Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!! {Tim Tam Cake}

Tim Tam Cake 5
Before everything started to go pear shaped...

It was my birthday last week (Hip Hip Hooray for me!) so I decided to make a cake that I've had my eye on for ages. Now, don't worry, I didn't make my own birthday cake because I was neglected by Mr P. - I actually had to convince everyone that I was really looking forward making it so they wouldn't stop me. I don't get to bake special cakes all that often, so I will jump on any excuse or opportunity.

The cake that I wanted to create was the Tim Tam Cake by Raspberri Cupcakes. Basically, it was a giant Tim Tam (my favourite biscuit of all time) - in cake form. Pure genius, as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, I have a LONG ways to go before I can reliably churn out cakes as spectacular as Steph's creations. It all began with the sponge...

Tim Tam Cake 4
Pouring in the batter

I usually avoid sponges because, like scones in my pre-just-pat-the-dough-together-days, I always tend to over mix. But I was determined to follow the recipe - and I didn't do too badly. Perhaps a touch over mixed (I just couldn't get the butter to incorporate properly) but it was definitely a sponge. And it looked perfectly smooth - I was really excited and thought "finally, I'm starting to act like a REAL cook". Unfortunately, a real cook would have known to turn the sponge the right way up after removing it from the pan, instead of leaving it upside down. So my beautiful, smooth sponge ended up being, well, not smooth once I turned it over. In fact, it was very much stuck to the cooling racks. But never fear, (I thought) - the ganache will cover it up and my cake will be beautiful!

Tim Tam Cake 6
How my sponge looked, before I mangled it

So, I moved onto the chocolate icing. In hindsight I should have added a bit more milk to make it easier to smooth out because it was quite stiff and I couldn't quite get it to the edges, which led to issues when I tried to cover the cake in ganache.

Tim Tam Cake 3
And how it looked afterwards. 

Oh ganache, why do you plague me? Last time I made ganache I managed to split it (seriously, who manages to split ganache?). This time, I couldn't get all the chocolate to fully melt. I used Cadbury Dairy Milk so I'm not sure if that had something to do with it? It did taste fantastic, it just wasn't completely smooth. So, frustrated that things hadn't been going my way I decided to just go ahead and pour the ganache over the cake. Then things really started to go wrong: I hadn't spread the icing close enough to the edge of the cake so the ganache dripped from the top to the bottom layer without clinging to the icing, thus enclosing the cake, and the areas of the cake where the top had come away decided to soak up the ganache rather than leaving it to set on top. My Tim Tam cake looked like it had been dunked in a giant cup of tea.

Tim Tam Cake 1
Lumpy ganache is NOT cool

It tasted good, though, and isn't that what counts?

This cake really is quite straightforward to make - two sponges sandwiched with chocolate icing and smothered in chocolate ganache. Just make sure the tops of your cakes remain intact, the icing is spreadable and the chocolate in your ganache is completely melted. Actually, your best bet is to just not let me anywhere near it. Thanks for such a fantastic idea Steph - sorry I didn't do it justice, but I will next time, I promise!

Tim Tam Cake 2
This photo, I know, is very dodgy but I was in a rush. 
(You can just see where the ganache has soaked into the cake. At least it almost looks like a Tim Tam!)

Make sure you check out the original post so you can see what the cake was supposed to look like.

Tim Tam Cake
Recipe from Rasperri Cupcakes
Makes one huge Tim Tam

4 large eggs
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
65g cornflour (cornstarch)
35g (1/4 cup) cocoa
1 Tbs plain flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Chocolate Icing
100g butter, softened
150g chocolate, melted (milk or dark, whatever you prefer)
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 Tbs milk
1 packet of Tim Tam biscuits, broken up (the original recipe used the biscuits whole)

Chocolate Ganache Topping
300ml pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat pure cream)
400g milk chocolate

Make the cakes: 
Line two 17x27cm tins (or one very large tin) with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and sugar until thick and pale (5-6 minutes). Sift cornflour, cocoa, flour, cream of tartar and bicarb soda over the top, fold in with a spatula or large metal spoon. Fold in butter. Pour into prepared tin/s. Bake in centre of oven until the cake springs back when lightly pressed (10-12 minutes). Turn onto baking paper covered wire rack (don't skip this bit, like I did) and cool completely.

Make the icing: 
Beat sugar and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and milk and beat until smooth (you may need more or less milk depending on the texture you want). Spread the icing on top of one of the cakes and sprinkle with broken Tim Tams (or place unbroken Tim Tams in a line down the centre of the cake). Push down into icing and top with other cake

Make the ganache:
Break up chocolate and place in a large bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it just starts to come to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool very slightly. Pour over the chocolate. Wait 10 minutes, then stir mixture until smooth and glossy, then cool to room temperature (it will thicken).

Place cake on baking paper on a wire rack, preferably in a large baking dish (makes it easier to collect the drips). Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, using a spatula to spread it all over the top and sides. Once the ganache has set, peel off the baking paper and serve.

Note: if you cut out a corner of your cake (like someone has taken a big bite) it will look much more realistic.


  1. Awww... Shame to hear that it didn't really turn out how you wanted it to.

  2. Thanks for the support :) Hopefully it works next time - at least I (think) I know what I did wrong. Mint Slice cake is next!


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