Australia – Tim Tams

I first came across Tim Tams in the UK of all places.  Even though I’d spent time travelling round Oz, I missed out on these deliciously chocolaty treats.  I was introduced to them by my lovely friend Katie, who’s now back home in sunny Oz, after spending a few years living and working in London.  We were at work (how we met) when she brought some in and asked “Have you ever done the Tim Tam Slam?”  Those three innocent little words.  Tim. Tam. Slam.  I was in for a treat.  It sounded like some sort of drinking game, which in a way I guess it is.  Never drunk your hot drink through a straw?  There’s a first time for everything.

Here’s what you do.  All you need is a cup of tea/coffee and a Tim Tam.  For those in the UK, Penguin biscuits are a good substitute.  It’s very straight forward – you simply bite off opposite corners of the biscuit, dip one of the bitten off corners in your hot drink and suck on the other till your hot drink hits your mouth.  Then stuff the biscuit into your mouth and enjoy.

Spoiler Alert:  Not sure if I want to spoil the fun, but there’s a fine art to the Tim Tam Slam. Take the biscuit out too soon and it hasn’t got that gooey yet still slightly hard texture to it, where the chocolate has gone all melty inside but you can still tell it’s a biscuit.  But, keep it in your hot drink too long and you have a problem.  Most of it ends up in a sludgy mess at the bottom of your tea, or all over your desk or hands or clothes (depending on how messy you are!) and the worst part is that you don’t get to eat it.  Shock horror!

It wasn’t a complicated recipe, but was a bit of a labour of love (and  you don’t get a lot of biscuit for your efforts).  If you want an instant chocolate hit, go out and buy some as it does take a while to make.  It’s more down to waiting around for things to cool or for chocolate to harden up, so you do have to have patience.  It can be frustrating when you just want to eat them, but I made myself busy doing the washing up, then mowed the grass (check me out!!).  I was tempted to yet again get the secateurs out and deadhead some flowers, although this doesn’t always go well for the plants.  I think they tremble in fear when I go into the garden!  When the other half sees me with secateurs in hand he makes some cheeky comment or other as I have a tendency to get carried away – no plant is safe.  There’s something very satisfying about deadheading.  I cut back some alstroemerias the other weekend as they’d all gone to seed, but when I stepped back I realised that I’d left a massive gap in the flowerbed – it still looks really bare three weeks on.  Luckily some new shoots are appearing, so hopefully I haven’t done irreparable damage.  I reckon I’ve just made room for new growth!

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Back to the biscuits.  When I decided I was going to make these, google searches for Tim Tam recipes didn’t return many results.  It seems that not many people have attempted to make them, or at least if they have, they haven’t recorded their efforts.  There were a few recipes, but I wanted to put my own spin on it, so I found a recipe for malted biscuits, to which I added cocoa powder and made the rest up as I went along.

Try the recipe if you have a few hours to spare.  They tasted pretty good, but in all honesty, would I make them again in place of the originals?  Probably not.  It was fun, but it was also a bit of a hassle.  I might make the malted biscuits again as they were yummy on their own and ready in no time (you wouldn’t need to leave in the fridge for an hour either as you could just roll into balls and flatten before putting in the oven – easy).

Tim Tams

Makes about 8-10 biscuits

for the biscuit

  • 100g butter, very soft
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 60g malted milk powder (eg Ovaltine, Horlicks – get the one you add milk to rather than water)
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt

for the filling

  • 100g butter, very soft
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp malted milk powder

for the coating

  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

For the biscuit:  Cream butter and sugar together until pale and smooth.  Beat in the malt powder and cocoa powder, then the egg yolks and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add them to the butter mixture and mix until combined.  Then use your hands to bring the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in fridge for 30-60 mins (this just makes it a bit easier to roll out later).

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Preheat the oven to 180C.  Remove dough from fridge, place between two layers of baking paper and roll out to about 5mm, in as much of a rectangular shape as you can.  Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into rectangles, mine were roughly 6cm by 4cm.  If you make them smaller, just lower the cooking time a teeny bit.  I used a ruler and tried to make sure they were all the same size (yes, I know, a bit over the top but it does make it easier when you sandwich them together).  You may need to roll out any remaining dough a second time, to use it all up.  Although I did eat the little bit that was leftover – just to make sure it tasted okay!

Line baking trays with the baking paper you used to roll out the dough on, spacing the biscuits out on them as they will spread slightly when cooking.

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Cook for 10-11 minutes, until firm round the edges.  Leave to cool on the baking trays before transferring to a wire rack.  Leave until completely cold.

For the filling:  Add all the ingredients for the filling to a medium sized bowl.  Beat together until light and creamy.  Always fun coating your kitchen in a layer of cocoa powder and icing sugar dust!

Use filling to sandwich biscuits together and then put in fridge to harden (this helps stop the filling from melting when you dip the biscuits in the molten chocolate).

For the coating:  Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until nearly melted (or melt in microwave, but only for 10-15 seconds at a time, to make sure you don’t burn it).  The residual heat should melt the final few bits, but give it a good stir to mix the two types of chocolate together.

Dip biscuit into melted chocolate, turning until complete coated.  Allow to set until hard before tucking in.

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Did you know?

  • Tim Tams are actually inspired by the UK’s Penguin biscuit
  • Tim Tams were named after a winning race horse at the Kentucky Derby in 1958
  • Chocolate is one of my favourite things!
  • Australia has over 10,000 beaches, so if you visited a new one everyday it would take you 27 years to visit them all – I’m happy to give it a go.
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