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Tim tam and the turn-ons
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raspberri cupcakes: Tim Tam Cake
Hiya! After all the pretty Easter treats I shared with you last week, I’m now giving you a lumpy brown cake. But this is no ordinary chocolate cake. Does it look familiar to you? It is my homage to my favourite Arnott’s biscuit, the ever-awesome Tim Tam. If you’ve never had a Tim Tam from Australia, you’re missing out. If you don’t like Tim Tams, I’m sorry but we can’t be friends. These biscuits are one of the few chocolate treats that I am powerless to resist, I can eat an entire packet of Tim Tams in one sitting. (Which is why I hardly ever buy them anymore. I ate half a packet while I was making this cake!)
So as I was saying, this is no ordinary chocolate cake. It is a Tim Tam cake. It looks like a giant Tim Tam AND it has a pack of Tim Tams hidden inside it. Insanity. Also delicious. And easy!! Ever since I made my Iced Vovo Cake for Australia Day, I’ve had demands for all kinds of other Arnott’s inspired cakes. I decided to save my Tim Tam cake attempt for Tomred’s birthday (Happy Birthday for Saturday Tomred!), and I am quite surprised by the results. The idea was simple enough, chocolate cake with a butter icing filling and chocolate ganache drizzled on top, but I was super worried the cake would just be far too rich and heavy. So I decided to use a very light and fluffy chocolate sponge recipe for the cake, which made it more like the light chocolate biscuits you find in a Tim Tam. It worked perfectly, and made the cake soooo much lighter and less rich than my usual chocolate cake recipe. The thin layer of gooey chocolate ganache, and the slightly denser chocolate icing in the middle give this cake a whole range of different textures. It really surprised me how much easier this cake was to eat just because of the lighter sponge.
Now I realise my outer layer of chocolate is a bit darker than an original Tim Tam, so it looks more like a dark Tim Tam. I couldn’t help it, I didn’t buy enough milk chocolate! But the ganache worked great, as it started to thicken up I spread it all over the top of the cake and used a spatula to create the little ripples in the surface that you always see on a Tim Tam. Definitely not going to win any awards for being pretty or delicate, but it will make any Tim Tam lover (or chocolate lover) extremely happy. I didn’t realise the biscuits in Tim Tam are actually malted, or I would have added some Milo or malted milk powder to the cake mixture too! Feel free to do it. Anywhoo I’m so excited to be having this super long weekend off to do absolutely nothing as I am completely sleep deprived, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter and Anzac Day. Oh and it seemed like good timing to be to making this cake for Anzac Day too! I dare someone to make this and do a giant Tim Tam slam.
Tim Tam Cake
(Chocolate sponge recipe from Gourmet Traveller, serves 10)
NOTE: To beginner bakers, if you are unfamiliar with sponge recipes you might want to read up on some tips on how to make a successful sponge cake before starting. Gourmet Traveller has a great article. If you prefer a higher cake to icing ratio, double the quantities below for the cake batter. You can also substitute the cake recipe for any light chocolate cake that you are more comfortable making.
4 large eggs
110g (½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
65g cornflour (cornstarch)
35g (¼ cup) Good quality cocoa powder
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cake filling:
100g butter, removed from the fridge 30 minutes before starting
150g chocolate, melted (I used semi-sweet, you can also use milk)
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk
Optional: 1 packet of Tim Tam biscuits, crushed
(If you wanted to mix things up a bit so it’s not just all chocolate, you could mix a cup of raspberries into this icing, or maybe use mint chocolate instead?)
For the chocolate ganache topping:
300ml pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat pure cream)
400g milk chocolate (I only had 200g milk so I had to use some dark, which is why my ganache is a bit darker than I would prefer for a tim tam)
Line two 17x27cm rectangular slice/brownie tins, or one larger sheet cake tin with non-stick baking paper. (I actually only had one small tin, so I split all the ingredients in half and baked two separate cakes one after the other and it worked great!) Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (5-6 minutes, go nuts and don’t underwhip). Sift over cornflour, cocoa, flour, cream of tartar and bicarb soda, fold in with spatula. Fold in butter, spoon into prepared tin. Bake in centre of oven until the centre of the cake springs back when lightly pressed (10-12 minutes). Turn onto baking paper covered wire rack and cool completely. (If you baked one large cake, cut into two equal sized rectangular cakes)
To prepare chocolate icing filling, beat butter light and fluffy and then gradually add sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth and pale. Add melted chocolate and milk and beat until smooth. (You can adjust the amount of milk you add to get the icing to the texture you want) Spread icing over the top of one of the cakes (Note: you don’t need to use all of it, I made it about 1-2cm thick), and leave space to (if you want) place tim tams along the centre of the icing. (I saw a great tip from someone who made it, that it’s even better if you crush up the tim tams before you put them in the middle to make it a lot easier to cut the cake later.) Sandwich other cake on top of the icing and biscuits. To prepare the chocolate ganache topping, break up chocolate into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Slowly heat cream in a small saucepan. Just as it starts to come to the boil, remove from the heat and cool for a couple minutes. Pour hot cream over chocolate and set aside 10 minutes to allow chocolate to melt. Mix cream and chocolate together until smooth using a whisk, then cool (I placed mine in the fridge for about 15 mins) until it reaches room temperature and thickens. Pour over the top of the cake, using a spatula to ensure the ganache covers all the top and sides of the cake (the excess will drip off everywhere so make sure you lay down some baking paper to catch the drips). Chill in the fridge until the ganache sets, then peel off the bottom baking paper and serve cake at room temperature. P.S. I used a big cookie cutter to cut out a ‘bite’ of the cake, which I really liked the look of. The cake looks less Tim Tam-like when it’s whole!
Edit: You can also see a version of this idea in Australian Good Taste Magazine, it has an easier chocolate cake recipe and they’ve called it a ‘Timtastic Cake’. What a co-inky-dink. (And also on Taste.com.au as a Tim Tam Cake)
How to Do a Tim Tam Slam
A stubbly bloke from our office demonstrates—but don’t worry, we’ve got Natalie Imbruglia, too!
If you follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram, as anyone who cares about world affairs should, you will have noticed that she recently took a break from butt selfies to shout out an exotic brand of biscuits called Arnott’s Tim Tams. Perhaps you were already familiar with this Australian snack, featuring two malted-chocolate biscuits separated by a layer of chocolate-cream filling and enrobed in another layer of chocolate. (There are other varieties, but the all-chocolate-everything one is the O.G.)
Tim Tams occupy a hallowed spot in the pantheon of great tea-time biscuits, right alongside McVities Digestives and Petit Écoliers. Here’s some analysis from the biscuit pros at A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down:
[pullquote]The Tim Tam is a classy little biscuit, it tastes great and its [sic] insubstantial nature affords the sucking of tea and coffee through it by Australian songstresses, the infamous Tim Tam Slam.[/pullquote]
The Tim Tam Slam? It turns out that while the Tim Tam has been marketed under various names and parent companies around the world, the Aussies are still the most well-versed in its chocolaty wonders. As such, they know that the best way to eat one is to bite off opposite corners of the biscuit, use it as a straw to slurp up a hot beverage like Milo malted hot chocolate, and then pop the whole warm, melty treat into their mouth in one go.
That, in essence, is the Tim Tam Slam. But there’s some technique required to perfect this maneuver, so we thought it prudent to show you how it’s done. Pick up some Arnott’s Original Chocolate Biscuits from Amazon or your local British/Canadian/Aussie-leaning shop, then get to slammin’.
Step 1: Bask in the glory of your Tim Tam.
It really is a lovely biscuit.
Step 2: Grip the biscuit between your thumb and index finger.
Textbook biscuit-holding technique.
Step 3: Take a small bite out of one corner of the biscuit.
The emphasis is on small—your goal here is simply to create an opening large enough to expose the wafers and creme filling within.
Step 4: Repeat with the opposite corner.
Your Tim Tam should look like this. It is now ready to be slammed.
Step 5: Hold your biscuit at one of the unbitten corners.
You’re fixing to dunk, but trust: This is no ordinary biscuit dunk.
Step 6: Using the Tim Tam like a straw, suck the hot liquid through the biscuit.
You’re going to need to suck pretty hard (pause), and you should stop as soon as you feel the hot chocolate/tea/coffee hit your lips.
Step 7: Slam the entire, sodden biscuit into your mouth.
Don’t tarry: Starting from when the liquid hits your lips, you’ve got about three seconds before the structural integrity of the biscuit is compromised. When it hits your tongue, it will disintegrate and unleash its warm, gooey core into your mouth, like a chocolaty Gusher. (Pro tip: Right before slamming, turn the biscuit upright so that the part that was in the hot beverage is pointing to the ceiling. This will allow some of the liquid to seep down to the area near your fingers, which will be the least melted.)
Step 8: Repeat until you feel physically ill.
But before you do, it’s helpful to watch a beautiful Aussie do it in real time, just so you get the full picture. For that we have Natalie Imbruglia, who calls this move a “Tim Tam Explosion.” Here, she demonstrates on The Graham Norton Show:
The amount of innuendo in this segment is impressive, even by Graham’s standards. And it’s a worthwhile reminder that Natalie Imbruglia is the type of top-shelf antipodean star that puts the Kim Ks of the world to shame. Amirite?
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Have you guys ever heard of Tim Tams?
I cannot even tell you how long I have been wanting to try Tim Tams. If you’ve never heard of them, they are an Australian candy bar that consists of a chocolate buttercream filling sandwiched between two chocolate cookies and then dipped in chocolate. I know, I know, chocolate lover’s dream!! You can see why I have been dying to get my hands on some.
They are a BIG thing over in Australia, but for some reason it seems the U.S has not caught on. What?!?
Come on, it’s time to get with it already!
Thankfully, my good friend Sarah who writes the incredible blog The Sugar Hit developed a recipe for Homemade Tim Tams. This recipe is one from her new cookbook The Sugar Hit: Sweets That Pack a Punch!. If you have yet to get your hands on this cookbook, you need to do so now. It’s full of beyond gorgeous photos and even more delicious sweet treats. There’s everything from sweet breakfasts, to fruity cakes, to fried doughnuts to all things covered in chocolate. A dessert lover’s paradise!
Not to mention, it’s just an all around fun book, that’s full of color and screams SARAH with her signature touch that everyone loves. She did an amazing job and I could not be more excited to be talking about it today.
Ok and well, these Tim Tams are my new obsession.
To be totally honest, I had a really hard time deciding on just one recipe to make, I mean, they were all my kind of recipes, BUT when I came across the Tim Tams, I knew that was the one!
One, I have been wanting to try them for what feels like FOREVER now.
Two, with October here, I knew making a candy bar recipe was PERFECT. Hello homemade Tim Tams to all my tricker-treaters…oh wait. I don’t have any tricker-treater. UGH. Small mountain towns are LAME when it comes to Halloween. 🙁
Well, on the bright side, I get to eat the whole candy bowl myself. Sweet. 🙂
I followed Sarah’s recipe to a T then decided to add some toasted pumpkin seeds and peanuts to a few of my bars for a little added crunch and saltiness, I just couldn’t resist. I was kind of going for the Snicker’s bar feel, but with Tim Tams. It worked, love the peanuts and pumpkin seeds on top. Plus, adding them meant my bars got double dipped in chocolate.
Of course I loved that!
Okay. So. The bars are kind of like an all chocolate Oreo, which in my opinion is SO much better than a regular old Oreo. Anytime I can go all chocolate, I am a happy girl. I mean dredging a dessert in chocolate? Yeah, I’m basically jumping up and down with excitement.
FYI, I love chocolate coated/dipped/covered anything. Pretzels may be my favorite, though it’s hard to go wrong with just about anything dipped in chocolate.
AND these Tim Tams are fairly simple to make. Nothing too tricky, which is always a nice bonus! Yet another reason you all need to try these candy bars.
Can you imagine how happy your tricker treaters would be if you made Tim Tams for them? I mean, you would be THAT house. The house that everyone wants to get to candy from, and then go back to before the night is over. Yes. you would be the “AWESOME” house!
Trust me, it’s a good house to be.
Homemade Tim Tams.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, australian
Keyword: biscuit, chocolate, chocolate cream
A candy bar that consists of a chocolate buttercream filling sandwiched between two chocolate cookies and then dipped in chocolate. I know, I know, chocolate lover’s dream!!
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
- 4 ounces unsalted butter softened, 1 stick or 115 grams
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 115 grams/4 ounces
- 1 whole large egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 30 grams/1 ounce, Dutch
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 150 grams/5.5 ounces
- pinch of salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter softened, 1 stick or 115 grams
- 1 cup powdered confectioners sugar 125 grams/4.5 ounces
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder Dutch
- 1 tablespoon malted milk powder
- 7 ounces milk chocolate chopped, 200 grams
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- roasted chopped peanut + toasted pumpkin seeds optional
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg and continue beating until the egg is incorporated and the mixture lightens in color. Add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth and no lumps appear. Add the flour and salt until fully incorporated. The dough will be very soft. Turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Top with another piece of parchment paper, and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Put the dough on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees Celsius) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the freezer and slice it into 28 small 3×6 cm (1 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch) rectangles. Separate the rectangles and spread them out on the prepared baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling, cream the butter until soft, add in the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, then place in the refrigerator to chill while you melt the chocolate for the coating.
For the coating, place the chocolate and coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl and melt together in the microwave on High (100%) in 30-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, remove and stir gently until smooth. You may also melt the chocolate on the stove over a double broiler.
Take a chilled cookie and carefully coat it in the chocolate — I like to use a fork and then allow any excess chocolate to drip off back into the bowl. If desired, top each bar with chopped peanuts and or toasted pumpkin seeds.
Chill in the refrigerator and then dip one more time through the melted chocolate if desired. Place back on the baking trays and chill until the chocolate is solid…then try and stop yourself from eating them all immediately!
*Reprinted with permission from [The Sugar Hit! | http://www.amazon.com/The-Sugar-Hit-Sweets-Punch/dp/1743790406], Hardie Grant 2015.
Just make sure to save yourself a bar…or okay, let’s be real a batch! 🙂
Definitive Ranking of Australia’s Tim Tam Cookie Flavors
After spending a semester in Australia, I did my best to try the local cuisine. I was most excited though about the famous Tim Tam cookies. For those who may not know or have not had the pleasure to indulge in this chocolatey dessert, Tim Tam cookies consist of two chocolate biscuits with a chocolate filling and coating. There are many different variations and choices of different flavors and in my five and a half months I did my best to try most of them.
1. Double Coated
It tastes just like a double stuffed Oreo, the original is great but double of a good thing is always better. This variation to the Tim Tam original has an extra chocolate coating, making it much more rich and delicious. If you love chocolate as much as I do, this Tim Tam will be your first choice too.
2. Tim Tam Original
You just really can’t beat the original.
3. Classic Dark
I would choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate any day. So this simple change to the almost perfect original easily makes the top five.
4. Chewy Caramel
This Tim Tam variation tastes like the perfect combination of a Twix Bar and a Tim Tam. Between the two chocolate biscuit cookies is a caramel filling instead of chocolate. However, the chewy caramel filling makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to do the famous «Tim Tam Slam.»
5. Red Velvet
Unfortunately, this one can only be found in Indonesia. During my trip abroad, I traveled to Bali for my mid-semester break and could not leave the airport without trying these. This type consists of two red velvet biscuit cookies with a cream cheese filling, and then covered in chocolate. What I loved was that they truly tasted similar to red velvet cake, even the cream cheese filling!
6. White Chocolate
As I said, I am much more of a dark chocolate person because I don’t love how sweet milk chocolate can be and I find white chocolate to be a little too sweet and rich. However, these Tim Tams are delicious of course. They do not have the regular chocolate biscuits either, rather they have a white chocolate biscuit. If white chocolate is your favorite, then you’ll love these.
Unfortunately this is another flavor that is not found «Down Under.» The cookie biscuit as well as the filling really had a strong coffee flavor and the filling on the inside was much lighter than the other Tim Tams. It’s similar to a mocha from the combination of chocolate and coffee. Now there’s more of a reason to travel to Bali during your time abroad, and when you do, you have to try these Indonesia specific Tim Tams.
8. Coconut Lychee
These Tim Tams were very rich, one was plenty. They were inspired by a flavor from the Australian gelato brand, Gelato Messina. They have a white chocolate coating, which I find in general to be more rich and sweet than other chocolates. These cookies were supposed to have a lychee flavor, which is a type of fruit, however, I only tasted coconut. The coconut and white chocolate did pair nicely together, but it was very sweet.
9. Salted Caramel & Vanilla
I found these to be a little overpoweringly sweet, they are another collaboration with Gelato Messina. The vanilla flavor was extremely strong. It does not have the chewy caramel center as the Chewy Caramel variety does, but a caramel and vanilla flavored buttercream filling. It wasn’t bad by any means, but I would choose the other caramel option before this one.
10. Black Forest
Lastly, another gelato combination and these were by far my least favorite. The filling consisted of cherry jelly and vanilla frosting and the coating was dark chocolate. While this may sound delicious and similar to the Cherry Garcia flavor by Ben and Jerry’s we all love, this Tim Tam had a weird artificial flavor and unpleasant after taste. That being said, I would never turn one down, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Don’t forget to try a Tim Tam slam!
I couldn’t bring myself to try the Mango flavor, but I’m sure it’s just as tasty as the rest. Many of these flavors can only be purchased in Australia or Indonesia, but some are available on Amazon and in select stores in the United States. You can always try making your own as well!