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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.
|A T Lewney
not sure if this has been debated before, or not, but do eccles cakes have ANY essential cake type components? surely like so many others (jaffa cakes et al) they fall in the misty region between cake and .... ummm well who knows, i disagree with the cake icon, perhaps a more fruity icon for those things with high fruit content (fig rolls, some flap jakes, but primarliy eccleses) could be brought about?
a matter for consideration
|Nicey replies: The Eccles cake is essentially a small fruit pie, and as such is a member of the cake kingdom. The fruit icon can be used against such things that merit it. However, I might need reminding from time to time to use it.|
Today I have eaten a Marks and Spencer Eccles cake. Let's just say that from now on other Eccles cakes aren't even in Eccles, they're out near Withenshaw or somewhere, or possibly outside of Lancashire altogether.
Impressed of Sheffield.
|Nicey replies: Hoorah!
I introduced the younger members of staff to Treacle Tarts over the weekend, through the medium of an Asda instore bakery twin pack. They displayed impressive signs of a sugar rush, and spontaneously invented several new words as they sat there gibbering a bit.