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!
I used to sell kettles after I was made redundant from selling tea by Whittards. The best kettle then was the phillips pirouette. It's one of those round metal ones but is the only one to have the correct distance between the handle and spout so not to scold your hand. It has been discontinued for three years or so but contains the two vital things to look for in a kettle, a concealed element and a scale filter.
As for the recipe from Mr Two Lunches. Cake I say. It has too much butter to be a biscuit.
I like the mugs. TTFN
|Nicey replies: Hoorah! for being the first to christen the fabulous new Kettle icon.
||The item Karl 'Two Lunches' Hughes describes is clearly what is known in Australia as a 'slice'. I'd wondered about the lack of representation of slice on this site before, and come to the conclusion that it must exist only in Australia - though the Kiwi 'tray bake' sounds like the same thing. |
Slice was very popular when I was growing up (the 70s). It can be made from a selection of diverse ingredients mixed and pressed into a tray (and often iced), or from a biscuit recipe cooked in a tray (and often subsequently iced). Sometimed slices are fancy three-layer creations, eg caramel slice (shortbread base, a thick layer of caramel, layer of actual chocolate on top) or peppermint slice (shortbread or chocolate biscuit base, peppermint filling, chocolate layer), or raspberry coconut slice (very crumbly delicious base, raspberry jam, sticky coconut topping). And there are very delicious plainer versions like chocolate slice (chocolate biscuit base, chocolate icing, coconut sprinkled on top) and ginger slice (ginger shortbready biscuit base, plus ginger icing that you cook in a saucepan and which has the unusual quality of making your mouth feel cool when you eat it).
Slice is always made in a shallow, often rectangular tray (a slice tray). You don't see it as often as you used to, though you can often still buy it in cafes and old-fashioned cake shops.
Needless to say, a good accompaniment to tea, though not ideal for dunking.
|Nicey replies: I was going to say 'slice' too but then I didn't. I feel this information is probably of immense importance in helping finally working out phylogeny of such items as flapjack. I'm actually quite excited.|
|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.
At my place of work we are lucky to have the choice of three, yes three sources of hot liquid refreshment, each inversely proportional in quality to distance from my desk.
Nearest to my desk we have a bog standard coffee machine spitting out hideous approximations of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and some weird orange thing that claims to be orangeade but more closely resembes some form of fizzy curry. Whilst the drinks from this machine are approaching undrinkable, much fun can be had by removing the plastic cup from the machine after it has deposited one serving of the hot chocolate mixture, allowing the water to flow into the overflow and mix it with another selection. Coffee obviously produces some kind of mocha effect, another helping of the hot chocolate produces a more than servicable paint and as for the orangeade, well, lets just say my fuel bill has halfed in recent times.
Slightly further away with have some kind of machine/real coffee hybrid machine, that accepts sachets of tea coffee and produces something that, whilst is tainted by the lack of real milk, is actually not too bad for a caffine addict such as myself. Interestingly, there is both tea and coffee whiteners. I have yet summoned the courage to try coffee whitener in tea.
And still further away, a good few minutes walk is a bonafide coffee shop selling real coffee and PG tips tea. Hurrah! An additional bonus is that the route to this source of hot beverage passes 2 table football tables and well, it would be rude not to.
Keep up the good work on the website...
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.|