The Summer Edition. Celebrating Australia Day With… A Chocolate Tim Tam Cake.

This weekend we are celebrating Australia Day. Sunday January 26 marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney. Monday is an official public holiday, so we are enjoying another blissful long weekend. Another perfect excuse for picnics, barbecues and get togethers with friends. This weekend also marks the very last push towards the end of eight leisurely weeks of summer school holidays. Mid next week my little darlings won’t know what’s hit them; with the full onslaught of early morning wake-ups and frenzied timetables of school and extra curricular activities just around the corner. But then again, neither will I.

For the moment I’m not going to worry about that. More pressing is the contemplation of what to cook. I think Australia Day and visions of quintessentially Australian fare spring to mind. Platters of sausage rolls. Perhaps a roast leg of lamb, and let’s not forget a perfect pavlova and plates of lamingtons and jelly cakes. The problem is I have posted all these recipes before (the highlighted links will take you to them) so need to think a little more laterally.

Cruising the beautifully air-conditioned aisles of the supermarket this week (always a welcome diversion in this stifling heat) I was pleasantly surprised to find 50th anniversary packets of Arnott’s Tim Tam biscuits. Quintessentially Australian, Tim Tams have been an indelible part of both my childhood and that of my children. Evoking many pleasant memories.

I’m sure there aren’t too many of us who haven’t attempted a Tim Tam Slam. Almost a rite of passage for generations of Aussies. The childish delight of nibbling off each end of the biscuit to reveal its creamy chocolate centre. Dunking one end into a cup of warm milk, cocoa, tea or, for the more sophisticated and grown up amongst us, coffee. Then sucking hard on the biscuit as if it were a straw to draw up the liquid. At the end of the process, we were left with a deliciously gooey but sodden mess of disintegrated biscuit that needed to be devoured in one bite. Not the most elegant way to eat a biscuit, and probably best attempted in the privacy of your own home if you are over ten years old.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the humble Tim Tam biscuit, and to celebrate being a proud Aussie, I’m making a chocolate Tim Tam Cake this Australia Day weekend. I first  came across this recipe  in Australian Good Taste magazine last winter. I loved the idea, but  as cake decorating really isn’t my forte, I tore out the page, relegating the recipe to the depths my kitchen drawer. Until now. Outrageously decadent this cake looks and tastes exactly like a giant Tim Tam Biscuit, and is guaranteed to strike a chord with the inner child in all of us.

Chocolate Tim Tam  Cake
Adapted from Australian Good Taste, July 2013 page 89
Makes one large or two medium sized layer cakes

For The Chocolate Cake
185g butter, at room temperature, chopped
370g (1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
3 eggs
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
80g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
125ml (1/2 cup) water
100g (half a packet) Arnott’s Tim Tams, finely chopped (for final assembly)

For The Chocolate Ganache
400g milk chocolate, chopped
300ml carton pouring cream

For The Chocolate Filling
125g butter, at room temperature, chopped
450g (3 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons malted milk powder or milo
2 tablespoons milk
200g milk chocolate, melted, cooled

For The Chocolate Cake Layers
PREHEAT oven to 180°C. Grease and line base and sides of two 18 x 27cm (base measurement) slice tins, or two 20cm x 20cm (base measurement) square cake tins.
USE an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until just combined.
SIFT  over half the combined flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add milk.
USE a metal spoon to fold until just combined. Sift over remaining combined flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add water and fold until just combined.
DIVIDE  mixture among pans. Smooth surface.
BAKE for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centres comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
IF you have used square cake tins, slice each cake in half. This will give you four 10cm x 20cm layers  to assemble two TimTam cakes.

For The Ganache
MEANWHILE, to make chocolate ganache, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
POUR cream over chocolate. Stir with a metal spoon until melted and smooth.
PLACE in fridge, stirring often, for 40 minutes until thickened slightly.

For The Chocolate  Filling
USE electric beaters to beat butter in a bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually add icing sugar, malted milk powder and milk, in alternating batches, until smooth and combined. With the beater on low, gradually beat in the chocolate until just combined.

To Assemble The Cake
PLACE base cake layer(s) on a wire rack set over a baking tray. Use a palette knife to spread filling over cake. Sprinkle with Tim Tams. Top with remaining cake layer(s). Place in fridge for 30 minutes to set.
POUR  ganache over the top of the cake. Use a palette knife to spread ganache over top and sides to cover. Set aside for 30 minutes to set.

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11 Responses to The Summer Edition. Celebrating Australia Day With… A Chocolate Tim Tam Cake.

  1. I’ve heard of the Tim Tam biscuit from the blog, Dulcet Devotion. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to put my hands on them here so to recreate your celebratory cake. The cake looks heavenly and covering it in ganache makes it even more decadent. It’s always interesting to me how certain foods (sweets in particular) can conjure some happy childhood memories. Enjoy your Australia Day weekend and maybe another plate of ribs!

    • Thank you. I was just thinking how easy it would be for some one in the US to use this idea to make a giant Orea cake. Not sure if it has been done before. I am reliably informed by my daughters that it is possible to slurp hot milk, tea or cocoa through an Oreo as well. They are enjoying Tim Tam Slams as we speak. Not ideal on a hot summer’s day but oh well.

  2. I came across Tim Tam a couple of years ago in south africa, when a friend of mine Italian/Australian visited me. Unfortunately I dont find them anymore here…. They are delicious, I’ll definitely try your Tim Tam cake!!!
    Enjoy your Australia Day

    • Will do and I hope you can find some Tim Tams, although crushed maltesers would add the same chocolate-y malt crunch to the filling. It’s amazing how this cake tastes like a Tim Tam.

  3. thehungrymum says:

    This.Looks.Amazing. Sooooo chocolately 🙂 I just blogged an iced vo vo cake for Australia Day. #greatMinds

  4. Pingback: Elsewhere In The Blogosphere… | Babbleogue

  5. saucygander says:

    I’ve seen that recipe! That looks like a fabulous cake, you’ve done well on cake decorating!

  6. Yum – and happy belated Australia Day. What a great post!

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