Home » Food Corner » Tiffin, Tropical Slices & 3 Life-changing Tips for Baking Enthusiasts

Tiffin, Tropical Slices & 3 Life-changing Tips for Baking Enthusiasts

Crevette, Beanie and I attended an exciting baking event organised by Whitworths yesterday. When I was warmly invited to come along with children, little did I know that my monkeys would be the only small(er) people there.

Proud to show the cupcakes they decorated

They could not have been better looked after. I think the girls really enjoyed spending time with them and were fighting for their attention, decorating cupcakes with them, playing ‘hide the snacks’ and sitting with them listening to the instructions for baking delicious goodies.

Decorating Cupcakes

The cooking course took place in my dream kitchen in Wandsworth. My own kitchen is tiny and all afternoon, I kept imagining myself in that kitchen with my family, cooking with the kids, sat around the huge island that could be used as a worktop or become a table for big meals with friends. I could also see myself teaching children how to cook simple meals, like Katy does in I Can Cook. Cookery classes, for children and adults alike, would be my dream job (OK, one of my dream jobs!). Wouldn’t that be a nice career move?

We spent the afternoon with the incredibly friendly and down-to-earth Holly Bell, who blogs at Recipes From a Normal Mum. Recipes that are free from refined sugar seem to be really trendy at the moment, and the first treat we made to try out Whitworth’s range of baking goodies was a delicious tropical slice recipe created by Holly. In the recipe, sugar comes naturally from figs and dried fruit.

A photo with Holly Bell

We then had a nice lunch and I had a good chat with Phil, a real Baking Fanatic, Sophie from A Story of a Girl and Emilie, from Someone in the Corner.  It was also the perfect occasion to catch up with Kerri-Anne, who blogs at Gingerlillytea and Lucy, aka Mrs Bishop.

Holly then took us through her fruity Tiffin recipe. Crevette helped me bash the biscuits. I simply omitted the raisins. As we were making our Tiffin, it smelt divine in the room, and I had a slice as soon as it was set after I got home: oh my goodness it is good!

Bashing Ginger Biscuits to make Tiffin

As promised, here are a few life-changing things I learnt yesterday:

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in melted chocolate is a trick to give it a bit of a shine despite not being tempered. It also makes it easier to cut when set.
  • Coat your spoon with oil to make it easier to spoon syrup
  • Figs are not vegan. They are male or female. They cannot reproduce unless they get help from insects. Wasps impregnate the figs. Once they are done, they cannot get out. It is a natural process so apparently most vegans still eat them.

Have you got baking tips you would like to share?

I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. All photos and opinions are my own.


  1. 25/07/2015 / 6:45 pm

    I’m absolutely gutted, I was invited too but didn’t go in the end! Sounds like it was a great event. As always after reading one of your posts I’ve also learned something new – I did not know that figs weren’t vegan!!

    • Mel
      25/07/2015 / 9:18 pm

      Oh no! You know what? I very nearly texted you on the way there, but I was underground and by the time the tube got over ground, I’d forgotten about the text (sleep-deprived, much?). Next time one of us goes to an event in London, we should text each other so we can make a girly date of it! x

  2. 25/07/2015 / 7:39 pm

    Sounds like you had a great day. I love the tip about the oil in the chocolate. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

    • Mel
      25/07/2015 / 9:19 pm

      It does work! The Tiffin went in the fridge before it was completely set, and there is no ‘clouding’ on the chocolate. It is also fine to cut straight from the fridge. x

  3. chocolatepages
    25/07/2015 / 9:32 pm

    I have been making honeycomb recently using syrup. I will try your oil tip and see if its easier. Looks like a great day. I love Tiffin too!

    • Mel
      25/07/2015 / 11:04 pm

      It was a brilliant day. It was incredibly well organised, entertaining and relaxing at the same time!

  4. 25/07/2015 / 10:38 pm

    Ah that sounds like lots of fun…you get the best invites 😉

    • Mel
      25/07/2015 / 10:59 pm

      I have to say I was a happy bunny when I saw that one in my inbox! xx

  5. 26/07/2015 / 1:35 am

    Aww lovely write up Mel! It was so lovely to see you there & you’re beautiful children were so well behaved and such fun! The Tiffin was so yummy wasn’t it? And I too just had the very best day xxx

    • Mel
      26/07/2015 / 2:34 am

      I just had my th slice of Tiffin today: this stuff should not be allowed!

  6. Love that tip about the oil and the syrup.

    I use sunflower oil to ‘grease’ my cake tins so that the sides of the cake stay soft. Butter tends to create a harder, crumblier crust. I think it’s a matter of taste but I like my cakes to be soft and squidgy.

    • Mel
      13/08/2015 / 9:55 am

      I had no idea butter was creating a harder crust than sunflower oil when greasing tins. Thanks for the tip!

  7. 01/08/2015 / 12:32 am

    Oh wow what an amazing, informative and fun day, I never knew that about figs, wow! Love using natural fruit sugar here too, you and the kids look beautiful as always too (nice to see the kids more too, they are too beautiful). Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • Mel
      03/08/2015 / 12:16 am

      I was really surprised to find that out about figs. You learn every day! It really was a brilliant class. x

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