Tim Tam Slam

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A little while ago my mentor at work found a new job and left us. She’s from PEI, Canada’s weirdest, smallest province, where they get way too much snow, grow way too many potatoes, and you can drive across it way too quickly (because it’s so small). And she’s famous for something that I only knew around the offices as “the Tim Tam Slam.” And on her last day we all gathered around in the kitchen and she showed us exactly what that phrase means. And now I’m going to show you. This is so not a summer beverage (I don’t even know if it’s a PEI thing), but it doesn’t matter. You need to know this if you don’t already, and you’re going to thank me for putting it on the internet for everyone to see. If you DO know this, you’re going to thank me for putting it on the internet for everyone to see.

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First, you need to grab yourself some Tim Tams, which are Australian chocolate cookies. So if you’re not in Australia you can get them in the imported cookie section of your regular giant grocery store, or in one of those fancy shops that sells imported food. Then you’re going to want to chuck them in your freezer for a while. This isn’t necessary but it makes the whole experiment work better.

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Then you make yourself some of your favourite hot chocolate. This stuff has marshmallows in it.

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Don’t be a heathen. Mix it with cream (or non-dairy whatever) first to form a paste so you don’t get lumps.

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Is your hot chocolate ready to drink? Okay. Grab the Tim Tams out of the freezer.

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Take a cookie and bite off just a tiny bit of one corner. Just a wee bit so that the middle filling is just exposed.

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Then take another wee bit off the opposite corner. I always take too much off one corner, but it’s not a huge deal. Just don’t go crazy and bite off a huge piece. It’s hard to resist, but you can do it.

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Then take your cookie, and pretend it’s a straw. Yup, a straw. Dip the cookie so that one of your bitten corners is submerged in the hot chocolate. Then put your mouth over the other bitten end and suck it like a straw. It will take a few pulls for the hot chocolate to make it through.

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Now you only have a few sips of chocolate through the cookie before the heat of the hot chocolate melts the whole bottom of the Tim Tam.

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When this happens, shove as much of the cookie in your mouth as possible. It is amazing and dissolve-y and definitely worth repeating. That is the Tim Tam Slam. Aren’t you glad you know?

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A Better Hot Chocolate

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The Pie found this recipe from Jamie Oliver and he thought it was worth a try. I think it will also make a great wintry gift.

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The interesting thing about the original┬árecipe is it involves Horlick’s, a malted beverage very popular at the beginning of the 20th century and through the 1950s. Horlick’s is hard to find in Canada, but a close equivalent is Ovaltine.

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Ovaltine on its own is definitely an acquired taste (I personally find it revolting), but it will add a richness to the hot chocolate that improves everything. You will need 2 tablespoons Ovaltine or Horlick’s.

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You will also need 100g chocolate (pretty much a large-sized chocolate bar), your choice.

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I made some with dark chocolate, but the Pie and I both prefer it with milk chocolate, seeing as there’s also a decent amount of unsweetened cocoa powder in this, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, in fact. Make sure you choose a cocoa that you like – don’t go cheap on this!

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You will also need 2 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour in the UK) to make this a nice thick beverage.

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Here is 3 tablespoons icing (confectioner’s) sugar. You can adjust this according to your taste.

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This is also a pinch or two of sea salt and a pinch of ground cinnamon, which, again, you can adjust to what suits you.

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To put it all together, take your chocolate and pop it in your food processor. The original recipe calls for you to finely grate the chocolate but who wants to sit there and grate that much chocolate? Not me, and I made six batches of this.

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So I just pulsed it in the food processor until it formed little crumbs.

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Then you simply add in the rest of the ingredients.

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Pulse it until the colour is uniform, kind of a grayish brown. The crumbs of chocolate will mix in and get smaller while you do this, too.

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To prepare the hot chocolate for two people, dump about 3 heaping tablespoons of the mix into a small saucepan.

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Dribble in about 1/4 cup milk.

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Whisk that until you get a nice paste. This will prevent the finished hot chocolate from being lumpy.

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Then pour in another 1 1/4 cup milk.

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Stir that until smooth and start heating the milk until it’s a temperature you like.

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Serve hot!

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To give the chocolate as gifts, you can pack the mix into these cute jars.

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Or you can put it in a wee bag.

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And then pop it in a customized mug.

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Or whatever floats your boat!

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