Cake pops and cookie pops are becoming quite popular; they’ve even inspired pies, brownies and other yummy treats to hop onto sticks as well. It’s the latest craze for food these days. Today, I’ll be telling you all about these all-kinds-of-awesome Tim Tam truffle pops that won the hearts of the cake stall helpers at my daughter’s school.
Alright, first of all, last Saturday was election day here in New South Wales, Australia. As I’m not a citizen of Australia (I’m a permanent resident), I am not allowed to vote. I’ve never been to the polling places or participated in any way during any election day. This time, however, my daughter’s school was sending home notices that they wanted donations for their election day cake stall to raise money for the school - they wanted cakes, slices, biscuits, etc. My eyes literally lit up when I read this (I’m pretty sure they did, anyway!) and immediately I ran through dozens of things in my head that I could make. I wanted to make something that would blow the customers away, something that they just couldn’t resist buying, something that would help the school’s fundraising efforts.
Eventually I decided on something I had seen a while ago on Not Quite Nigella and Bubble and Sweet. Tim Tam cookie pops. Just like an Oreo truffle, actually – with the crumbed Oreos and cream cheese. Except with Tim Tams. If you’re not in Australia, you may be asking, “What are Tim Tams?”. Wikipedia explains:
Tim Tams are chocolate biscuits made by Arnott’s Biscuits. A Tim Tam is composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate. (Photo above also from Wikipedia)
There are a variety of flavors available as well. Caramel Tim Tams, Rum & Raisin Tim Tams, White Chocolate Tim Tams, Dark Chocolate Tim Tams, Double-Coated Tim Tams… you get the idea. They’re all very delicious. Apparently 1 in every 2 households in Australia has a package of Tim Tams in their pantry.
Note also that Australians call cookies, “biscuits”.
So now you know what a Tim Tam is, if you didn’t already.
I doubled the recipe for the Tim Tam cookie pops I found on Bubble and Sweet. I chose to use a package each of original flavor Tim Tams, and dark flavor Tim Tams, and I used 400g of 70% chocolate to double-dip each truffle. One coating of the chocolate was too thin, I thought. In order to double-dip properly, I found that you need to let the first coating set before you dip again. Put the pops into the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so before dipping the second time. Also important – make sure the chocolate that you are re-dipping into is not hot, but at room temperature, or close, otherwise, the hot chocolate will re-melt the coating already on the truffle.
I made each truffle weigh 25g so that they would all be of uniform size. Picture above, you will see that I dipped the ends of the lollipop sticks into melted chocolate before sticking them into the truffles; after I stuck them all in, I put them back in the refrigerator to set the chocolate faster. This will help the truffle to stay on the pop while dipping and eating.
I kept the truffles in the refrigerator overnight and the morning of election day I packaged the pops into mini treat bags and tied them each up with a silver twist tie.
So yes, apparently, these little guys were a real hit with the cake stall helpers; they told me they only sold about four to actual customers before buying the rest of the pops for themselves! They even asked for the recipe! I’m glad that all my efforts on the day before were well worth it – job well done, I say!
The recipe below is not doubled; what follows is the original recipe. Feel free to substitute any flavor of Tim Tams you wish, as well any flavor of chocolate – even milk, or white. If you don’t have lollipop sticks, you can leave them out of the picture entirely and simply dip the truffles in chocolate and lift them out with a fork onto a sheet of baking paper. If you happen to have styrofoam lying around, you can stick the lollipop sticks into it, instead of placing them upside down on a sheet of baking paper.
The instructions may seem long, but this is not a difficult recipe. Basically, it’s the technique that takes a few extra words to explain.
Adapted from Bubble and Sweet
Makes 10-12 truffles
1 200g package of Tim Tams
80g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g chocolate, coarsely chopped
Place the Tim Tams in a food processor and process until they become fine crumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse until the mixture is smooth and starts to form a ball.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can place a few of the Tim Tams at a time in a blender instead (or you could try bashing them in a large Ziploc bag with a rolling pin!). Tip the crumbs out into a bowl and mix the cream cheese in with your hands.
Shape the mixture into balls and smooth them by rolling in the palms of your hands. Each of my truffles weighed 25g. Place the truffles into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to firm them up; this makes them easier to work with.
Melt the chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat, stirring often (or use your preferred method of melting chocolate). Remove from heat when only little bits of chocolate remain, and stir until those bits are melted. Take the lollipop sticks, dip the ends into the melted chocolate and stick the chocolate-coated end halfway into each truffle. Place them back in the refrigerator again to firm up the chocolate, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and begin the dipping process! Lay a sheet of baking paper on a plate, tray or cutting board. Holding on to the stick, slowly and carefully lower each truffle into the melted chocolate and coat entirely. Try not to swirl the truffle around, in case the truffle isn’t totally secured onto the stick – just dip straight in and out. Let the excess drip off, then place the truffle, stick side up of course, onto the baking paper, pushing down gently to make sure it stays upright.
When finished, place them back in the refrigerator (this is why I mentioned to have the baking paper on a plate, tray or cutting board!) to set the chocolate.
If you want to double-dip for a thicker chocolate coating that has a little bit more crunch, melt another 100g or so of chocolate, remove the pops from the refrigerator after about 20 minutes, and dip them again in chocolate that is at room temperature – not hot. Place back in the refrigerator to set. Be sure that the chocolate coating is entirely set if you want to stick them into bags.