In her new book, Quintessentially Baking, Great British Bake Off winner 2013, France Quinn proves herself quite the Quentin Blake of cake baking with a selection of the some of the most fun and imaginative recipes for cakes, biscuits and sweets we’ve ever seen. From Brownie Owls and Mini Swan meringues to Pavlova Ballet Shoes and Fried Egg mini cakes, this book ensures takes care of birthdays, tea parties and rainy afternoons, and proves that, when it comes to baking, your imagination is the only limit.
Here is a back to school sweetener from the book for your children to cheer them up after a long summer holiday.
I’ve crammed a lot of malty deliciousness into these tiffin slabs, in the form of classic malted milk biscuits and malt extract. And, in a nostalgic nod to many comforting milk-and-cookie snacks, I’ve scattered in a good helping of chewy milk bottle sweets too. If you can, choose the kind dusted in icing sugar and made with real milk: the flavour is much more ‘milky’.
Makes 15 Tiffin Biscuits
For the tiffin
100g butter, roughly chopped
2 tbsp barley malt extract (see directory, p.307)
200g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
200g milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
200g malted milk biscuits
100g chocolate chip cookies
100g crunchy chocolate-covered honeycomb balls, such as Maltesers
100g milk bottle sweets
23cm square tin, greased and Lined with seatbelt straps (see p.21)
1. Put the butter and barley malt extract in a heavy-based saucepan. Set over a gentle heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Add all the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and combined. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Reserve 15 malted milk biscuits and put the rest in a large bowl. Add the cookies and chocolate-coated honeycomb balls. Break up the biscuits and chocolates by pounding them with the end of a rolling pin – as if you were using a large pestle and mortar. Aim to create a mix of crumbs and larger chunks to give your tiffin a good texture.
3. Use scissors to snip up the milk bottle sweets into about five pieces each and add to the bowl containing the bashed-up mixture.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture and stir together, combining everything thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to the lined tin. Level the surface with a cranked palette knife, spatula or the back of a spoon.
5. Arrange the reserved malted milk biscuits over the top in three neat rows of five, leaving a slight gap between each to make the tiffin easier to cut later. Firmly press them on to the top to be sure they stick.
6. Refrigerate until set, preferably overnight. To serve, remove from the tin using the parchment straps to help, and cut into portions, following the lines of the malted milk biscuits.
Quintessentially Baking by Frances Quinn is published by Bloomsbury (August 2015) and is available to buy from Amazon.