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|Mark and Mandy
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
We stumbled onto your site today whilst trying to settle an arguement that arose at Morning Tea this morning. Morning Tea is a regular event down here. Not every morning, but little excuse is needed to set one up. Births, retirements, small wins on the lottery, remembering the Queens Birthday etc all qualify as events worthy of a Morning Tea. The formality of Morning Tea can vary considerably but, as a general rule, if people are Standing Up rather than Sitting Down then the event is considered as formal. Indeed, there may even be a "Speech". A short speech appropriate for a Formal retirement Morning Tea might be "Thank you". A longer one might be "Thank you very much". If it is a Sitting Down Morning Tea then any attempt to make a speech would be considered rude. If there is no acceptable reason for having a Morning Tea then colleagues generally have to make their own arrangements to have tea in the morning. But the provision of biscuits and Lamingtons under such circumstances is usually woefully inadequate.
Our arguement was based around trying to establish the identity of a confection consisting of a small circular biscuit base, topped with a dome of marshmallow, the whole being covered in chocolate. Some think there may have been a layer of jam between the biscuit and the marshmallow. I'm not so certain about the jam, but, as we probably had supermarket "own brand" inferior copies (almost certainly from the Co Op), I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment. One colleague who thinks they visited England once, but it may have been Denmark, reckons they were called Twinkies. But that just makes me think it must've been Denmark as no red-braced, stripey shirted son-of-Maggie marketing whizz bang would've come up with anything quite so silly.
Here's hoping you can help.
Mark & Mandy
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Thank you for that lovely description of morning tea and the mention of Lamingtons.
The name you seek is simply 'Teacake'. I admit that's not a terribly accurate or descriptive name given their splendour. Also there are flattish currant laden buns that also lay claim to that name.
Here is a picture of some that I took to reveal their inner workings. Burton's I believe, but Lee's a Scottish bakers perhaps make better ones. These have the gelatine based spongey marshmallow and can be safely injected with jam as seen here. The mighty Tunnocks teacake has egg white based mallow which is basically uncooked meringue, and shirks any mauling around with jam.
Closer to you in Tasmania, I'm sure Kiwi bakers Griffins produce Teacakes.
Jam Sandwich Creams Review
|Without wanting to re-ignite the Jaffa Cake/Buscuit debate, I was grazing through my confection cupboard the other day and randomly selected three items to nibble on with a nice cup of tea.|
I switched on the telly, had a quick slurp of tea and proceeded to pick up one of my nibbles.
It was with much amusement that I realised that all three items I had selected, whilst being entirely different products, were all based on the same basic fillings, to wit, raspberry jam and butter cream.
The items i had chosen were (in no particular order),
Fox's Jammy Dodger
Mr Kiplings Viennese Whirl
Morrisons Brand Butterfly Cake
This set me thinking. The Jammy Dodger is definately a buscuit and the Butterfly Cake is certainly a cake, but there seems to be a grey area, a sort of transition zone, in which the Viennese Whirl sits, being a sort of hybrid Buscuit come Cake.
After a period of reflection I related this to my wife, Tracy, who informed me that the Viennese Whirl was neither cake nor buscuit but a pastry and that I was stupid.
Does anyone have any comments on the above?
|Nicey replies: Right a great deal to get through here. First off that's a Jam Cream Sandwich which Fox's are building there, a Jammie Dodger is not only different not having cream, but is a built solely by Burtons. Its a bit like calling your Dyson Vacuum cleaner a Hoover. Sorry for the pedantic bit there but I would be remiss if I didn't wade in.
Any how the Mr Kipling Viennese whirl is avery undervalued thing, and in a great many European countries would get away with calling itself what ever it fancied. Cake or biscuit they wouldn't really care. However in the UK it would have to be a cake, and not just beacuse as we all know, Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good ones, and he made these, but also because I don't think it can be classed as a pastry as it has raising in it. If it was a pastry I would probably just join a circle straight to cakes in the mighty NCOTAASD Venn Diagram of such things which is always open for a bit of a fiddling with.
||Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I'm not sure whether your excellent website covers the topic of Tea Shoppes, but as you are connoisseurs of all things tea related and must on occasions travel about the countryside and find yourselves in desperate need of a cup of tea, I thought you might be interested in our experience in a Tea Shoppe in Shaftesbury, Dorset. We were in the town on Saturday following an ebay run to collect a nice pine wall mounted dresser top and, badly in need of refreshment, we spotted an idyllic looking Tea Shoppe which should remain nameless but can be found in close proximity to the Sherlock Holmes Dolls House and Miniatures Emporium. On enquiring if we could partake of tea, we were informed that they were only doing 'tea and cake' as obviously they didn't want riff raff in who would just order one cuppa and sit there cluttering the place up all afternoon. Which was fine as what we wanted to order was a cream tea plus cake. They did a cream tea with one scone or a cream tea with two scones, so we thought we would order a cream tea with two scones, share the scones and then share a piece of cake. BUT I made the mistake of mentioning the sharing bit at which point the lady in charge rather frostily pointed out their 'sharing policy'. They had little notices on the table saying that their prices were according to portions and if you shared they would add on 25%. This seemed such a bizarre notion that we asked for further clarification. She just repeated 'our sharing policy is as explained on your table'. Rather than quiz her further on whether they had an 'I can't finish all this, will you have some of it?' policy, it seemed easier to settle for the cream tea with one scone and abandon the idea of sharing altogether, but then there was the question of the cake. I can never eat a whole piece, so asked Hubby which we should have, but then I remembered the 'sharing policy' and panicked. Meanwhile the lady was sighing. rolling her eyes and tapping her pencil very loudly on the pad, so I just chose at random. When it came we had to wait until she left the room to share the one scone and cake in case we incurred the additional 25%. Now I can understand a policy of 'Set Teas Only' at busy times, which I believe they apply in the excellent Polly Tea Rooms in Marlborough, or a policy of charging for extra scones, but I find it hard to understand a 25% penalty for sharing. Surely once you have purchased the tea, scones and cake, how you divide it up is a matter for the individual. I think this lady is worthy of a Basil Fawlty Award for Customer Service, although she did do herself out of a couple of quid by not letting us have the cream tea with two scones to share.
Forgive me for boring you with this tale but I do believe this sharing policy needs to be put to the test- possibly by Michael Winner, although he would probably not be inclined to share his scones and cake anyway.
Thank you for your lovely website.
|Nicey replies: Gripping stuff Barbara, and I understand your pain of random cake choice under pressure. It is best to get these things off your chest, otherwise the resentment could lead to to some nasty scene years later, such as the wilful taking any unused little pots of jam.|
Hope that you are well.
I got married recently and for our wedding breakfast instead of the usual champagne and three course we went for cakes, scones, with and without fruit, jam and clotted cream, cakes, jam sandwiches, cakes, salmon sandwiches, cakes, wedding cake, cakes and as much tea as our guests could consume. Hoorah! It was a hit with all. However, imagine my horror when I saw my newly wedded husband loading his scone with cream and then jam! Well it was nearly the divorce courts right then. Apparently his whole family do it! Cream, being like butter. But I say, butter is like butter. Butter, jam, cream, it is the natural order of things.
We decided to have a look on your delightful site to see if you have the answer. We couldn't find anything obvious but
I dare say that this debate has raged in the past and as you were so helpful regarding the oat cake, cake or biscuit problem (you informed us it was actually a cracker) we wondered if you could help us here.
Yours, tea drinkingly,
|Nicey replies: Actually that was the very first poll we ran on the site and it came down as 72% jam then cream 28% cream then jam. So your old man is not alone just out numbered three to one.
||I’ve just turned 30, so to mark the occasion I had a proper tea party with proper bone china and proper cake and scones and clotted cream and strawberries and even proper cucumber sandwiches without the crusts. I thought you might like to see a few piccies. Note the Nice Cup Of Tea and a Sit Down book on display next to the cups. Everyone had such a lovely time, maybe next year we’ll do it again, but with biscuits.|
|Nicey replies: Hoorah! for you and your lovely tea party, I liked the candelabra at the back and the plucky blue teapot which still took part despite having a chip out its rim, good for him/her (blue for a boy? (oh no have I just started a debate as to the gender of teapots? (probably not))).|