Sunday, 26 January 2014

Tim Tam Brownies for Australia Day

Today we celebrate Australia Day.  Day of discovery and invasion, patriotic fervour and maintaining the rage.  This year I have had fun gathering ideas through my Australia Day Pinterest Board.  It really is a great way to share ideas.  That was how these Tim Tam Brownies became lodged in my head and wouldn't go away until they were in my belly.

While the origins of Australia Day are somewhat dubious (the British claiming another people's land as their own), the opportunity to showcase Australia to the blogosphere is certainly fun.  This year, I have been amused by some of the creative twist on Aussie iconic food (see list below).  Like the humble Tim Tam biscuit.  Two chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with chocolate cream and covered in milk chocolate.

I was slightly concerned about making brownies to celebrate Australia Day.  They are about Australian as Superbowl and Oreos.  I never had brownies while I was a child.  Yet the spirit of these brownies is very Australian.

As a child, we always had a packet of biscuits in the cupboard to 'bake' with.  (Think grubs, hedgehog or chocolate ripple cake.)  And while it was always plainer than Tim Tams (an occasional treat), I think I might claim that Tim Tams are Australia's answer to oreos.Other than Tim Tams, this recipe is just like the sort that our grandmothers would make with plain ingredients that were in every Australian pantry.

So here is my present for you on Australia Day.  Oozy gooey chocolatey tim tam brownies with a crunchy creamy biscuit interior that surprises and delights.  (Except if you are my 4 year old Sylvia who just takes the brownies off and eat the biscuits!)

I couldn't wait to try these as they came out of the oven just as I was rushing out the door to go to the movies with E.  I took some crumbly bits in a tub.  E groaned at the messiness and then asked if I wanted any more because it tasted so good.  (The movie was Inside Llewyn Davis.  Very bleak but beautiful and thoughtful too.)  The real reason I made them was for a picnic at the zoo last night.

It is some years since we have been to Twilights at the Zoo.  Last night we saw an ABBA tribute group, Babba.  They were lots of fun and I knew all the songs.  We a haggis balls (more later on them) for our picnic followed by brownies and fruit.  I was unusually restrained with the food and we found ourselves going for an ice cream after watching the lions roaring at interval.

Last night was our Australia Day celebration and today we are having a quiet one.  Just a swim is planned.   I would have loved to go to the Share the Spirit Festival in the Treasury Gardens.  If only I had the energy I would.  It is a celebration of our Indigenous community, which will be even more joyous for the announcement that the Australian of the Year is Adam Goodes, Aboriginal AFL player and anti-racism campainer!

Finally, I leave you with some links to iconic and fun Aussie recipes.  Above (from top left clockwise) are an artist's impression of Vegemite at the Orange Adventure Playground, tinned beetroot with patriotic packaging, a jaffa twist on lamingtons and my mum's pavolva with cream and peppermint crisp on top.  Wishing you some Aussie yumminess and a happy Australia Day.

Australian recipes from my kitchen:

Recipes using Aussie iconic food from the web:

Tim Tam Brownies
Makes 16

125g butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup cocoa (I used Dutch processed)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 packet tim tam biscuits (11 biscuits)

Line a 20cm square cake tin.  Preheat oven to 190 C.

Melt butter in a heatproof medium mixing bowl in the microwave (or on the stovetop in a medium saucepan).  Stir in cocoa and brown sugar, then eggs and vanilla to make a glossy thick batter.  Stir in plain flour and salt.  Spread a thicn amount of batter in the base of the cake tin.  My batter was so thick and sticky that it took a bit of effort to spread.  Arrange tim tams on batter.  (There will be some space between them.)  Pour the rest of the batter over the tim tams so they are covered.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the brownie smells baked and a skewer comes out mostly clean (a few crumbs or a slight moisture is ok - the brownie is very sludgy).  Cool in the tin.  Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

On the Stereo:
Ruby: The Killjoys

27 comments:

  1. What a great recipe Johanna! And you have made me wish I'd approached Australia with greater interest in creating adventurous twists on Australian food...all I did was make vegan lamingtons (following the recipe you adapted previously), which were great, but hardly novel :)

    We also bought those jaffa lamingtons a few weeks ago to take to a game afternoon with Mr Bite's brother - Mr B loves jaffa flavours and lamingtons so he enjoyed them a lot.

    I hope you enjoy your day and the long weekend!

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    1. Thanks Kari - your lamingtons looked delicious and a very suitable Aussie treat. E was very taken by the jaffa flavour too.

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  2. What a novel idea. They look great. Happy Australia day

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  3. Love this idea!!! They look sooooo good

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  4. They do look fab! Easily veganisable too I daresay, with those vegan Tim Tam dopelgangers (ie those really expensive biscuits)! Years ago I was introduced to a 'Tim Tam Slam' (where you bite the ends off and use the Tim Tam as a straw to suck up hot tea). I never looked back! I don't miss Tim Tams but if I found a version that tasted much more like them than the current offerings, I'd snap them up quick smart! The brownies really do look delicious.

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I think I have seen these tim tam doppelgangers (as you so charmingly phrase it). I never really got into the tim tam slam - never into doing it with alcohol or coffee and what did that leave me - hot chocolate or tea which just didn't seem right!

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  5. I love how you put the cookies right into the brownie.. and then Sylvia ignored the brownie and ate the cookies anyways. Kids are so quirky, no? ;)
    Happy Australia Day!

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    1. Thanks Janet - I can never tell how Sylvia will react but at least it is often interesting :-)

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  6. That is SUCH a clever idea! I haven't had a TimTam for years - probably not since the days we used to use them as 'straws' to drink Bailey's and milk. The thought of that now makes me feel ill! I love it that Sylvia ignored the brownie mixture in favour of the TimTam. What a good little Australian she is!

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    1. Thanks Lucy - the thought of drowning a tim tim in liquor was never my sort of thing - I think I preferred the crunch - though I thought the idea genius.

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  7. Happy Australia Day Johanna! Those brownies look to die for. I've heard of tim tams before- probably through blogs- but I'm not sure we have an equivalent here.
    The whole picnic/music celebration sounds right up my street.

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    1. Thanks Emma - tim tams are very similar to Penguins in the UK - I was amazed when I first travelled there to find you had a biscuit like ours.

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  8. I disagree. I grew up eating brownies constantly — in fact, just yesterday, I made my childhood brownie recipe. But I agree that a Tim Tam version is far more patriotic! ;)

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    1. Thanks Hannah - in my small town Australian childhood brownies were just not heard of - I suspect you might have had a more cosmopolitan childhood

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  9. I ADORE TIM TAMS. Especially when they're all soaked in milk. But probably especially ESPECIALLY when they are baked into brownies!!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I think baked in brownies is better than soaked in milk - and on day three they started to soften and loose their crunch - yes amazing they lasted that long!

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  10. Happy Australia Day to you, JOHANNA and your lovelies! Wow, I didn’t know brownies are very Australian - I just made them on an Instagram from an awesome vegan cookbook and they were fudgy, lovely and delicious!

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    1. Thanks Rika - brownies are very American but the tim tams inside them made these ones quite Aussie - fudgy vegan brownies sounds lovely

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  11. These brownies look fabulous - who could resist a Tim Tam flavoured brownie. As a massive ABBA fan, I would have loved to see Babba.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - you would have loved Babba - they were having so much fun on stage that it was infectious and they made everyone get up and dance to the two last songs - Waterloo and Dancing Queen (oh those songs take me back!)

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  12. I love this brownie idea! I bought a packet of original Tim Tams a few months ago. They've really changed over the years and the original ones are delicious but I'm not so fussed about the current ones!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - we don't have Tim Tams often - I quite like the new flavours - these brownies would be great with caramel tim tams - but I didn't know that the original is different to the modern one

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  13. I think I prefer plain brownies & eating Tim Tams with a glass of port.
    I made ANZAC biscuits with rice flour to celebrate Australia Day. The mixture was a little on the dry side, so added a little water which made the cookies spread & gave them a "lacy" look. But they still tasted great.
    Enjoy the rest of the summer.

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    1. Thanks Pene - lacy ANZACs sound great - we made some (with regular flour) just yesterday. Would happily join you in brownies, tim tams and a glass of port!

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