It doesn't really fit with my general intention to eat more salad, but it's ages since I've made, never mind written about, a sweet thing, and I had all the ingredients bar the digestive biscuits (cost 44p) to make the tiffin from Signe Johansen's 'Solo', and it seemed like a good enough plan for a set Sunday evening.
I've never been much of a tiffin/refrigerator cake fan, having always found it vaguely disappointing compared to pretty much anything else I might havecwith a cup of coffee. Still, this one called for dried sour cherries and toasted almonds both of which I had left from Christmas baking, and both of which needed using. It was something to do with a packet of shortbread fingers lurking at the back of the cupboard as well, and a whole lot of mini bars of green and blacks chocolate I was given too.
Maybe it's the toasted almonds and sour cherries, possibly it's the unorthodox use of an egg (I've been looking at other recipes, they don't seem to use eggs) doing something for the texture, it could be the proper grown up dark chocolate - there's no messing about with cocoa powder here, and I'm not ruling out the influence of the vanilla extract either - but whatever it is - this tiffin is amazing.
Stopping at a slice is proving difficult. The texture is the perfect combination of crunchy biscuit, dark velvety chocolate, chewy fruit, and nuts (how do you describe what a toasted nut does when you bite it?). The flavours have the same exceptionally satisfying balance between chocolate richness and berry tartness with all the nice things the nuts and biscuit bring with them too. I'm wondering if dried blueberries would have sufficient tartness to sub for the cherries in future versions (actually I'm just wondering what dried blueberries taste like since I saw a massive packet of them in Costco- my fear is oversweet like cranberries, but they continue to tempt me.)
The tiffin recipe is Here along with one for croque Madame in a Pool article where Johansen talks more about the book. It's my favourite sweet thing since the Sunken Apple Cake from Classic German Baking - and that cake is brilliant.