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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall festive tiffin

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is bringing us a taste of Christmas today, by putting a festive spin on a chocolate classic.

He’ll be adding ginger, spice and all things nice to the classic Tiffin to create a festive delight. 

Christmas tiffin

Makes 12-16


100g dried sour cherries (or dried cranberries or sultanas)

1 tbsp Rumtopf liquor, cherry vodka or brandy

75g jumbo oats

50g whole hazelnuts, roughly chopped

40g sunflower seeds

35g pumpkin seeds

50g coconut oil

150g plain chocolate (at least 75% cocoa solids), broken up

2 pieces of preserved stem ginger, plus 1 tbsp syrup from the jar


You’ll need a shallow baking tin, about 20x15cm

Tiffin needs to be kept in the fridge as it will begin to melt at warm room temperature


1. Line your baking tin with baking paper. Turn the oven on to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6. Put the dried cherries (or cranberries/sultanas) into a heatproof bowl with the alcohol. Put the bowl in the oven as it heats up to warm the fruit, taking it out after 5 minutes so you don’t cook it!

2. Once the oven is up to temperature, spread the oats, hazelnuts and seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, checking regularly. The oats need to be crispy and the nuts slightly browned. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. 

3. Put the coconut oil and chocolate pieces into a saucepan over a low heat and stir occasionally as the mixture starts to melt. Remove from the heat just before the chocolate is completely melted and stir in the toasted oats, nuts and seeds (they can still be warm but not hot). Add the fruit with any boozy liquid, the chopped ginger and syrup. 

4. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared tin and leave to cool for a few minutes then place in the fridge. Leave until completely cold and set before cutting into squares.

Mulled cider

Serves 6-8


1 litre still cider

300ml good quality apple juice

6 cloves

4 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

1 orange, sliced

200ml sloe gin or brandy

Honey or sugar, to taste


1. Pour the cider and apple juice into a big pan. Add the spices, cover and bring gently to just below the boil. Take it off the heat and it can happily sit for a couple of hours.

2. When you are ready to serve your mulled cider, put the pan back on the hob and bring to a simmer. Add the orange slices, pour in the sloe gin or brandy and give everything a good stir. Remove from the heat.

3. It may need a little sugar or a couple of spoonfuls of honey or sugar to soften the acidic appley hit, so taste and adjust accordingly.

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