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Tregroes Toffee Waffles Review
|hello...firstly congratulations on the wonderfulness of ur informative website, it was cleared up many i dilemma for me i.e. the problem of the jaffa cake... and it is so true, sometimes you must just pause and think of cakes....|
however i do have one biscuit related query which it would be fabulous if you could give me some guidance on...
i am currently living in germany and have, to drink with my specially imported british tea, bought some things called....ALL BUTTER BELGIUM WAFFLES....now...they come in a box but, being called waffles, could these be classed as a biscuits?? i wait with breath that is bated for your reply....
many thanks for your help with this matter
|Nicey replies: Alison,
Given that you are having to subsist on whatever you can lay your hands on in continental europe to go with your tea it in natural that you should seek to broaden your approach to what can usefully be classed as biscuits. We reviewed a UK built version of the Belgian Waffle as one of our biscuits of the week, so perhaps this is enough of a sanctioning for your purposes.
Actually we have just got back from Wales where they are made and where surrounded by them when we visited Caerphilly Castle (they were in the gift shop not up in the battlements).
You must have seen it already, but just in case you haven't there's a new advert out where a team of bakers build a replica Skoda out of cake. It's a work of genius and, of course, it's **already on youtube.
Might be worth a mention on the site?
|Nicey replies: Yes we enjoyed it too, I liked the bonnet, engine, lights and the most of the rest of it. For a moment I had to remind myself that this was not one of my fanciful daydreams but really was on the the telly.|
Bakers Tennis Biscuits Review
|Hi Nicey & The Wife,|
I stumbled onto your website and was delightfully, well, delighted! It was so refreshingly... I'm struggling to find the right words, but suffice to say that it inspired me to take set up a tea and biscuits photo. I envisioned a stormy day with wind and waves and clouds and someone calmly enjoying a nice cup of tea and a sit down in all the chaos... and discovered it's a lot harder than I thought! But I'm actually quite happy with the results, and my friend Sally is still my friend.
I send out a sort-of-weekly pic of the week email, and this is this week's email - thanks for the inspiration and a wonderfully nutty website!
|Nicey replies: Andy,
Very dramatic tea drinking indeed, and great light. I shall assume Tennis Biscuits if I may.
Yorkshire Tea Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I felt I must write in response to your review of the Yorkshire Tea biscuits. I certainly agree with your description of the flavour and texture of the biscuit, the hints of nutmeg were subtle yet distinct and I thought there was a slightly tart tannin flavour that could have been a result of the tea infusion, however it is its shape that I found to be the most exciting element. It wasn't until the second biscuit in the pack that I realised the unique shape allowed the user to perform three successive dunks without entering a broken edge into the tea, thus reducing to a minimum the risk of bottom sludge. Genius.
|Nicey replies: The YMOS are also mildly thrilled that as you mangle up the biscuit you reliably get the word 'hire' from the top right sticky out bit.|
I just read your e-mail from Richard with regards to the foolhardy practice of adding milk to tea before the water, leading to a very weak cuppa. You both theorized that the milk formed some kind of protective barrier around the leaves and or bag, such that the tea was unable to break free. I suspect the explanation is much more simple: the milk was cold, or at least colder than the piping hot water that comes out of the kettle. The tea didn't brew properly because the milk cooled the water before it reacted with the tea (heat being one of the best ways to get a solution to supersaturate). If Richard is really attached to this method, he might try to find "iced tea" tea bags, which are specially formulated to brew in room-temperature water, but he's probably better off just adding the milk afterward.
P.S. On the subject of iced tea, Steve's e-mail about the flask-brewed Indian-style teas made me think of sun tea. Clearly there must be some chemical reaction process on which causes tea to eventually un-stew and turn into something new and palatable, a bit like the juice-wine-vinegar or milk-curdled milk-cheese continuum. I hope you will speak to the highest members of government about funding an investigative panel of top scientists.
|Nicey replies: We have had a few replies about the temperature being lowered by the milk. So I've just tried experimenting with a tea bag in some cold water, then pouring in the boiled water. The tea bag took a little longer to get going, I think because the leaves had clumped together a bit in the cold water. After a few stirs everything appeared to be proceeding as normal. When it had all reached the right colour I added the milk. I was genuinely surprised to find that it tasted wrong, sort of flat and dull with something missing.
So its my conclusion that its not the temperature of the final brew that is the is the issue, a few degrees here or there is not going to greatly affect things. After all I've produced much better cuppas with water that hadn't just been boiled when forced to by circumstance. It is however crucial that the dry leaves are hydrated with boiling, (or as near to as you can get) water. I suspect once again, as we have discussed in the past with regard to tea stewing, it's got something to do the structure of the cell walls in the dried tea leaves and how they allow the passage of solutes. I would hypothesise that the cold water/milk sets the tea leaf into a different configuration to that of boiling water, and that this is not undone by the subsequent addition of boiling water.
Also, grotty as this cup of tea was, it was not as woeful as if I had added milk first. I still suspect that the droplets of fat in the milk will adhere and smother the tea leaves providing them with patches of water proofing. The casein protein in the milk is also bound to shake things up at a molecular level, weakly bonding with this that and the other and denaturing as the boiling water arrives.
As to top scientists investigating, they probably already have but can't reveal their results for fear of causing mass hysteria in the populace.