Tim Tam truffles are one of life's decadent little treats; they're a huge step up from Tim Tams (which are pretty irresistable on their own) and also allow for a huge amount of creativity and personalisation if you want it. I hate to bring up the C word so early but for those of us who like to make things for Christmas it is getting into the crafty zone - we always have a big family Christmas, which is loads of fun but requires some planning for my strategy of having something homemade for everyone.
Almost - yikes - three years ago I used Tim Tam truffles, and made 'bouquets' by sticking a kebab stick into each one before dipping, using an assortment of patterns and decorations then wrapping 10 or 12 in florists' paper for each bouquet.
That's not what I'm planning for this year (sorry, hopeful family members!) but they are great gifts for anything - or just yummy nibbles! - so I thought I'd show you how.
Health food is not really the correct category for these treats - behold the decadent ingredients - but they are always well received so I think it's justified. They're also really easy - takes a little bit of time but there are only a couple of steps, and did I mention how yummy they are?
You start off by reducing the Tim Tams to crumbs - I am really impressed with my little stick blender's food processor attachment - it did a whole packet at once, with perfect results. You could use a normal food processor, or if you don't have one pop them in a snap-lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin for a while - especially good when you're a bit stressed or annoyed at something. ;-)
Step two is adding cream cheese. Make sure your hands are clean and then get in there and smush it all together - your hands are going to get dirty in a minute anyway and it really is the best way of combining everything.
Sometimes it's satisfying to get a bit messy in the kitchen! Even better; when you finish rolling them all you can lick your fingers. Yummmm!
I usually pop these in the fridge or freezer to firm up (depending how long I plan to wait before dipping them - if you're not going to dip them for a while the fridge is fine) before dipping them. Today I used Nestle white chocolate melts - you either need to use compound chocolate (i.e. not containing cocoa butter) or temper the chocolate, or they won't set properly. I know the eating stuff tastes better but it just won't harden up when you remelt it.
Then you just dip the truffles one at a time, gently turning them in the chocolate until they're fully coated, drain for a couple of seconds, and set gently on some baking paper to set. This one was a wee bit messy - it was my first - but once it's hard you can break off the extra sticking-out bits of chocolate on the base and remelt them.
Speaking of remelting, if you still have chocolate left over when you've finished spread it on a piece of baking paper to set - that way you can break it up and put it back in the bag for next time. This is a trick that took me a while to figure out - it's pretty near impossible to not have leftover chocolate when you're dipping stuff, since you need something to dip into, and chocolate (even the compound stuff!) is too expensive to throw away. With this kind of truffle you might find the occasional crumb or two in the chocolate - if there are too many to fish out put the post-dipping chocolate aside for something like drizzling over muesli bars, where it doesn't matter so much if there are traces of Tim Tam!
If you like you can leave them plain - or you can throw some more chocolate around. ;-) Just melt it and flick it with a fork back and forth across the chocolates. This will make a mess!
This one cracked so I had to destroy it - so sad! So you get a glimpse of the scrummy centre. Seriously, these are goooood. Dangerously irresistable.
Anyway, I bet you're all dying to know who won the candy melts - you could do some fun things with them if you had a fresh batch of Tim Tam truffles to decorate!
Commenter number 5 was:
Congratulations, Becs! Email me (email@example.com) and the chocolate melts will be winging your way very soon. I'm sure they'll make awesome shoes! :-)
Tim Tam Truffles (makes about 20)
1 packet plain Tim Tams
100g cream cheese
300g compound chocolate, for dipping
(optional) Additional chocolate for decorating
Pulse the Tim Tams in a food processor (or put in a bag and hit with a rolling pin) until reduced to crumbs. Use your fingers to combine with the cream cheese - the mixture should stick together. Roll into balls and chill for several hours (or freeze for 30 minutes-1 hour).
Melt the chocolate - put in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then put it back in for 10-20 second bursts until mostly melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the truffles one by one, using a fork to gently turn them in the chocolate then lift them onto baking paper. If desired spatter with different chocolate to decorate.