What is a Tim Tam?
Tim Tam is not only a chocolate cookie found in every Australian supermarket, but it represents the essence of Australia, like a pizza in Italy, a scone in the United Kingdom, or a baguette in France.
Tim Tam is therefore nothing more than a simple cookie that is very rich in chocolate. The original version includes a chocolate and malt cream (Ovomaltine) sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate cookies, wrapped in a chocolate layer.
This version, which is therefore the most classic, is prepared with milk chocolate. But there is also the dark chocolate version and a multitude of other versions such as white chocolate, caramel, dark chocolate mint, honeycomb and dark chocolate orange.
What is the history of Tim Tam?
Tim Tam was created by Ian Norris, then Director of Food Technology at Arnott’s Biscuits Limited, Australia’s largest cookie producer and the second largest snack supplier.
In 1958, Ian Norris went around the world in search of inspiration for new products. During his stay in Britain, he discovered a very popular English cookie called Penguin over there and decided to “create a better one.”
In 1858 Ross Arnott, a spectator at the famous Kentucky Derby horse race, decided that his company’s new cookies would be named after the winning horse. Yes, a horse called Tim Tam crossed the finish line first. This chocolate cookie entered the market in 1964.
Since the 2000s, Arnott’s has introduced several varieties of classic milk chocolate cookies to the market. In Australia, Tim Tam packs of different colors appeared on the shelves: double coating: dark chocolate / white chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, chocolate and orange, coconut, red velvet, salted butter caramel, raspberry and white chocolate, chocolate brownie, black forest, salted caramel and vanilla, coconut and lychee, or chocolate and mint.
In 2004, Arnott’s sparked controversy over the release of an alcohol-flavored line of some of their products, including the Tia Maria Tim Tam.
The Australian Drug Foundation suggested that selling cookies in supermarkets was “potentially dangerous” to minors. An Arnott spokesperson observed that a customer would have to consume their own weight of cookies every hour to reach a blood alcohol level of 0.05 g.
In its homeland, Australia, more than 670 million of the popular chocolate biscuits are made each year.
Today, Australians consume more than 45 million packets of Tim Tam per day and each packet consists of 9 cookies. In one Australian household out of two, there is always at least one pack of 9 biscuits.
The Sydney Huntingwood plant produces 3,000 cookies per minute, using approximately 20 tons of different creams and 27 tons of chocolate per day.
The Tim Tam Slam
Here’s another way to enjoy a Tim Tam that Australians consider a game.
Tim Tam Slam, also known as Tim Tam Shotgun or Tim Tam Suck, is a game where the biscuit becomes a straw to drink a hot or cold beverage of your choice.
The diagonally opposite corners of the cookie are eaten, one of them is dipped into the drink, and the drink is sipped through the cookie. As the cookie softens, the coating begins to crumble.
Most Australians like Tim Tam with a drink called Milo, which is a chocolate drink made from a chocolate and malted powder, marketed by Nestlé. This drink is very widespread in Australia but also in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Syria, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Colombia.
Homemade Tim Tam recipe
It is not always easy to find Tim Tam all over the world, but it is easy to prepare this 100% chocolate temptation at home.
Some would say that the homemade version is significantly tastier than the packaged Australian version. It’s a straightforward recipe with cookie dough that can be made rather quickly. The list of ingredients is simple and easy to find.
For those who don’t have the skill or the patience to cut specific rectangles, don’t hesitate to use a ruler or even a cookie cutter.
The milk chocolate used to cover the cookie must be a very good quality chocolate with good fluidity.
Difficult to find someone who doesn’t like chocolate. For most of us, this is one of the greatest pleasures in life. You will love Tim Tam.
- ½ cup unsalted butter (soft)
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (100% cocoa)
- 1¼ cup flour sifted
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ cup soft butter
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons Ovomaltine chocolate powder
- 6 oz. milk chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Stand mixer
- Cooling rack
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the butter and sugar until obtaining a frothy mixture.
- Add the egg, and mix so that it is well incorporated, then add the cocoa, flour and salt.
- Mix until obtaining a homogeneous batter.
- Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about ¼ inch thick.
- Place the batter in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Take the batter out of the freezer and pre-cut 24 rectangles of about 1x3 inches (3x7 cm)
Bake the cookie dough for 10 to 12 minutes.
- 2 minutes after getting the cookies out of the oven, cut rectangles and let them cool completely on a rack.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the butter and sugar, then add the Ovomaltine chocolate powder until obtaining a creamy and homogeneous mixture.
- Using a spoon or a pastry bag, spread the cream on half of the cakes and cover with the other half.
- Place them in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate topping.
- Melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler.
- Add the coconut oil and mix.
- Smooth with a spatula and let cool slightly.
- Using a thin wooden skewer, dip the cakes one by one into the melted chocolate and place them on a cooling rack.
- Store Tim Tam in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.