Berry Tim Tam Cake

So the other night we had our Roast Pork Pasties which meant there really wasn’t much cooking to do, so I made a cake.  It isn’t really baking, more like assembling because everything is bought.  I prefer to make Tim Tam cake with the dark Tim Tams, but there are lots of flavours and types out there, so long as what you use doesn’t “clash” with the chocolates and berries, use your favourite.  You could also make this gluten free, although it wouldn’t taste as nice.  You can buy gluten free chocolate cake mix and a biscuit that looks like Tim Tams, but they don’t taste the same.  The chocolate icing is gluten free (well, the brand I buy is, check the packet) so it is possible.  But this is something we have on “gluten nights” – when himself is at work or there is some reason he isn’t eating with us, so we have things we can’t eat normally.

As I mentioned, you can make this with other flavours of Tim Tams, my daughter spent some time in Canada (I don’t know whether she has mentioned this on her blog – adventurerstacey.com) and only the milk Chocolate Tim Tams were available where she was staying.  She made this cake to take to a party, and it was a big hit.

My biggest problem with this cake is making sure ALL the Tim Tams make it into the cake.  In the past, one or two have somehow managed to “accidentally” slip out of the packet into my mouth.  This time however, all 11 Tim Tams made it safely into the cake!

Berry Tim Tam Cake

Berry Tim Tam Cake

Berry Tim Tam Cake

 

582g packet chocolate fudge cake (the kind with the sachet of icing/frosting included) plus whatever you need to make the cake according to directions – such as eggs, oil etc…

200g pack of Dark Chocolate Tim Tams

1/2 a tub of ready made milk chocolate icing/frosting (tub should be around 450g)

1/2 cup frozen berries, plus extra to decorate

 

Mix the cake according to packet directions.  Fold through the frozen berries and seven of the Tim Tams, roughly chopped.  Cook cake according to packet directions.

Once the cake is cool, mix together the sachet of icing/frosting together with half of the tub of ready  made icing/frosting.  You can put the other half in the fridge and use it to ice something else, preferably within a few days.  Cut the remaining four Tim Tams and use them to decorate the cake with the remaining berries.

 

See, how easy is that?  It’s even easier to eat!

Lamb Mole (Lamb with Chocolate)

Lamb Mole I hear you saying – how odd?!  Chocolate with lamb?  In a slow cooker no less?

I have made Chicken Mole, Beef Mole, and now I have tried Lamb Mole.  The Chicken Mole was a different recipe but I have made beef and lamb using the same recipe.  The beef was my favourite, and you can substitute beef mince for lamb mince in this recipe, but I had to try lamb as it is not commonly combined with chocolate.

Lamb Mole (Lamb with Chocolate)

Lamb Mole

Lamb Mole

 

1 tbsp olive oil

500g minced lamb (or use beef for Beef Mole)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp crushed dried chilli

1 bay leaf

400g can chopped tomatoes

410g can red kidney beans, drained

2 tbs dark brown sugar

300ml beef stock

25g plain dark chocolate (either chopped, or use buttons)

Salt and Pepper

Sour cream (optional) to serve

I don’t need to preheat my slow cooker, but read your instructions to see if this is necessary.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, add mince and onion and fry, stirring, until the mince is crumbled and browned.

Stir in the garlic, spices and bay leaf and cook for one minute.  Mix in the tomatoes, beans, sugar and stock, then stir through the chocolate and salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon into the slow cooker crock, cover with lid and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.  Serve with rice, spoon a dob of sour cream on top.  You can get creative and sprinkle paprika over the sour cream if you like, or add a small vegetable like peas or corn niblets to the rice.

Just in case you are interested, here is what the beef looks like:

Beef Mole

Beef Mole

 

This dish is nice and warming on these cold nights, and is quick and easy to prepare, and the slow cooker does all the cooking while you go and do other things.  I love my slow cooker.

Christmas in July Part Three – leftovers! (Roast Pork Pastie)

Santa, please stop here....

Santa, please stop here….

 

My last word on Christmas in July for this year – just like ‘real’ Christmas, there are leftovers!  There are stacks of ideas of things to do with them all, but here is one very simple one – the pastie.  Keep them in the fridge, or freeze them, and have a “night off” from cooking one night during the week.

Roast Pork Pastie

Roast Pork Pastie

I took all the leftover pork and applesauce, I had one beet left over and some gravy which had thickened up a lot in the fridge.  I chopped the pork and beetroot finely, mixed in the applesauce and cold gravy, and added a little extra salt, pepper and crumbled sage.  I then took four sheets of puff pastry, and divided the mix up, folding them over and sealing the edges together.  Instead of an egg wash, I sprayed the tops of the pasties once they were on the baking tray, and baked them for about half an hour (they were very big!) in a 180 degree celcius oven.

 

Not really a recipe, just an idea.

 

Next step for me is firing up the “flame thrower” and making some brulee!  My house insurance is paid up, so away I go!