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What Whitby in North Yorkshire is famous for?

Dracula apparently… Or perhaps something more mouth watering like Yorkshire pudding, fish n’ chips and this, the famous Magpie Fuffle Slice. The Pom and his mum visited this a small little fishing town in North Yorkshire called Whitby back in 2008. (Why am I telling you this? It is not even my own holiday, sigh….. sadness.) As being a fishing town, apparently whoever comes to Whitby must try the best Fish and Chips, and the only place to get them is at The Magpie Cafe, one of the most popular cafe/restaurant in the area.

The Pom was so impressed with the food (especially the desserts of course), he even brought back the The Magpie Cafe Cook Book for me. There are a lot of recipes in the cookbook that are mainly focus on, you’ve guessed it, fish and seafood. Then there is the dessert section at the back with a good selection of delicious English classics including trifle, rice pudding, brandy snaps, and then this – a fuffle.

So, what is all the ker-fuffle?

The Pom loved the fuffle slice at the Magpie Cafe so much and he has been making his own Magpie Fuffle Slice ever since. It is the first time I heard of ‘fuffle’ slice, which resembling coconut slice (or macaroon) without the jam but instead filled with glace cherries, sultanas, and mixed nuts. A self claimed most popular dessert at the Magpie cafe, the fuffle slice is wheat free, a great dessert for Coeliacs and those with special dietary needs.

Apart from the chewy aromatic dense coconut layer, the bottom layer of dark chocolate base on the fuffle slice is just as important. As the first time, we used cheap chocolate which turned out not as nice with a sour aftertaste. Hence, make sure to get some good dark chocolate for this recipe. The Pom also not so keen on the mixed nuts in the recipe and omitted them, surprisingly it still works and tasted just as good.

As suggested in the book, best to use swiss roll tin so you can bake a thinner layer of fuffle cake, then slice them up the size of chocolate brownie. On the first attempt, the pom used the bread tin which is too small and deep, it baked well but the slice didn’t seem to hold its shape properly when sliced and crumbled away when trying to pick it up. If you don’t have swiss roll tin, you can just use square cake baking tin, but make sure to lay a sheet of baking paper with both sides hanging out of the tray before pouring the mixture in. As this will allow you to easily flip the cake over and tilt it out by lifting the baking paper on both sides.

It is a very simple recipe and take no long than an hour to prepare. Definitely a recipe to impress the guests at your next dinner party. The Pom made the fuffle slice and brought along to the Orphan’s Christmas picnic and well received from everyone. I think this recipe is a keeper, straight into the must have recipe repository.

Magpie Fuffle Slice

250g good quality dark cooking chocolate
200g softened butter (room temperature)
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 handfuls sultanas
2 handfuls chopped mixed nuts (optional)
1 handful glace cherries
400g dessicated coconut

1. Grease and line a swiss roll tin (or cake tin) with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate in heat proof bowl over simmering water and pour into the tin, smooth until even thickness and allow to set.

2. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then mix in the sultanas, nuts and cherries. Add the coconut to the mixture, half at a time.

3. Push the mixture down onto the chocolate, and then bake at 160 - 170C for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before flipping it out onto the rack.

4. Allow to cool and then cut into slices when ready to serve with whipped cream, garnish with chocolate shaves and a glace cherry on top.