Stuff penicillin, Tim Tams are by far Australia’s best invention. Two super crunchy chocolate biscuits encasing some sort of creamy chocolate witchcraft covered in a layer of thick chocolatey chocolate – my god! Heaven-sent. I remember watching the TV ad where the genie asks someone what her wish is and she says “a packet of Tim Tams that never runs out”, and thinking that is pure genius. Who wouldn’t wish for that? (The mastermind asking is Cate Blanchett, of course. Only Australian icons in iconic Australian bickie ads, please.)
If you’ve ever lived overseas, it’s likely you have skipped out on a round of warm pints so you could pay a pal to post you a Tim Tam-stuffed care package. There’s nothing else like them. Sure, England has Penguin biscuits, which they think can compete. But history tells another story. The reason Tim Tams were first invented by Australian Ian Norris is because he ate a Penguin biscuit and thought he could do better. And, did he ever!
But it turns out you can improve on perfection. Enter the Tim Tam Slam. Plastic straws are passe, but so are paper straws, silicone straws, metal straws … basically any form of straw that isn’t a Tim Tam with two opposite corners nibbled off. Sucking your hot drink through a Tim Tam so it melts from the inside out, before plunging the whole melty mess in your mouth is a favourite pastime of many Australians (including Natalie Imbruglia). Even Kendall Jenner recommends it. It goes by many alternative names such as the Tim Tam Explosion, Tim Tam Bomb, Tim Tam Shotgun, Tim Tam Suck (Arnott’s tried to make this stick in a 2002 ad campaign, but failed) and my favourite, Tim Tam Bong. Classy.
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Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are all common and delicious liquid choices for the Tim Tam Slam. The Wikihow article on how to Tim Tam Slam recommends port as an option. Port, as in the sweet red fortified wine. (Seriously, what is wrong with people?) I have written Wikihow a stern letter (aka filed a cease and desist) asking them to remove that filth.
Instead, we offer our own novel beverage idea for use in the Tim Tam Slam/Bong: miso soup. Hear us out. We tried this soupy Tim Tam Slam on the Tim Tam episode of our unhinged food podcast Ingredipedia and both agreed it had a salty-sweet flavour combination that enhances the slamming experience. If miso chocolate chip cookies are a thing (a delicious thing, mind you), then why can’t we slam a Tim Tam in an umami Japanese soup? We chose the original Tim Tam to slam, but Tim Tam Double Coat would be a luxe experience, too.
Of course, there are many flavours of Tim Tams in this big wide world, many of which have come and gone. In 2004 there were Tia Maria Tim Tams (as well as a Kahlua Mint Slice), with the alcoholic liqueurs inside the biscuit. You clearly weren’t about to get drunk off a pack of Tim Tams, but the Australian Drug Foundation (now the Alcohol and Drug Foundation) suggested that normalising the taste of alcohol for kids wasn’t the smartest move. Arnott’s helpfully responded that you would need to “consume your body weight of biscuits every hour to reach a blood-alcohol content of .05”, which sounds like a fairly pleasant way to spend an arvo if you ask us.
There have been collaborations with Adriano Zumbo and Gelato Messina, but the special flavour that intrigues us most is the Cheese Tim Tam. Released in 2010 for the Southeast Asian market, it quickly became a bestseller in Indonesia, where cheese is routinely paired with sweet things.
While they’re not currently available for sale, we tracked down a review, which confirmed our suspicions – it’s a little sweet, a little savoury and all delicious, like a white chocolate Tim Tam with a cheesy ganache and some umami notes. So naturally, we made the bootleg version for the Tim Tam episode of Ingredipedia and have provided the recipe in all its hacked-together glory below. Are they as good as the originals? We’ll never know. But at the very least they’re an excuse to smash a whole packet of white Tim Tams. You’re welcome.
Bootleg Cheese Tim Tams
Serves 4 (if you don’t eat them all yourself)
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time
1 packet white Tim Tams
Enough shelf-stable cheese to cover 1 packet of Tim Tams
2 cups white chocolate melts
Cut the Tim Tams down the centre and extract the chocolate fondant. (Eat the fondant.) Replace the fondant with a thin slice of cheese and re-make your Tim Tam sandwich.
Melt some white chocolate and use a piping bag (or even slap it on with a spatula) to reseal the Tim Tams.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then eat immediately. The cheese makes the biscuits soggy eventually, so don’t sleep on these bad boys.
Want more weird food stuff? Subscribe to Australia’s most unhinged food podcast Ingredipedia, hosted by Emily Naismith and Ben Birchall. Episodes on other icons of Australia such as Weet-Bix and meat pies dropping weekly.