So, Christmas is done and dusted, and as has been the case for the past couple of years, it was a very quiet and relaxed day for us. All the action happens crazy-early morning when our three boys leap out of bed to discover what Father Christmas has delivered. After that, it’s all about doing as little as possible. Besides my Beloved and our sons, I only have my sister (and her family) and my Mum left on my side after losing my Dad and both my maternal grandparents in a short space of time. Christmas without them is still a bit weird. We call it ‘the new normal’. We don’t do the whole mega-meal in the middle of the day – and there’s definitely no hot oven making the kitchen an uncomfortable place to be (seriously, our Australian summer is enough to contend with!) So this year, in between splashing around in the pool, we adults munched on some gorgeous antipasto platters while the kids were able to choose whatever they wanted to eat – it is Christmas, after all – and they chose chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Why not, I say!
I did, however whip something special up for dessert. Again, totally non-traditional. Yes, more cake pops! They’re so easy, and suddenly everyone’s favourite – kids and adults alike. They’re easy to eat, don’t require a bowl or crockery, and, they’re FUN. While I served them up over Christmas and Boxing Day, there’s no reason why these can’t make your New Year’s Eve table centrepiece or any other special occasion.
What You Need:
1 packet of chocolate Tim Tams
1 packet of white chocolate Tim Tams
5 malt-style biscuits
2 x 80 grams of cream cheese
White chocolate melts
Dark chocolate melts
Chocolate transfer sheets in various designs. I used two – gold swirls and pink brushstrokes.
Small round cutter, aprox 2cm diameter (for biscuits, scones or icing)
Cake Pop sticks (you could use icy pole sticks)
How it’s Done:
Add the chocolate Tim Tams to your food processor. Blitz for a few moments, just to break them up a little. Add 80 grams of cream cheese and continue blitzing until combined in a doughy ball. Remove and roll teaspoon sized pieces into balls. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, and pop them in the fridge.
For the white chocolate Tim Tams, the process is the same, except you’ll need to add the malt biscuits as well. This is because specialty-flavoured Tim Tams (white, dark, mint etc) are a few biscuits short in the pack. Sneaky, sneaky.
While your Tim Tam balls are chilling, cut a 10cm strip away from your chocolate transfer sheets. The sheets cost about $8 each and are available from all cake decorating shops, as well as online. There’s a huge variety of colours and designs and available, and I think they’re my new favourite thing! I melted a teacup full of chocolate buds in the microwave before pouring the liquid chocolate over the rough side of the transfer sheet. This bit is a little tricky, mainly because you need to smooth the chocolate to a thin layer with a spatula, but not too thin – about 2 or 3 mm is good. Now, wait a couple of minutes – don’t walk away! – until the chocolate is beginning to set, but is still pliable on the sheet. With your round cutter (mine is about 2cm in diameter), cut out circles just as you would for biscuits. If you wait until the chocolate has set too much, it will crack. If it’s still too wet, it just won’t work. Trial and error, folks. As you lift the remaining circles, you’ll find the transfer has done its job and err…transferred the edible design onto your chocolate disk.
Remove your Tim Tam balls from the fridge, melt a little more chocolate, dip the end of each stick in it before pushing gently into the ball. Place back on the lined tray upside down, not minding if a flat spot is created on the top on the ball. Give a few minutes to set before melting more chocolate (I use a deep mug) and dipping the whole ball inside. This isn’t the time to be stingy! Let the excess drip off, and while the chocolate is still wet, attach the decorated disk. Replace on the tray upside down to help the disk stay in place while setting.
These quantities made 32 cake pops, and I was able to make them a day ahead of time. I served them in plain old household jars, in the middle of the table. Get creative! Try colouring your chocolate, and who says you need to stick with circles for your transfers? I’d love to hear your ideas. For me, I think I’ll try stars next time…