Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twix Cake

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This cake is now known to me as The Cake That the Entire Universe Conspired Against. Okay it was more just my foolish mistakes but I'm frustrated at the moment and would rather blame the universe. This week I am celebrating 3 years since I wrote my first entry on this blog. Happy 3rd Birthday raspberri cupcakes! All I wanted to do this week was to conjure up a pretty little cake to celebrate it with you, a cake that is inspired by my Tim Tam Cake, which I made nearly a year ago. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. I wanted it to be a giant cake version of one of my childhood favourites, Twix. A treat that has followed me wherever I have lived in the world and helped to feed my sweet tooth (and my cavities). Sure, I know that people have attempted to make giant versions of Twix bars before, but I wanted this to be similar to my Tim Tam Cake, a tribute cake version rather than a larger replica. I thought it would be pretty straightforward; my favourite yellow cake mixture on the base, a gooey caramel layer on top, sliced into two skinny finger-shaped cakes and covered with a layer of rippled milk chocolate ganache. But no. My first attempt at the cake was much too flat and had to be redone. My second attempt produced a decent cake layer, but then I walked away from the caramel just long enough to completely over-cook it and it turned into a rock-hard layer of impenetrable toffee, which I only realised after I had poured it directly on top of the cake, decorated with ganache and tried to photograph. RAGE. Plus the proportions were still a bit off, so I was determined to make the appropriate adjustments and perfect it on attempt #3.

I baked the cake in a smaller, skinnier tin. It turned out just right. I made the caramel creamier and softer and set it in a separate tin. I sliced everything up, assembled it easily and covered it with a glossy layer of chocolate. Because I wanted to keep that shiny layer of chocolate for photographs I made the mistake of leaving the cake out in the open in my warm kitchen for more than half the day while I was busy with some wedding planning crap. And I returned to DISASTER. My shiny, pretty cake had literally flopped. The caramel had softened slightly in the warmer temperature, which I should have known (and have been kicking myself for ignoring), and because my cake stand is slightly tilted, the caramel layer had started to slide to one side, making HUGE, ugly cracks in the top of my ganache layer. A lot of swearing ensued. Followed by a lot of desperate attempts to press the ganache layer back together with my hands making the situation even worse, which is why you can see that the surface of the cake went from a shiny top layer (as seen in the process photos at the bottom of this post), to the rough, mottled mess that you will notice in the other couple of photos I was barely able to salvage from this situation. Ugh.
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The good news is, the cake tastes pretty bloody good. Pretty much as close to being a twix cake as I had hoped. At least it achieved that in taste, even if it failed in looks. Just DON'T leave it out at room temperatures or warmer for many, many hours like silly me. I know it looks like a LOT of caramel on there. I won't lie, there is quite a lot of caramel because I wanted to make the ratios similar to the actual Twix bar, but the cakes are pretty small (together the two cakes are less than half the size of the Tim Tam Cake) and the caramel is salted to help balance it out. I also tried to reduce the sugar in the cake to stop it from being sickly sweet. But still it's a lot of caramel for one mouthful of cake so a small slice of this cake is more than enough to satisfy. I just wish I had some decent photos of it to share with you, I very nearly didn't post this recipe but then I would have had nothing to celebrate this week with. Oh well, it almost seems appropriate that I celebrate a blog anniversary with a little bit of rage and semi-fail cake, I always said that I would share my baking failures along with the successes.

I tend to forget that I have no luck when caramel is involved, and everything gets incredibly messy in my kitchen when there's chocolate. After those three futile attempts at this cake I admitted defeat, there was no way I had the time or energy to try again, especially when I got so close on the last one! Yep, it might be a while before I can fully enjoy a Twix bar again. But maybe you will have better luck than I did, since you can learn from my mistakes. It's a great cake for a Twix or caramel lover, and not too hard to assemble. Sure the caramel can be a little scary for a beginner and you need a sugar thermometer for it, but if you have all the equipment prepared it's very straightforward. And totally worth it when you get to taste that creamy, smooth caramel. Anyway, here's to another year of sharing my recipes (and sometimes a little rage)!
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Twix Cake
(makes two small cakes, serves 8-10, salted caramel recipe adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe, cake adapted from my regular yellow cake recipe)
For the cake:
90g (about 3/4 cup) plain flour (all-purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g (1/4 cup) sugar (preferably caster/superfine)
60g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 medium egg

For the caramel: (note, make sure you read David Lebovitz's post for tips if you are new to making caramel)
1 cup heavy cream (use pure/pouring cream in Australia)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste
Heaped 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup or golden syrup (I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup)
1 cup (200 g) sugar
4 tbsp (60 g), butter, cubed, at room temperature

For the milk chocolate ganache:
200g (7 oz) milk chocolate, finely chopped (please use good quality chocolate)
150ml (2/3 cup) pure/pouring cream (or heavy whipping cream in the US, min 35% fat unthickened)
Optional: crushed Twix bars to place between the cake and caramel, to give it some crunch

Grease and line two 20cm x 10cm (8x4inch) loaf tins (standard sized tin, it actually measured closer to 21x11cm when I checked it) with baking paper. If you only have one tin available, you will have to bake the cake first and then reuse the tin for the caramel. Prepare the cake; preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix milk and vanilla together in a measuring jug.

Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 mins or until pale and creamy. Reduce speed to medium, add egg and beat well until smooth. Alternately add flour mix and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture (I did it by adding 1/3 of of the dry mixture followed by 1/2 of the wet mixture at a time). Beat until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with a spatula. Pour batter into one of the prepared tins, smooth top with a spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer into the centre comes out clean and the outside is golden. Cool in tin for 5 mins and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Prepare the caramel; Place cream, vanilla, salt and butter in a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring every now and then until the mixture just comes to the boil. Cover and set aside, keeping it warm while you prepare the sugar syrup. In a medium or large heavy based saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, place golden syrup and sugar and place on medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir is as necessary to keep it from getting any hot spots. Cook until the syrup reaches 150°C(300°F). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture (take care as it will bubble up a lot) until it is smooth and even. Return to the heat and cook the mixture to 120°C(245°F). Remove the pan from the heat and stir until smooth, then pour into the other prepared tin. Leave to cool completely (or chill for about half an hour to allow it to set). Cut the cake and caramel layers into two long halves, and place the caramel layers on top of the cake (you may need to trim off some of the caramel to get the proportions right). Place cakes on a cake stand or plate, I recommend placing the stand on a large piece of baking paper to catch any chocolate that might drip off in the next part.

Prepare the ganache; place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and gently heat cream in a small saucepan until it just comes to the boil, then pour hot cream over the chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Using a whisk, gently combine mixture until it is smooth (if there are still lumps, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until they are gone). Set aside to cool, when it has returned to room temperature and is thickened but still easily pourable, use a spoon or measuring cup to pour over the top of each cake, coating each one with a thin, smooth layer. You can use a spatula to make sure it covers the entire cake. With the remaining ganache, wait until it has cooled slightly more and then drizzle thin strips of ganache (I used a whisk) over the tops of each cake to create a rippling effect. Scrape off excess ganache from the cake stand with a spatula and clean off with paper towels. Chill in the fridge until the ganache has set, about half an hour. You can keep the cake chilled in the fridge, but you will need to take it out of the fridge for about 30mins to an hour to let the caramel soften a bit before serving.
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82 comments:

  1. Awww so sad to hear about all the drama that went into making these cakes, but I still think they look beautiful! Happy 3rd anniversary to raspberricupcakes! Totally my favourite blog ;)

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  2. equal parts naww and teehee lol but woot happy blogiversary! here's to many more years to come!

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  3. MMM RAGE CAKE. Honestly dude, you make such amazing creations to begin with and this one is no exception (profanities and all!)

    Happy 3rd anniversary! :D :D

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  4. Sorry to hear this cake gave you so much grief. If you hadn't said something I would never have noticed, I was way to distracted by that awesomely yummy looking layer of caramel on top. It looks amazing and a great twix tribute. Happy 3rd anniversary!

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  5. What a mammoth stellar effort! Congratulations on 3 years of happy blogging.

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  6. Happy Anniversary!!

    You always make such amazing food! I adore your blog, hope there are many more to come :D

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  7. Aren't you just so creative!!
    I wanted to try to make a cake that looked like the honeycomb swirls biscuits (I think Cadbury made them first) as I tried your Tim Tam cake and everyone loved it!
    Such a genius, you are!

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  8. Nawww...three attempts but at least it tasted good! Besides, I've made much worse looking things so you're definitely too harsh on yourself. Happy blog birthday!

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  9. Well done on persevering with the Twix cake! Love the idea and to me it looks great! Happy 3rd blogerversarry!

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  10. Ahhhhh the perfectionist streak in us. I love that shot of the chocolate being poured over the caramel *drools* I think it still looks pretty good, especially that gooey caramel!

    Happy bloggerversary Steph! Your recipes are always bloody awesome, here's to many more awesomeness to come!

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  11. Happy bloggerversary!!! This cake looks super amazing!! Looking forward to all your future projects. Cheers!

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  12. Looks pretty awesome to me! And happy bloggiversary! Here's to many more to come!

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  13. Happy bloggiversary! Your twix cake looks amazing - just like the real thing!

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  14. OMG. Twix is my fave chocolate!!! I think I have to head out to get one now, in lieu of that cake!

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  15. Happy third birthday! I feel your pain - it can be so soul-destroying when things repeatedly don't work out! But I have to say, that cake looks pretty yummy, so at least you had it to console yourself with. Also, now I feel like a Twix bar... yum...

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  16. Mottled chocolate or not this cake looks delish! It seems fitting--your making three cakes--on your blog's anniversary. Maybe this time next year, you'll make four attempts before meeting with perfection :)

    Cheers on the big third birthday!

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    1. Haha that's a good point, I didn't think about that before! Very fitting indeed :D

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  17. I love Twix bars! In fact now they are on my mind I may have to buy one for a snack... The cake looks amazing :)

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  18. Oh what a nightmare! I must say though, you cant tell at all - it looks amazing! Twix is my childhood fave too :)

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  19. Oh wow, this just looks like heaven!

    Kate {Something Fabulous}
    http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

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  20. Happy 3rd anniversary! Had you not mentioned it, I never would have guessed that this cake was such a challenge. It looks absolutely divine!

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  21. Eek at all your troubles but ZOMG, look at that epic layer of caramel! Lol love how you snuck in the doily and stamps ;)

    Happy 3rd birthday to Raspberri Cupcakes! Will try not to get too smooshy and sentimental here so I'll just say I love you and your blog to bits and hope RC is around for many many more years to come! xxxx

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  22. I hate kitchen disasters!
    when you have this perfect idea in your head
    and it turns out to be a complete failure!
    but practice always makes perfect and we learn
    from our mistakes.

    this cake looks great!
    I just make a milky cake last week and it was amazing.
    http://sugarrabbit.blogspot.com/2012/03/milky-way-cake.html

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  23. Happy 3rd birthday! This looks amazeballs. Despite the drama. I love that your made one of your famous cake recreations for it. <3 (Also, I hadn't realised our blogs were quite so close in age - my 3rd is on Saturday!)

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  24. seriously you are amazing! These are tim tams and twix bars I'll be able to make myself and share with so many more people than a usual itty bitty sized twix. Happy third birthday!

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  25. HAPPY 3rd BLOGGAVERSARY!!! Twix is one of my favvvvvvvvs too. I love it when you come up with your giant classic tributes :D

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  26. You are too much of a perfectionist, this looks amazing! But good to know even the best bakers have a few disasters ;-)

    Happy blogaversary! x

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  27. Twix are my favourite, and well this looks just to die for. YUM. xo

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  28. Dear Steph,

    Being a non-baker, this would be an absolute nightmare for me! I think I stick to eating someone else's cake :)

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  29. Congratulations on Raspberri Cupcakes 3rd anniversary. I love the cake. I also love Twix.

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  30. Woo hoo - pimp my candy bar! :) This looks evilly delicious - that second shot is a show-stopper!

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  31. OMG! Im addicted to Twix!! I am so making this delicious looking thing!

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  32. wow! I wish I could make those right now.

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    1. also, my friend and I discovered your site today and have been dreaming and oohing and planning all day-- such great recipes! happy anniversary!

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  33. nice job with the cake ... and the caramel!
    : )

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    1. :) Thanks David, your caramel recipe is the only one I ever use now, it is divine!

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  34. Que maravilla, y que presentacion, me han encantado. Un besito
    cosicasdulces.blogspot.com

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  35. OMG!!! Twix is my favorite candy and that cake looks and sounds amazing!!!!!

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  36. GIRL this looks INSANE! You are my herooo.

    xx

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  37. OMG!! This looks amazing…so sorry you had all those problems…if it tastes half as good as it looks…then I'm in! Happy 3rd blog birthday!

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  38. Happy Bloggaversary!

    I opened this post just before bed last night and the giant twix was in my dream! It tasted amazing then so I might just have to make one.

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  39. Happy bloggaversary! That Twix cake looks like an amazing way to celebrate it :) ...aaaand now I want a Twix...

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  40. Happy Bloggaversary!! Your cake looks amazing! What a genius idea. Twix bars are one of my favorites. I'll have to make this!

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  41. I think they look amazing! You're too hard on yourself. Happy blog anniversary! I'm 3 years in, this month too:)

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  42. Wow, first of all I salute your determination! It looks truly amazing, even in the photos you mentioned that they looked like a mottled mess. All the more reason to dive into that cake and not care what people say about chocolate and caramel smeared over the face ;)

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  43. The cake looko gorgeous! Twix is my allqtime favourite chocolatebar :) maybe i'll try your recipe this weekend!

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  44. cam across your twix cake from David Lebovitz facebook feed. wow! i'm inspired! i finally came across a dessert blog that i went thru and seemed to be able to make everything on the blog for my son who suffers from a nut and peanut allergy. then i read the 'about' section and put two and two together. no wonder why! i'm sorry to see that you too suffer from the nut. however, you're a great example for me and my child as a person who hasn't let her allergy get in the way of living life! thank you!!!

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    1. :) You're very welcome! I probably don't need to say this, but make sure to avoid all the macaron recipes. I have a pretty mild allergy so I can handle almond meal without much of a reaction.

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    2. yes, i did notice the macaron recipes. he's only mildly allergic to almonds but waiting until he's a bit older (he's only 3!) to give those a whirl at the doctors office.

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  45. I actually think it looks perfect! I know the feeling though. I know someone who says that sometimes the moon is just in the wrong position and all baking will go wrong... Maybe that's what happened?!

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  46. 3rd time is a charm. HOLY SMOKES WILL YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THAT CAKE?!? That is simply amazing Steph. You always raise the bar every time you make something new. I really admire you and your creativeness. Fantastic. Really.

    p.s happy bloggiversary.. xx

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  47. I was actually going to make your tim tam cake next week for my brother-inlaws birthday, but now I've seen this it's going to be hard to choose between them. I love twix bars! great thinking.

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  48. What an amazing cake! I'm a huge Twix bar fan. I'm thinking I could try this for a friend's birthday that's coming up!

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  49. WOAH!! That's all I have to say about this cake. Seriously, woah.

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  50. Looks simply incredible!!!! Want it now =).

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  51. This looks sooooooooooooooo yummy. I adore caramel. It's all about taste anyways. =) Happy anniversary! (Woulda told ya sooner but I was in the hospital having surgery for a kidney stone....on my bday 3/26 lol)

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  52. Are you on Pinterest? I would love to be able to click a pinterest button to post this a little easier.

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  53. OMG! New fan from Pampered Sweet Tooth and I cannot open a new tab from reading and basically obsessing over your blog. You are creative and have just as large a sweet tooth as I do. This Twix cake is different and I want to dive into the screen. Happy Belated 3rd Birthday to raspberri cupcakes and I shall soon return for more reading.

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  54. Big boo. Sorry to hear it was such a pain the behind to make this cake but hey: Three time's the charm, right? And besides, how awesome is a twix cake? Right? RIGHT?

    Happy belated blogiversary!

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  55. We always try to make a favorite cake for birthday celebrations. This was a lovely surprise for my son's 25th! He didn't think I was listening when he told me Twix was his favorite candybar. Thank you for the great recipe!!!

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  56. To keep chocolate shiny and slightly firm to touch add about 1/2 bar of gulf canning wax to mixture I use it in my chocolate peanut butter balls perfect every time

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  57. Twix is my favorite candy bar! I think despite all your drama, it still looks delish! I can't wait to give it a try!

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  58. Could you freeze the cake before putting on the caramel? That may work better.

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  59. I just came across this cake on Pinterest today, and I have to say it is absolutely stunning! Despite what you may think is a less than perfect cake, I disagree. All your hard work paid off, and this looks exactly like a twix bar!

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  60. I tried this recipe today. The cake came out perfectly, but the caramel never browned or set. I followed the recipe, waited for it to reach 300 degrees. Trying the caramel again tomorrow. Any suggestions/thoughts about what could have gone wrong?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Marissa, if your caramel wasn't browning then you may need to increase the heat to the pan to ensure that it starts to brown. Were you using corn syrup or golden syrup? It's much easier to do this recipe with golden syrup as it's already darker

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  61. Twix is my all time fav sweet treat and I would love to make these sometime! I know you have probably heard this a gazillion times but I think they are AWESOME! You rock!

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  62. This is simply awesome! Great idea :)

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  63. what sugar did you use???????

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    1. As mentioned in the recipe, caster/fine granulated sugar. Regular white granulated sugar is also fine.

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  64. LOVE this cake idea! Twix are the BEST

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  65. I don't understand, the cake looks absolutely perfect! Love the idea of tribute cakes

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  66. thank you so much
    darling; what your camera's model is?

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  67. Twix is my favorite candy ever and this looks awesome to me. I'm so glad you decided to post this. I have heard so much about Tim Tams but have never had one. Do you know if there is a cookie in America that is anything like Tim Tams? So glad I found your blog. I hope to work up the nerve one of these days to try this Twix cake. Happy Anniversary!! You have an awesome blog.

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  68. I love dipping Twix bars into coffee until the biscuit has just started to go soft and the chocolate has started to melt. I'll need to find a way to modify that process for this cake.

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