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Kathryn Hall's description of the Irish 'Mikado' seems to indicate a biscuit identical in all relevant faculties to an Australian classic, viz. the Arnott's 'Iced VoVo'. As a recent immigrant myself I have only recently become aware of the folkloric position in Australian biscuit culture of the same and remain ignorant of their provenance. Perhaps they were smuggled in by some Irish people planning a party, then escaped and became naturalised?
|Nicey replies: Interesting theory, maybe all the native species of marshmallow topped biscuits were driven to extinction by the introduced tea time treat. |
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
I am outraged by the sickeningly bias result of your biscuit test it is obvious that just becase you are a pommy loving basterd you gave any compliment at all to McVities (McSpities) crappy imitation of the legendary arnotts Tim-Tam. Being a former Australian now living in Manchester I have tasted both the Tim-Tam and Penguin on many occations and I could say under oath that the only thing remotely good is the cheap (and nasty) price of the imposer.
From Ben McElduff.
p.s. There are many other varieties of tim-tam such as caremel, double chocolate and white chocolate and all of these are completely superior to any type of penguin.
Can't remember if this has been mentioned before but it is so important it pays to be sure. I found out the other day where the word "Biscuit" derives from. It was in a pub quiz which is obviously a great source of vital and accurate information...hmmm. Anyway it is derived from the term "Baked Twice" as in Bi - meaning two and Cuit - from the French verb Cuire, which is to cook. Maybe you could confirm the accuracy of my drunken pub quiz.
|Nicey replies: Yep, that is all correct. Originally biscuits were baked twice, as a way of preserving them to make stuff like 'hard tack' which is what sailors would eat. The second baking was really a slow drying process. Sailors often broke their teeth on hard tack, which if kept dry would also even deter weevils and the like.
Actually we have been reviewing some particullary hard Ginger Nuts this week, and one of my gold fillings has worked loose, so I'm off to the dentist tomorrow. The dangers of being a biscuit reviewer..
Perhaps you'd care to try the following if ever in a similar dietary predicament to Ley and teatime is looming. The flour used is a ratio of 4:1:1 White Rice, Tapioca, Potato
4oz Golden Caster sugar (Billingtons) 4oz dairy Free Marg ("Pure" organic) 2 large egg yolks 7oz gf Flour mix 1oz cocoa powder 1 dessertspoon Xanthan gum 1 tsp gf baking powder 2 tsp Vanilla extract ½ bar Green & Blacks cooking chocolate
Beat the sugar, marg & vanilla till light and fluffy, beat egg yolks and stir in, sift in the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fit a medium star nozzle on a meringue bag and pipe small rosettes (about an inch in width) on to a well greased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 mins gas mk 4/180c.
Lift carefully onto a cooling rack with a spatula, these are quite fragile at first but will firm up when cold. Melt the chocolate in a basin over hot (not boiling) water and then dip the base of each ?kiss? into the chocolate and place up ended onto greaseproof paper to set.
Naturally these can be made with wheatflour, just omit the Xanthan gum.
|Nicey replies: Fantastic, a great service for all the biscuit challenged of the world|
||Hello, I've just been forwarded your website from a friend in England. (I am American but have some connections to the Empire, having grown up in Jamaica, in the calypso days.) When my friend comes to visit, she must bring me Iced Gems. I rediscovered them when visiting my sister in Brighton in the late 1980's. Her former spouse, a Welshman, said "my God, I didn't know they still made those horrid things!" Many of my coworkers with international backgrounds remember them. I was told that they were used as prizes at school sporting events. I have also seen "fake" ones in Chinese grocery stores. I love the "new" chocolate ones, although I guess they do not ship as well as the traditional variety. Do these qualify as biscuits? |
|Nicey replies: The iced gem is recognised as a small novelty biscuit. Like another small food stuff, the olive, people tend to be fiercely divided about liking them or hating them. As you point out the recent innovation of chocolate iced gems points to continued popularity of these dry spikey little biscuits.
Personally they seem to me much like something you would use when building your driveway underneath the paving.