Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to email@example.com
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
|Karl ‘Two lunches’ Hughes
My colleagues and I have spent some time this morning trying to work out whether this recipe is a CAKE or a BISICUIT.
We have a split in opinion. Can anyone out there please help resolve our conflict and let us know the official verdict.
Then we can get on with our work.
PS Nice Site!
Karl ‘Two lunches’ Hughes
|Nicey replies: Dear Mr Two Lunches,
Its not a Biscuit, niether is it a cake, it is however the sort of thing that is often seen sharing a shelf with the equally troublesome flapjacks in our local bakery. The Kiwis make a lot of this type of thing, and maybe that has something to do with the Scots that emigrated there. They call them 'tray bakes' I believe. Whilst for us it shouldn't be too much of an issue if something takes up an unusual spot on the great venn diagram of biscuits, cakes and related items, for the VAT man its a big issue. The VAT man would probably see this as a biscuit that way he could tax it due to its chocolate being largely external.
I fear I haven't answered your question, never mind.
I have just read your review, and others' comments, on Abernethy biscuits, and I can clarify a few things because not only have I been eating them all my life, but I made some homemade ones last night. (and very nice they were too).
1- the key to Abernethy biscuits is Caraway seeds. Interestingly, these are not listed in the ingredients for the Simmers ones, however they mention 'flavouring' so I assume some caraway seed flavour must be included under this heading.
2- they don't need to be raised by ammonium bicarbonate - this is just an ingredient in some kinds of baking powder and vanishes during the baking process having no impact on taste.
3- when I was little, and went to playgroup at the local church (c 1979,) our favourite biscuits were "Rich Abernethy", and came in a purple packet, or perhaps it was dark blue (I was only four years old). These were not made by Simmers, but I don't know who they were made by. One person comments that they think Abernethys used to be bigger - I think it was this other make that were bigger.
4- Simmers used to make loads of different biscuits, including a lovely dark chocolate chip ginger biscuit. However, their website now only lists Abernethy, the horrible butter biscuits and equally horrible MacVita (a Ryvita type of thing). There must be a thing about dark chocolate ginger biscuits - Gray Dunns and their delicious dark choc gingers have gone, and so have the Simmers choc chip gingers.
I'll away now,
|Nicey replies: Well I'm no expert on them, but I had never heard the Caraway seeds mentioned before. I think I would have to be hallucinating wildly to detect in a Simmers one. Still its a nice idea. My Nan used to get a caraway seed cake quite often when we used to visit, and I haven't seen one in years. As to the raising,. well yes it wouldn't matter what was used, its just a comment on the smell of the commercial biscuit dough really.|
It is good to see the ToffeePop once more, if only in pictoral form. As a 'cake person', almost literally thanks to the cake-fuelled belly I have grown, I do like a biscuit with something resembling cake to it. In this case, the presence of a squidgy layer.
What the ToffeePop means most to me is pathos. It means after-Sunday-dinner bloating at Nanna's watching Bullseye in the 1970s. Then, it was a luxury biscuit, and actually more than that, it was a modern, groovy, funky, down-with-the-kids, anti-traditional biscuit. It harks back to an era when
all manufacturers had to do to be youth-minded and anti-establishment was to insert the word 'pop' as a suffix or prefix. Or to have Cheggars play it. The irrational capitalisation of the 'p' in the middle of a word, that was just crazy man. In the '70s, pop was the new rock. Adults didn't understand it. It was to be a new way of life. David Cassidy definitely ate ToffeePops. Probably before his dinner. With a PandaPop.
And now you can only get them in Spar. If they had classic status to fall back on, like the coconut cream, they could stand their ground, but in their gaudy packaging it's like they persist in pretending they represent youth, like Roger Daltry singing 'My Generation'. They have charm, like the British seaside resort, but their once-great significance is now only pathos. Like the beach at Selsay lined with residential homes, the ToffeePop has beauty only to those who remember it as it once was.
|Nicey replies: Very moving, but as I said you can now get them in Asda.
||Dear Mr Nicey,|
If Monika Duhig lives in Melbourne, she'll find lovely hand-made Eccles cakes, made by a pastrycook from Lancashire, at JT's Bakery, Pinewood Shopping Centre, Mount Waverley.
Can't eat 'em meself, now, because of diet restrictions.
||Dear Nicey, |
Thanks for the great site (and thanks to contributing readers/authors). As an Aussie living in your wet islands I came to adore the eccles cake and a hot drink, practically anytime, really. I wanted to know if any Brit company distributes eccles cakes down under - please, somebody......it is too tragic that I and my recently converted sister should be EC free. Specifically the Lancs company that makes them in Manchester and stacks them in a cellophane wrapping - can't think what the brand is and manufactured in Manchester is probably dodgy but whatever they had in them was utterly addictive (heroin?) but really, any EC of comparable quality will do
|Nicey replies: Monika,
Regrettably I don't think thats a likely scenario. Still maybe somebody knows different. As for the secret ingredient, I think its simply our old friend butter which makes the pastry so tasty.