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||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I wrote to you recently regarding our impending Tiffin competition which took place on Wednesday at 11:00.
The idea for the competition was conceived by ?confirmed bachelor? Richard Heslop in an attempt to promote cooking as a manly pursuit.
There were seven entrants on the day and seven judges, hand picked for their notable experience and expertise in the sampling of cakes, biscuits and other comestibles. The entries were anonymous to ensure that the judges remained impartial.
The entries were judged on a number of factors including appearance, chocolate content, fruitiness, texture and taste. The judging was taken very seriously and the contestants were made to wait for almost an hour while the judged deliberated and conferred.
Eventually, and somewhat surprisingly, first place and the prestigious ?Tiffing Cup? were awarded to my own entry, a traditional fruit based Tiffin made with cocoa powder. I can put my success down to the many hours spent researching the subject of cakes and biscuits on your splendid site.
Second place went to 4 year old Oliver Lewis with an excellent first effort.
Yummy mummy Nicky Lewis said that she was delighted with the result and we could look forward to Oliver?s entry in the next competition.
Third place was awarded to ?Comedy? Roy Nash with a surprisingly novel entry involving salted pistachio nuts.
First prize was awarded to entry number 4 (bottom left in the first picture), second prize to number 5 (far left on the second picture) and third went to entry number 1 (top right on the first picture.
The winning recipe is shown below:
Keith's Award Winning Tiffin
- 250g Digestive biscuits
- 125g Ginger Nuts
- 50g Raisins
- 50g Sultanas
- 50g Glace Cherries (cut into quarters)
- 50g Dates (chopped)
- 25g dried cherries
- 150g Unsalted Butter
- 30g Soft Brown Sugar
- 4 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
Crush half of the digestives into crumbs and break the remaining biscuits into small pieces.
Put the biscuits into a bowl, add the fruit and mix well.
Cut the butter into cubes and melt slowly in a large saucepan with the sugar, cocoa powder and golden syrup. Keep stirring while the butter melts.
Add the biscuits and fruit and mix well so that everything is well coated.
Put into a 7" x 11" tray and spread with the back of a spoon.
Allow it to cool before putting it in the fridge for about an hour to set.
Remove from the tray and cut into 24 pieces.
|Nicey replies: Dear Keith,
Thanks ever-so for letting us know the out come of the Tiffin competition on Wednesday at 11:00.
We are hugely impressed at the number of entries their quality and the degree inventiveness shown by all who took part. Special congratulations of course to you the winner. Now generally as a rule we don't post recipes on NCOTAASD as it brings in floods of mails from individuals out there who think the whole site should turn into some enormous great cook book. There is quite enough of that already on the interweb. This is closely followed by those wanting tea reviews who think Wifey and I should deprive ourselves of much needed PG Tips and start drinking our way through random teas just so we can say how much we really want a cup of PG instead something we clearly aren't enjoying as much.
However, as a mark of our respect for this magnificent achievement we shall publish your recipe, only the second one in our entire history. Well done to Oliver Lewis too, clearly an emerging talent for the future.
In fact, I send a case of Japanese "BLACK THUNDER" biscuit to the crews "Black Thunders" of FM "ESSEX", today!
I had not known that there were many "Black Thunders"of FM radio stations in the U.K. I was not able to notice it before.
And now, I suppose that you told me the crews of "Cambridge", not "Essex".
Oh, How pity I am! I am a careless person.
I hope "Black Thunders of "ESSEX" at least enjoy Japanese "Black Thunder "biscuits.
Anyway ,I will let you know that.
I always appreciate your brilliant website ,
And please accept my apology for my carelessness.
Hiromi Miura (Tokyo Japan)
|Nicey replies: Good Morning Hiromi,
Don't you worry, I think any FM Radio station in the UK will be just as surprised and thrilled to get a random delivery of unusual Japanese biscuits. As you say most of them seem to have a Black Thunder of their own (I think they are all part of the same company). Anyway Essex is next door to us and it's where I was born, and I have lots of family there so that's all fine. I'm quite excited about how confused and puzzled they are going to be! It's a wonderful thing you have done and you should be very proud.
A big NCOTAASD Hoorah for you!
As a family man can you please help out an expectant father? In order to keep his wife happy in her current, interesting, condition he needs a supply of wafer biscuits filled with orange cream. We've found the Tunnock's Florida ones in your reviews, but the ones he needs are chocolate free.
The biscuit experts on the team haven't been much help, so we are turning to you, the biscuit meister.
|Nicey replies: Very tricky Sue as you know Orange Cream is a difficult thing to find in most biscuits, but take chocolate out of the equation its like hens teeth.
OP just down the road from you do an uncovered Lemon Wafer as their nearest.
Not sure if a trip to France to retrive La Paile D'Or would find an Orange version, I don't recall one and LU's websites are woeful so I can't tell from there.
I only had to go on one quest for food for Wifey, which involved digging up a stray and rather gnarled spinach plant that had established itself in the front garden and presenting it to her on toast. Relatively easy in comparison to this task.
Custard Cream Review
|I said to people in my job that Custard Creams are probably the nicest biscuit ever. (I was being nice by saying probably. They ARE the nicest biscuit ever). To which he replied with a derisory voice - 'you must have had a deprived childhood'. Absolute rubbish. Custard Creams are a fine example of whats right in the world. Dignified and reliable. Even the cheaper ones are still a decent quality. And a biscuit with a baroque design deserves all the plaudits. No underhanded tactics with fancy names the Custard Cream says what it is (sort of) and delivers it in a classy way. I can even dunk them. Oh and my job provides free biscuits and, yes that's right. There's custard creams there. That's why I won't leave. (sort of)|
|Nicey replies: The custard cream is a classic biscuit whose stature in the biscuit world cannot be undone with a throw away snide comment. Indeed such biscuits (the bourbon, digestive, rich tea to name but a few) have transcended into another realm of biscuit existence which goes far beyond any partisan company allegiances, fads or standard product lifetime curves. They are now timeless classics whose purity of design and purpose can put us back in touch with the essence of a cuppa and a sit down. Those who are blinkered and unwilling to appreciate such glorious simplicity have our sympathy.
||Dear Mr Nicey|
I have been enjoying a nasty cup of tea (office drinks machine) and a sit down while perusing your fine site. I happened upon the pink wafer controversy and it reminded me of a rather surprising tale. The memsahib's great-aunt, an inveterate hoarder, died a couple of years ago and off the little woman went with her mother and sister to help clear out the house. Much memorabilia was found, classified and disposed of to relatives or the local orphanage, among it an envelope marked in immaculate copper-plate handwriting, "biscuit brought back by Cecil [the aunt's sister] from Buckingham Palace garden party, 1954".
Well, nestling limply in the papery bosom of the envelope was...a pink wafer! I have seen said wafer with my own eyes and can swear to its pinkness. I was surprised less by the aunt's keeping of a biscuit for 50 years (I had early in my relationship with the memsahib been ambushed by her father into eating a Carlsbad plum of similar vintage and the same provenance) as by the fact that at a social event of such high cachet the biscuity entertainments could stretch no further than what I have always considered the cheapest and nastiest of biscuits.
Perhaps the answer lies in postwar austerity and sugar rationing?
|Nicey replies: It's also a bit scary that it was still pink after 50 years in an envelope. I expect the Queen opened up a few hundred tins of Rover assortment, hence the Pink Wafers. Although it does make you wonder what became of all the biscuit tins?|