Chocolate Orange Tiffin (aka Terry’s Tiffin)

This blog post is written in memory of a very special person. My Dad Terry passed away on June 11th. As I was growing up, my Dad was always encouraging and enjoyed sampling my baking. In more recent years he would enjoy various treats I would make for him and my step mum. Dad was only 74 when he died after contracting Covid. Before the disease took a turn for the worse we spoke on the phone. This was to be the last conversation I had with Dad and he asked me for a favour. He asked if I would bake the staff at the hospital some cookies to say thankyou for all they did for him. It was the least I could do to help. Dad then added that he would love some of my special tiffin for when he came out of hospital.

Sadly that was not to be as the following day Dad started to deteriorate and passed away only 4 days later. I wanted to carry out his wishes and although he didn’t get to have his tiffin, I made some for our family to eat after Dad’s funeral service. I also baked some cookies and took some Rocky Road through to the hospital with a batch each for the Covid Ward and the ICU. Although I was upset going back to the same place where I had seen Dad after he had died and to talk to staff who had looked after him, it was a pleasure to make the treats for them. They were so grateful and also took the time to chat to me, asking how I was as well as how the rest of my family were coping.

One of the batches of Tiffin I baked was a chocolate orange flavouted Tiffin using melted chocolate orange chocolate bars as well as mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segments which you can buy in those treat/ sharing bags. The reason why I chose chocolate orange was because my Dad’s name was Terry and he used to joke “That’s my chocolate because it says Terry on it!” And that was before Dawn French was on TV advertising saying “It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine!” Not only that but Terry’s chocolate oranges were originally made in York near where Dad lived for the last twenty eight years of his life and near where I live too!

If you would like to make your own version of Terry’s Chocolate Orange Tiffin, then here is the recipe:

Terry’s Tiffin

Makes 9-12 pieces, depending on how big you like them!

You need a 9″ square tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Ingredients: 100g melted unsalted butter, 25g soft brown sugar, 3 tbsp Sugar and Crumbs’ Chocolate Orange Cocoa Powder, 4 tbsp golden syrup, 400g chocolate orange chocolate (such as Dairy Milk orange or any chocolate bar flavoured with orange), 200g Digestive biscuits and a sharing pack of Chocolate Orange Segments.

  1. Put the melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder and golden syrup into a bowl and mix together until combined.
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or in the microwave in 30 second blasts.
  3. Put the digestive biscuits into a clear plastic bag and smash them into pieces with the end of a rolling pin. Try and get them in random chunks as this looks effective when you cut the tiffin up! Add in to the melted butter mixture and stir to combine. Chop the pieces of chocolate orange up and stir these into the mixture as well.
  4. Press this mixture carefully into the prepared tin, making sure it is level and filled to all four corners.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the biscuit mixture and spread carefully.
  6. Chill in the fridge for half an hour and then slice into bars or pieces carefully. I’ve found the bars cut more easily if the knife is warm. Return to the fridge to finish off setting until needed.

I have found this Tiffin recipe is so adaptable. I’ve made other versions recently with Crunchie Bars and Maltesers and they have been really successful. Please note, some of my Tiffin photos were taken in a rush after a busy day and not of the best quality!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

Excuse the dire photography in this post.  Taking photos isn’t my strong point.  The photos didn’t do these tasty morsels justice.

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I baked these shortbread pieces for my family to eat at home while I was away staying away in Canada visiting my brother and his family.  I don’t think they remembered they were there as they were still in the plastic box I’d put them in over a week later when I got back home!

They’re adapted from a recipe in Mary Berry’s “Cooks The Perfect…Step By Step” which I’m really enjoying cooking from at the moment. The original recipe is for individual shortbread round biscuits but I chose to put all the dough together in a square loose bottomed tin and cut it into pieces instead.  I had some Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavour Chocolate Orange Cocoa powder which I love using so instead of using plain cocoa powder, I used that instead.  Absolutely delicious and the smell of chocolate and orange was heavenly.

The recipe introduction says: ” Buttery and very moreish, few can resist these delicious cookies.”  Mary’s original recipe also contains semolina of which she states “brings a lovely crunch,”  I didn’t have any semolina so I added cornflour instead which I use in my normal shortbread recipe.

Here’s my adaptation of the recipe.  The original recipe can be found in Mary Berry’s book.

Makes 12-16 pieces depending on how big or small you like your pieces of shortbread.  Use an 8″ square loose bottomed tin and pre-grease it with either butter or Cake Release.

Ingredients:

75g cornflour

140g plain flour

75g caster sugar

25g Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavoured Chocolate Orange Cocoa Powder

175g butter

100g plain, dark chocolate chips/ dark chocolate chunks or alternatively chop up your own bar of chocolate.

First, pre-heat your oven to 1600C/fan 140oC/235oF/Gas 3.

Put all the cornflour, flour, sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl.  Mix well so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

When this is done, add the butter in and rub it in with your fingers.  I find it easier to cut the butter up into small cubes first so it takes less rubbing in and handling. It needs to be at room temperature too, so take it out of the fridge in good time!

Make your mixture up into a ball of dough.  Press into the square baking tin and make sure it is evenly covering the bottom of the tin. It helps to press down with the back of a spoon.  Prick the surface of the shortbread with a fork.

Bake in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until firm to the touch.  Transfer the shortbread to a wire cooling rack and cut into squares or pieces as soon as you can.

 

Chocolate Orange Yoghurt Muffins.

These Chocolate Orange Yoghurt Muffins were baked from an adapted Mary Berry recipe.

I get itchy hands when I haven’t baked for a few days.  It’s been a mad few days in SmartCookieSam land.  I had a really busy week doing a teaching assignment in a nursery, then that very weekend I went down with a chest infection. Before I started feeling really rough, I did manage to bake my son’s 16th birthday cake.  After that, it all went downhill.  I had three days in bed either coughing my guts up or dozing off to sleep.  I had to cancel two days pre-booked supply work in schools I go to regularly.  I only worked last Friday in the end and felt completely useless. Baking was the last thing on my mind, in fact it was even a struggle to muster up the energy to make myself a cup of tea!

By yesterday, though, apart from the odd coughing fit I have got back to my normal self.  I’m still feeling very tired and have been trying to take it easy but I really wanted to bake something quick and simple. To me, muffins fit the bill there, they take no time at all to make and don’t need much mixing. You just throw all the ingredients together and hey presto in about half an hour you have a gorgeous smell wafting out of your kitchen.

I chose to adapt a Mary Berry muffin recipe which is in her Cookery Course book.  Her original recipe is for Blueberry Muffins, which I love but I wanted to use chocolate chunks in mine.  I grated some orange zest and used a pot of natural yoghurt, as well as 5 tablespoonfuls of milk.  These muffins are also baked using melted butter, instead of oil. As for muffin cases, I used brown tulip shaped ones but it really doesn’t matter what you use.

This is how the muffins were made: first I beat two large eggs together, then added caster sugar, milk, natural yoghurt, vanilla extract and the grated orange zest to a large bowl.  All of these were stirred up gently so they were just combined, not beaten.  To this, I sifted in self raising flour and baking powder.  This needed to be folded into the wet mixture, and then finally in went a whole packet of dark chocolate chunks.  The batter was then divided equally among 12 muffin cases and put into a pre-heated oven.  The muffins came out well risen after about 25 minutes baking time with a wonderful aroma permeating the whole of the house.  I put them onto a wire rack and let them cool down.

It was gorgeous BBQ weather yesterday and not really the right time for eating warm muffins straight from the oven.  To be honest, it was the last thing I wanted to eat, even though I could eat cake all day and every day normally! The muffins ended up in a box and ready to go into the freezer for a day when cake would hit the spot.  I forgot to put them in the freezer and found hubby eating one when he came back in from work. He said they were lovely as they weren’t too overpoweringly sweet like you can find with some shop bought muffins.

Chocolate Muffins of any sort go down well with all my family.
I love using tulip muffin cases, these were an Ebay find I think.

Happy Baking.

Love Sam xx

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

 It’s been half term for me and for my kids this week.  I love my job but I really needed a few days to catch up on things.  My son has been working on a film project and had a few friends over to help him out with it.  When there’s a houseful of hungry teenagers there’s always a need to have cookies about.  Especially chocolate chip ones.

On Tuesday three of my son’s friends were round at our house and I was at home doing jobs. I don’t mind doing this but very soon the mind starts to wander and the boredom sets in.  This is also when my baking addiction starts and I think of things I can create.  It was a great opportunity to test out a recipe from my giant Great British Bake Off Calendar which is hanging up in my kitchen.  February’s recipe was for chocolate chip cookies which on the picture were sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream.  Though I didn’t have any vanilla ice cream left, the kids had troughed it all.

I’m a huge fan of Sugar and Crumbs’ natural flavour cocoa powders and icing sugars and was keen to use some flavoured cocoa powder in my cookies. I had a choice of lime, orange, coconut or black cherry flavour.  Knowing that all varieties were a great choice it was a difficult decision but in the end I  went along with chocolate orange.  A winning combination.

The cookies took minutes to prepare.  Butter and brown sugar was creamed together in a bowl then a beaten egg and some vanilla extract was added to the mixture.  In another bowl baking powder, plain flour and the cocoa powder was sifted together and folded into the wet ingredients.  Finally I put in a packet of chocolate chips which I had found in my baking cupboard.

Once the dough was combined I chilled it for about half an hour in the fridge. This made it easier to handle. I always use an ice cream scoop to measure out cookie dough so I get even portions.  They are always put well spaced on lined baking sheets as cookies of this type spread out. About halfway through the cooking time I always take the tray out of the oven and bang it down on top of the cooker. This flattens the cookies down and then they return to the oven to finish off. I don’t cook them for as long as they should be cooked as I like my cookies chewy.

  

 When my son and his friends had finished filming the cookies were a welcome treat. I put a couple aside for my daughter to try when she came in from work but they vanished. I tried one myself and the cookies were gooey and chewy with the chocolate pieces melting into the whole cookies. The orange flavour in the cocoa powder worked really well. Judging by the response I got from the cookies I will definitely be baking these again.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx