Playing with dessert: tim tam soil and macadamia ‘tayto


Sometimes, I just want to play with food.

Not just mashing potatoes and turning that into gnocchi. Not just making a tree house cake (long story). But turning food into hands-on fun, into toys. You know, like a child playing in a sandpit or in the fields, making mud pie.

So, for dessert (and with St Patrick’s Day just past), we dug for potatoes – in a potato field with chocolate biscuit ‘dirt’ and macadamia ‘tayto’.


This was one of the easiest recipes ever, and one of the most fun. Tim tams (chocolate cream biscuits) were whizzed up in a food processor to dirt-like clumps, then potatoes (macadamia nuts) were buried in the dirt. Plant a couple of sprigs of thyme over the mound of dirt, and then use teaspoons to ‘harvest’ the potatoes from the field.

To serve, we spooned dirt and tayto over vanilla ice cream so it became a kind of topping.

We had a friend drop by for dinner. She also got into potato digging with gusto, crowing “I got two spuds!”. Who said adults can’t play with food?

I used tim tams to make the dirt, because they are so readily available in Australia and seem to have the perfect combination of biscuit (cookie) and chocolate cream to form natural-looking clumps of dirt. But I imagine you can do this with other chocolate cream biscuits. Maybe Oreos. Or plain chocolate biscuits with some milk chocolate and maybe the tiniest dash of butter or thick cream.

For spuds, I used macadamia nuts. Anything white chocolate should work. If I had planned this, I might have used Pariya Food’s Persian Confetti (pistachios covered with cardamon sugar).


Here is the ‘recipe’, such as it is.

Potato field (chocolate dirt and nuts/chocolate ‘tayto)


3/4 packet dark chocolate tim tams (or about 150g Oreos, or chocolate biscuits with milk chocolate and a tiny smudge (think 1/8 tsp) of butter or thick cream)
handful of macadamia nuts, as much as can be covered by the chocolate biscuit ‘dirt’ (or white chocolate anything, or Persian confetti, or anything white and nutty/sweet)
1-2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
Vanilla ice cream, to serve.


1. Break tim tams into large-ish chunks, and whiz in a food processor until you get a loose but slightly moist bowl of crumbs. Note I first used the coffee grinder, but it turned the tim tams into a chocolate sludge rather than airy-moist dirt. The food processor attachment on my Stick Master worked like a dream.

2. Lay out macadamia nuts on a serving utensil. Pile chocolate biscuit ‘dirt’ on top until all macadamias are covered.

3. Stick a couple of sprigs of thyme or rosemary on the pile of ‘dirt’.

4. Give each guest a teaspoon and let them dig in!

Serve with ice cream. 


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9 thoughts on “Playing with dessert: tim tam soil and macadamia ‘tayto

  1. applepiezucchini 24 March 2013 at 10:38 pm Reply

    This looks like so much fun! Fantastic idea!

    • saucygander 25 March 2013 at 12:16 am Reply

      Thanks! It was so easy, I may repeat this for Easter lunch – with chocolate eggs.

  2. {Main St. Cuisine} 26 March 2013 at 8:18 am Reply

    How clever and fun! I’m not sure I could find tim tams here, but I’m guessing a plain, chocolate cookie/biscuit could substitute. Thank you for the inspiration and for dropping by and “liking” my post. That was very kind of you!

    • saucygander 26 March 2013 at 9:03 pm Reply

      Hi, I think plain chocolate biscuits/cookies would be great, particularly if mixed with some milk chocolate (or chocolate ganache) so it forms moist crumbs. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Joanna James 28 March 2013 at 2:12 am Reply

    I love this! What a fun idea – it’s always good to find new uses for Tim Tams… (Thanks for liking my congee post too 🙂

  4. Aurora Belle 25 April 2013 at 11:58 am Reply

    What a great way to make chocolate dirt! Being from Sydney, I know how good Tim Tams are so will definitely be trying this.

    • saucygander 26 April 2013 at 7:31 am Reply

      Nice to ‘meet’ another tim tam fan! 🙂

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