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Christmas Tiffin Pudding recipe

After posting a picture of this on Facebook and everyone asking me for the recipe I thought this would be ideal for this weeks blog post! There are full instructions for those who feel the least domesticated and if you’re pretty nifty in the kitchen already I have put a quick recipe run down at the end so you don’t have to go through the whole thing.

This ‘bake’ comes from a basic tiffin recipe I found years ago. I’m afraid I don’t know the exact place I found it so I can’t credit where its from. I have changed it over the years though to alter it to our taste so to keep this simple this is the way I make it now!


165g Baking margarine

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons golden syrup

6 teaspoons cocoa (when I made mine I read this as tablespoons which is why it was so rich but still divine so if you want to add some extra cocoa in go for it – it still works!)

335g Rich Tea biscuits, crushed with some small chunks remaining.

1 handful of raisins or another dried fruit of choice (cranberries to be festive or chopped apricots would be nice with the dark chocolate)

100g Dark chocolate (if you’re not a fan of dark rich chocolate desserts you could always swap this for milk chocolate)

For the topping

200g Milk chocolate

100g White chocolate

Here’s how you make it….

Crush the biscuits in a food bag and leave to the side.

Get a pudding bowl - we have a Pyrex one but if you don’t have a specific pudding bowl any Christmas pudding shape bowl you have will do as long as it will hold all the mixture! Lay 2 pieces of clingfilm in a cross shape over the top of the bowl with some overhanging the edges. You can either push the clingfilm down at this point or lower it in gradually as you put the mixture in. The clingfilm is there to basically line the bowl to help get the pudding out once its made.

In a large microwavable bowl (not the pudding bowl you’re going to set it in - another one!) put in the butter, sugar, golden syrup, cocoa and chopped up dark chocolate then put it in the microwave until melted. I usually put it in for a minute to start and then check it every 30 seconds onwards and keep giving it a stir. The hardest part here will be to not lick the spoon after each ‘just checking it’ stir!

When it’s melted add in the biscuits and a handful of dried fruit.

Pour all the mix into the lined pudding bowl and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. It needs to be packed together so that it holds its shape.

Fold any overhanging pieces of clingfilm over to cover the top.

Pop it in the fridge and leave to set, which will probably be about an hour. Don’t be too eager and take it out too soon, this is the key part to it keeping its shape, so if in doubt leave it a little longer!

Once it’s set take the clingfilm off the top and turn it out onto a cooling rack. You could put it onto a plate or chopping board but I used a cooling rack (actually I used the wire rack from the grill pan!) so that if there was excess chocolate it would drip off through the rack and the bottom edge would look nice and neat. Also with a plate underneath it would catch any chocolate drips and I could eat those afterwards – there’s always a silver lining!

Chop 200g of milk chocolate into small pieces and put in a microwavable bowl.

If you want to make some holly leaf decorations (or chocolate sprinkle decorations) at this point you will need to put a small amount of the milk chocolate into a separate bowl and keep it to the side.

Pop the chopped milk chocolate into the microwave and cook at 30 second intervals so that it melts. It’s important to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. I didn’t want my chocolate to be too runny and run straight off the pudding so I didn’t want it to get too hot. I waited until there was some chocolate melted and then stirred it and let the residual heat melt the rest.

Now the fun part! I used a teaspoon to spread the chocolate on. I put a dollop on the top edge and then let it run down the side and used the back of the spoon to move it about and make sure there was a nice thick layer all over the pudding. I left the top part until last as I wasn’t sure how much chocolate I’d have and I figured if I ran out this was at least going to be covered with white chocolate anyway! Luckily I had enough so I covered the whole thing and it left a nice base for the white chocolate to later stick to.

Once covered, I put it in the fridge to let the chocolate set.

Whilst this was setting in the fridge I made the decorations. I always pipe chocolate decorations out onto a piece of greaseproof paper so that I can move them easily once they are set.

You can use whatever you have to do the piping with but I wasn’t in the mood for messing up a piping bag, making one out of greaseproof paper or rummaging around in the cupboard for a disposable piping bag so I went for the simple sandwich/freezer bag cheat! It’s important that you use one that has straight edges like this one. You can’t use ones that have a gathered edge as you don’t get a fine point from which to pipe. Melt the small amount of chocolate you set aside in the microwave, this will take barely any time at all as it's so little and then pour it into the sandwich bag. Try and keep it all down in one corner and not spread all over the inside of the bag – it won't matter if its not all in one place but it just makes it easier to make the most of all the chocolate without wasting loads.

Twist the neck of the bag (or just above all the chocolate) like you would a piping bag until you have the chocolate in one corner and ready to squeeze out and then cut the tiniest hole on the very tip of the corner. I forgot how runny melted chocolate is and the first hole I cut was too big and all the chocolate ran out all over the place so I had to quickly squeeze it into another food bag and try a second time. Since the chocolate is liquid you barely need to squeeze the bag (if at all) you just need to let it run out in a slow manner and draw the holly leaves with it onto the greaseproof paper. Just make sure the lines are thick enough that they won’t break when set when you pick them up and remember to do some circles for berries. I did some solid holly leaves too just incase the outline ones didn’t work but they were actually better than I thought! Put these (still on the greaseproof paper) into the fridge to set. If this seems too much skill for your culinary standards you could always buy a little decoration to go on top or with the chocolate you set aside rather than melt it you could just chop it fine and sprinkle it on the top of the white chocolate to decorate. Don’t be scared though it is easier than it sounds and its actually quite fun!

When the milk chocolate on the Christmas pudding has set take it out of the fridge and you are ready to add the white chocolate. White chocolate is more temperamental that milk and dark when melting. It takes more to get it to set and so you need to melt this by barely getting it warm at all! I broke mine up into chunks (literally the chunk sizes they came in on the bar) and then popped it in the microwave. As soon as it had started to melt I took it out and stirred it letting the residual heat melt the rest. If you take it out a bit too soon you can always pop it back in the microwave for 10 seconds but better to take it out too sooner than over do it!

To make the white chocolate look like a runny white sauce I took teaspoons of the melted chocolate and poured it on around the top edge. It occasionally needed a little guiding push with the back of the spoon to get it going but generally I let it do what it wanted! Just make sure you have enough left to fill the space on the top of the pudding and you don’t get too over enthusiastic and use it all to dribble down the sides!

Pop it in the fridge to set. If you are just sprinkling chocolate on the top take it out after 10 minutes and sprinkle the chocolate on. If you are putting the piped chocolate holly leaves on the top lay those on just before serving.

Leave the pudding on the cooling rack in the fridge until all the chocolate is set and then transfer it over onto the serving plate. If you are going to be a while before serving put some clingfilm over the top of it (once its dry and set) and keep it in the fridge. I like to take mine out to warm slightly before serving as I prefer tiffin at room temperature rather than cold but that’s a personal preference!

Quick recipe run down

165g Baking Margarine

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons golden syrup

6 teaspoons cocoa

335g Rich Tea biscuits, crushed with some small chunks remaining.

1 handful of raisins

100g Dark chocolate

For the topping

200g Milk chocolate

100g White chocolate

Melt margarine, sugar, golden syrup, cocoa and dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave.

Add in crushed biscuits and a handful of raisins.

Put in a pudding bowl that has been lined with clingfilm.

Press down firmly and put in the fridge to set.

Set aside some chopped milk chocolate for decorating.

Melt the rest of the milk chocolate and spread over the pudding.

Leave to set in the fridge.

Melt the white chocolate and dribble over the top then leave to set again.

Decorate and serve.

Hope you enjoy the recipe. Merry Christmas!

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