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||Hello from California, USA! Do you know of any way I can order some Empire biscuits to get here? I love them, but haven't had any since I visited Glasgow about seven years ago.|
Both my parents were from Glasgow. When I was a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York, there was a Scottish Bakery called "Drew's Bakery" near our apartment. We used to get Empire Biscuits there. I do wish I could get them here. They are so lovely with a nice cup of tea!
Just happened to see your web site on "Google", and thought I'd drop you an email to see if you knew of some way I might be able to order some.
Thanks so much and have a great day.....Cathy
|Nicey replies: I don't think that's possible. They are the sort of thing that just turn up in small local bakeries and not the places accustomed to shipping things worldwide.
They are very simple things really, you should have a go at baking your own. Here is a charming blog page I found on just that.
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
Your lovely website has caused quite a stir here at the University of Cambridge.
We were wondering if you could settle a long-standing argument and help us find out which chocolate tea cakes were the ones which had a bit of jam in them?
One of our Scottish staff proudly announced that it was Tunnock's, but the evidence on your site disproves this. Another colleague reckons it was Burton's but they no longer have the bit of jam, another swears that is was Marks & Spencer's own brand but they also no longer contain the jam for some reason, possibly the egg white / gelatine makeup of the mallow.
We would dearly love to source a supply of any tea cakes which still contain the jam, irrespective of manufacturer, egg white/gelatine mallow or real/imitation chocolate casing.
It's the jam that's important to us historians.
|Nicey replies: Well I had a lovely bike ride through the collages the other day so if you had spotted me you could have asked me then. Burton's definitely have red goo inside them I wouldn't exactly call it jam I've always thought of it as part of an alliance which includes the red stuff that goes on top proper ice creams. Having said that you don't see that as often as you used to. I haven't had a Burton's for a little while now but did look at a pack the other day and it still depicted jam in them.
Lee's a Scottish brand also definitely has jam in them too.
I have never encountered a Tunnocks tea cake with jam in it and personally as I said in the review I don't see that it is possible, but would happily be proved wrong.
I have just discovered your website.I can't believe it ! I am the world's biggest fan of tea,cakes and biscuits.
My partener recently had his 50th. birthday.We decided to have a garden party. We had an urn, supplying endless hot water for mugs of tea. On top of that we had mountains of scones, clotted cream and home made jam, as well as platters of cupcakes.
Everyone was blissfully happy.
(P.S. Yorkshire tea rules.) Joan.
|Nicey replies: Joan,
Thank you for that lovely picture of the cup cakes. It sounds like a charming event.
And talking of small cakes and tea urns. Wifey and I manned the tea and cake stall at the school fair last Friday and that little lot would have traded at 20p each which at rough first count comes to £22.80. Unfortunately due to some bad planning and people neglecting to write SOLD on some of the cakes we did manage to sell a few twice, although both Wifey and I were prepared to fight our corner if Sir Alan dragged us into the board room.
Polish Jaffa Cakes Multireview Review
|Dear Nicey, wifey and YMOS!|
Thank you for your wonderful review of "Polish Jaffa Cakes Multireview". I believe that Wifey was able to get such fine biscuits by giving her right arm that she risked abandoning beloved Nicey and YMOS for a while. It must be just trophied biscuits.
Sad to say, I have never tried any Polish Jaffa cakes. However, I am lucky to have enjoyed some "McVitie's branded Jaffa cakes" biscuits in the U.K. I loved the fruity tartness of the orange jelly rich in gelatin that could work as a skin moisturizer. (or jam ??) I think many people in the U.K.and Poland are really happy to be able to eat Jaffa cake biscuits.
As you guess, Korea has no Jaffa cake biscuits. However, I recently met a nice biscuit named "Big pie" .
The "Big pie" manufactured by CROWN is a biscuit with a strawberry flavoured jelly in a chocolate. The main reason I love the biscuit is that I can enjoy three key- points such as "the biscuit, the chocolate and the jerry" at the same time as Jaffa Cake biscuits in the U.K.
Of course,I know that the "Big pie"biscuit is not a "Jaffa cake"biscuit. But I will taste the Korean "Big pie" as Korean Jaffa Cake" with gratitude in Korea.
The "Big pie" is a SMALL round biscuit around 4 cm in diameter.
Hiromi Miura (Seoul Korea)
|Nicey replies: Hiromi,
Glad to see that you have settled down in Korea and are busily finding new biscuits. As you point out not only are those pies not big but they don't appear to be pies either. We are very lucky to have your Japanese view of Korean biscuits based on your working knowledge of British biscuits. I feel that one day there might come to pass a course of events that would see you at least saving the world using your specialised knowledge that is a Japanese view of Korean biscuits based on your working knowledge of British biscuits.
The smashing orangey bit in the middle of the jaffa cake to give it its full technical name is as you suspect actually jam. Industrial jam at that. Which means that the inclusion of the Jaffa Cake in the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition as
a sponge biscuit with an orange-flavoured jelly filling and chocolate topping is wrong on two counts and very obviously throws doubt on the validity of every other piece of information held in it.
As for Wifey she gave her left arm today, as she gave blood. She tells me she had a cup of tea afterwards and three Crawfords Gingernuts, although Digestives and Custard Creams were also on offer.
Vimto and Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I was relaxing at home with my wife last night when she suddenly remembered a rather exciting biscuit purchase she'd made before. She'd been looking for plain chocolate digestives in Asda, she said, when she found some limited edition jammy dodgers which purported to include not only the standard jam but also custard. Intrigued, I went into the kitchen and retrieved the biscuits.
Unfortunately, the experience was far from magical. I wasn't expecting anything remotely resembling real custard, but hoped for at least a rhubarb-and-custard style dichotomy between the biscuit layers. It wasn't to be, though - the custard was stretchy and sticky like the jam, and tasted the same as well, leading me to believe that these weren't in fact jammy dodgers containing custard, merely jammy dodgers in which half of the jam had been artificially manipulated to look like custard.
Aside from this, the usual jammy dodger setbacks remained. The horizontal packaging style always leaves the jam/custard from the biscuits in the top layer stuck to the wrapper and unsalvageable. Why do they do this? I suspect it's to make the packet of biscuits seem larger - if they were stacked vertically in the normal fashion they'd never get away with only giving you twelve in the packet. Also the extreme stickiness of the filling prevented any meaningful enjoyment being extracted from separating the biscuits - they simply crumbled in my hands.
I know this isn't really feedback of the variety people normally send into you, I just thought it was important that you were made aware of this gimmicky, facile biscuit. I was going to send some in to you so you could test out their custard-ness for yourselves, but unfortunately I'd eaten all of them by the time I'd made up my mind. My wife wasn't too happy about that either.
|Nicey replies: Yes they sound almost identical to the Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers we reviewed a while back. Definitely one of those occasions when something sounds much better on paper. I think Jammie Dodgers are only ever going to be two biscuits connected with a squirt of jammie glue. Much as we can imagine them morphing into a new higher form that has a layer of something else in there its never going to happen.
I'm glad you raised the rhubarb and custard point. Nanny Nicey has always said there should be a Rhubarb and Custard cream biscuit. Indeed a couple of years ago I was invited into the Sainsbury's mothership to talk about ideas for new biscuits and suggested this. It was very well received and they even got Fox's involved who did some brainstorming around the idea, with various classic British Puddings interpreted through the medium of biscuits being suggested, but it never proceeded further. It would be a terrific biscuit though.