Tim Tam {Penguin} cake

That’s it, first year’s finished and I’m back in God’s own county for the summer. It’s a bit weird trying to readjust to home life as it’s so quiet round here, and I miss everyone in halls so much. Give it a week or two though and I’m sure I’ll get back into the swing of things 🙂
Right, this is another recipe off my to-do list. Tim Tams are an Australian biscuit {although they were sold in the UK for a while, and I bought my last packet from Canada at Easter so they’re fairly widespread}. If you’re in the UK, their closest relative is the Penguin. Although it has to be said that Tim Tams are infinitely superior 😉 I’m sorry I have an Australian bias if that wasn’t obvious
A few things about this cake didn’t work for me (and they were pretty much all my fault). I’m getting used to cooking in my home oven again – which is a bit temperamental and there’s no glass door so I can’t do the classic GBBO-kneel-and-pray in front of it – and so I managed to burn the tops of both cakes. Whilst trying to rectify that (read: cut the burnt bits off) I managed to make the cakes lopsided.
My third issue was that the bits of biscuit in the sponge all sunk to the bottom during baking which is just plain annoying but there’s not really much I could’ve done about that one. And finally, I didn’t really think it tasted that much of Tim Tams. It was a decent, light, chocolate sponge (if you forgot about the burnt bits and biscuit layer at the bottom!) but it just didn’t have that wow factor that I was imagining when I first read the recipe.
However, I’ll freely admit that I am a perfectionist {and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while that’s probably quite obvious!} My Mum and Dad seemed to like it although you can’t really trust the people who raised you to give you honest critique, can you? 😉 Instead of the malt icing the recipe suggests I made a standard chocolate icing to sandwich the cakes and then a ganache to cover the whole thing as I’m on a bit of a run with ganaches at the moment.
All in all, I’m happy that I tried this one out but I don’t think it’s one I’ll make again in a hurry. I have a few other recipes that I’d like to try that use Tim Tams that I think might work a bit better – in a tart for example. So I’ll have to give those a go. Well, I s’pose someone’s gotta do it!

TimTam / Penguin cake

  • Difficulty: not too tricky
  • Print


  • From ‘Kitchen Coquette’ by Katrina Meynink


For the cake:

  • 220g brown sugar
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 15g butter
  • 175ml milk
  • 3 tbsp malted milk powder {I used Milo}
  • 185g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb. soda
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 6 Tim Tam or Penguin biscuits, crushed

For the icing:

  • Icing sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Butter
  • Hot water

For the ganache:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 Tim Tams or Penguins {to decorate}


Preheat your oven to 170°C and line two circular cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Beat the sugars and eggs together until pale and thick.
In a saucepan over a low heat, combine the butter, Milo and milk until the butter’s melted. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool down. Whilst you’re waiting, now’s a good time to weigh out all of the flours and powders and sift them together.
Add the contents of the saucepan to the sugar/egg and mix them together. Next, fold in the remaining dry ingredients and finally mix in the crushed biccies.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for around 30 minutes, testing with a skewer to see if they’re done.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before taking them out of their tins. When totally cool, make up the ganache by melting the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Warm up the cream in the microwave, but be careful not to get it too hot. Add the cream to the chocolate when it’s melted, and stir. The mixture should change consistency and become very glossy. If possible, put the bowl in the fridge to cool down a little.
Whilst you’re waiting, make up the chocolate icing by melting around 1tbsp of butter in a bowl in the microwave. Add enough icing sugar to saturate it, and then add a little hot water. Alternate until you have a smooth, spreadable icing {make sure to add cocoa too, around a tablespoon-ful!}. Spread this icing in a thin layer on top of one of the cakes and then stick the other one on top.
Next (and this is optional but it makes the end result much neater), spread a very thin layer of ganache over the cake to crumb-coat it. Return the ganache to the fridge until it’s thick but still spreadable {think Nutella}, then cover the cake in it. I can definitely recommend using a palette knife to do this last bit, it makes life a lot easier but don’t worry if you don’t have one.
Use a small blob of ganache to stick the whole Tim Tams/Penguins to the top of the cake for decoration.

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