and plans of handmade gifts I shall make well in advance of the big festive day, only to find myself running around until midnight whipping up said planned gifts the night before. It is forever my new years intention to become more organised and make things way earlier in advance , but as much as I try, I’m still always finding myself doing those last minute makes and bakes. This is where quick and simple yet deliciously awesome foodie gift ideas come to the rescue. I’m all about home made edible gifts and especially ones that can be made the night before a certain celebration. For anyone who finds them selves in the same boat as me (fellow last-minuters, raise your glasses), I give you the ultimate chocolate tiffin. Not just any tiffin. Tofu Tiffin. With rum-soaked raisins. Yup.
The recipe is inspired by the cake my mum makes for my dad every year for his birthday. My version is far from the butter, golden syrup and egg laden one she makes but I hand on heart swear to you it’s every bit as amazing and I’m sure my dad would be none the wiser! It’s crammed full of crunchy biscuit, rum soaked raisins, toasted nuts, dried fruits and rich chocolate ganache which owes it’s soft, fudgy texture to a secret ingredient I swear no one will guess. Tofu! Silken tofu blended into melted chocolate creates a wonderfully rich ganache which holds the filling ingredients perfectly. The resulting squares are rich and dark chocolaty and choc-full of decadent plant-powered ingredients and deliciously naughty with the hint of rum (optional but soo good!) It comes together in less than 10 minutes and after a quick chill in the freezer is ready to serve in less than 30. 1 bowl, 1 spoon, 8 ingredients and endless variations. The ultimate quick chocolate fix with all the trimmings.
A few notes on the recipe: I made mine using a quick home made melted chocolate, but you can also use 250g good quality dark chocolate bar, melted, in its place. The recipe here uses silken tofu to keep the chocolate from setting rock hard but you can also use thick coconut cream instead to make it soya free or if you prefer. If using coconut cream I chill a can in the fridge then scoop of the solid cream from the top, reserving the liquid. The result is a bit firmer and equally as good. The fillings are endless for this. I actually made this using what I had laying around in my cupboards, but I’m sure it would work great using different nuts, dried fruits, flavours such as vanilla or even freeze dried fruits or even vegan marshmallow. Makes 16 squares.
Chocolate tiffin bars
150g coconut oil
75g cocoa powder
50g brown rice syrup
OR 250g dark chocolate + 4 Tbsp brown rice syrup
200g Silken tofu, drained OR 6 Tbsp coconut cream (see notes above)
75g golden raisins/ sultanas soaked in 2 tbsp rum/brandy
4 chunky biscuits (I used my home made hobnobs)
75g cup toasted almonds
50g cup pistachios
50g cup dried mulberries
Line a 21cm square baking tray (or tub/ loaf tin etc) with parchment and seat aside. Set a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and add the coconut oil to the bowl to melt. Once melted, add the cocoa powder and brown rice syrup, stirring well until it looks like melted chocolate (alternatively melt 250g of dark chocolate instead). Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove from the heat and blend with the silken tofu, or stir in the coconut cream. Blend until smooth, then set aside.
Add the coconut cream, stirring well until the mixture thickens slightly and it is nice and glossy. Remove from the heat and leave on top of the hot water whilst you prepare the fillings.
Place the toasted almonds and pistachios in a sandwich bag and bash slightly with a rolling pin to break them up.. Do the same with the biscuits and add them to a bowl along with the nuts, mulberries and rum-soaked raisins. Pour the melted chocolate mixture on top and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the lined tray. Pop the tiffin into the freezer to set.
Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us all!