Frans tiffin cake

Inspired by both the Joules Garden Trading tiffin tin and theme of gardening I created these biscuit planters and seedling tiffins-quite literally crammed full of seeds! By planting the tiffin mixture into actual seedling trays, the chocolate mixture divides itself up and fits perfectly into the tiffin tin together with the biscuit planters.

You will need a plastic seedling tray with 2” pots, cut down to create 8 pots or 2 x 4 2” pots.


Biscuit Planters

125g slightly salted butter, softened

125g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

250g plain flour


Tiffin Seedlings

300g dark chocolate

125g slightly salted butter

25g golden syrup

1 vanilla pod-optional

pinch of salt-optional

1 Multipack of sesame snaps-120g

100g seeded granola

100g mixed seeds-sunflower, pumpkin, flax seed

100g biscuits, using the biscuit planters

Extras: Cocoa powder or a little dark chocolate or chocolate biscuits, grated, blitzed or crumbled up to create the top soil!


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Biscuit Planters

Cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Sift and stir in the flour and mix to a fairly soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour or preferably overnight.

When ready, weigh out and remove 100g of the dough, this will be used to create the biscuits in the tiffin seedlings.

Roll this dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 0.5cm thick and cut up into pieces and transfer on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Don’t worry about the biscuits looking anything special as once baked they will broken up!

Roll out the remainder of the dough, again on a lightly floured surface and cut into planter shapes with a scalpel, pizza cutter or sharp knife using a planter or paper template as a guide. I find cutting lots of strips and then cutting their end into  a triangular shape before making a hole with the tip of a paintbrush the most efficient way. Transfer the biscuits on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment bake and you have a letter embosser then now’s the time to press in your own bespoke planter label text. Bake both sets of biscuits in the oven for approx 5-10 minutes until the biscuits edges turn lightly golden in colour. Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool.

Tiffin Seedlings

Toast your seeds lightly in a frying pan or baking tray in the oven and allow to cool. It’s not a necessity but really does bring out the flavours of the seeds.


Put the cooled 100g of biscuits and sesame snaps in a large plastic food bag and wrap in a tea towel before bashing them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for a mix of crumbs and larger bit of biscuit to give your tiffin a varying texture and crunch.

Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Once melted stir in the seeds from a scraped out vanilla pod and pinch of salt if using. If you do use a vanilla pod, be sure not to throw the pod away but instead place it in some sugar to create your own vanilla sugar with, ready to create more biscuit planters with next time.

Fold through the biscuit and sesame snap pieces, granola and toasted seeds into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan. Place your seedling tray that’s been cut down to create 8 holed pots on to a flat baking tray or sat in a swiss roll tin. Divide and transfer the tiffin mixture between the pots and level  the surfaces off slightly with a spoon. Grate, blitz or crumble up your chocolate or chocolate biscuits and scatter over the seedlings while still warm but not so hot the chocolate will melt, to create the impression of top toil. If you prefer and have no chocolate or biscuits to hand, dust the tiffin with cocoa powder once set to create a slightly finer looking soil effect! Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or overnight.

Once set you can remove/de pot the tiffin from their trays and place in your tiffin tin-you will be able to fit 4 in each compartment together with your biscuit planters. You can cut your tray in half with scissors giving you a square of 4 pots and place these in your tiffin tin while still in their trays. To serve I love to enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee and dunk the pointed end of your biscuit planter in your brew before planting it in your tiffin seedling pot. The heat from your drink should ensure the biscuit melts and adheres to the chocolate tiffin resulting in it staying upright as seen in the photo.

Granola makes a lovely addition to the tiffin and you can easily buy a shop bought one containing seeds from most supermarkets. However I like to create my own jam packed with seeds and it looks great stored in the Joules Garden Trading storage jars.


The latest from Emily King

Emily King 1

Well it’s so great to have begun the season at last! We started off at Aldon where I had all six horses competing over the weekend… the weather was great and they all certainly loved being out! I had Zara, Indie and Peter in the Novice on the Saturday - Indie was a little excited in her test so didn’t get her best mark, but jumped a great double clear, Pete did a great test of 26 and jumped a really good double clear but I just went slowly xc as it is only his 3rd ever novice, Zara was awesome and won her section on an impressive 24 double clear. Then on the Sunday I had Zip, Brook and Charlie in the OIu21… Brook and Zip were both a little exuberant in their tests to say the least but then both jumped very well! Charlie, who is the youngest and least experience of the three, did did a great test of 30 and followed it up with a super double clear (but only steady xc) to finish 8th. So overall a really great weekend which hopefully gave them all an enjoyable and confident start to the season!

Unfortunately Somerley was cancelled so our next event was Gatcombe. I had a mega busy day with 5 in the the Intermediate and Open Intermediate classes (Brook, Zip, Indie, Carlie & Zara), which was very exciting… and good for my fitness!!! They all did good tests and jumped really well (despite the sticky ground and torrential hail storms), I didn’t run them fast xc due to the conditions… Zip finished 4th and Charlie 9th.

I’ve also had quite a few social events on through March… Mum, Dad and I were kindly invited to Cheltenham for World Hurdle Day thanks to The Jockey club, it was a fantastic day with world class racing… but unfortunately I didn’t have too many winners!!! Mum and I also had a great evening in London last week… we were invited to Claridges for a Country Life reception and also Piccadilly for a Spinal Research charity dinner. It worked out really well that both of the events happened to be on the same night and very close to each other… so we were able to attend both of them!! I also had a very entertaining day filming at home with Ben Hobday for Elite Eventing… it should be released very soon, so like Elite Eventing on Facebook and Twittter and subscribe on Youtube, as a highly amusing video is heading there soon!!

Mum and I also have some REALLY exciting news… we’ve just signed a sponsorship deal with Verdon Grey, the luxury outdoor furniture experts. We are thrilled and very lucky to have them join our team… exciting times ahead!

We leave early tomorrow morning for Belton Horse Trials. We’re going via Ferdi’s for dressage lessons on the way and then start competing on the Friday. It’s a very exciting weekend as I’m doing my first ever CIC3* on Brook – eeeeekkkk!!!! Also Zara and Indie are in the OIu21 Junior Trial and Zippy is in the CIC2*… so everything crossed, I can’t wait!!!

E x


Emily King 2