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Thought you might like to have a look at something I spotted at the Ideal Home Show last week. Love both your blog and the book!
|Nicey replies: Sigh.. another one of those lovely designer chappies has come to the aid of all us hapless tea drinkers and dunkers with some woeful bit of tat that is supposed to turn our lives around. Doesn't it ever cross these peoples minds that if you like to dunk biscuits in your tea then you might have actually become semi proficient at it and not require some basket device in your cup. Besides which its your tea, its not some kiddies paddling pool filled with plastic toys.
Honestly there is only one thing worse that the designers who can't see over the brim of their own tea cup for inspiration, and thats the web-designers wishing for somebody else to make them a cup of tea cause they are too busy / bone idle to make it themselves. Not so busy that they can't while away a few days/weeks knocking out some web page thingy that is going to choose somebody next to them to go and make it.
Recently Cravendale Milk got in touch to say they were working on a super secret tea related web application, and were we interested. I said yes but I hope its not one of those 'Who's turn is it to make the tea?' sort of things as they had been done to death. They went quiet for two months.. then came back to us saying, yes it was indeed a 'Who's turn is it to make the tea sort of thing' and it was all but ready to go. If they had asked we could have given them our painfully distilled wisdom about why these things are a all a bit useless and given the amount languishing out there un-used a really sure fire way of paying some web-designer to a load of cash to re-invent a particularly un-necessary wheel.
Well here it is. Their innovation is that it doesn't let you send the 'make the tea' message again for another 2 minutes after you have just sent it. I just thought of two ways round that just this second. As always it chooses people at random, rather than in order, and it's completely unaware of people's days off, holidays etc. As I said they only had to ask.
Iced Gems Review
|I couldn't help but notice some negative feedback on your site re Iced Gems, with particular complaint about their supposed 'undunkability'. I feel I must share my technique for eating Ied Gems, which I admit to having a fondness for. |
The dunker must hold the Iced Gem by the icing and then lower small rich tea type bit into their tea (granted, the mug or cup must be quite full for this to be done, but considering the limited soaking capacity of the rich tea part of an Iced Gem, this should not be a problem). You can then eat the tea-soaked biscuit part of the Gem, leaving yourself with a tasty icing morsel to enjoy - indeed, the inevitable soaking that some of the icing gets from its proximity to the hot liquid when using this method seems to result in more flavour being released from the icing - particularly so in the pink,
purple and white variants.
A word of warning - timing (as with most dunking methods) is of the essence here). Dunk the biscuit part of Iced Gem for too long and the icing part will dissolve and separate from the biscuit, which will end up sunk to the bottom of the mug, growing mushier by the minute.
|Nicey replies: Thank you Gemma,
You have enriched all our lives with your insights.
Perhaps one could spear the little blighters on a sturdy paper clip and go for complete immersion (entirely conjecture on my part).
||Recently I had a great need to investigate ‘langue de chat’ biscuits, due to their allegedly superior dunking qualities. My dear friend swears she searches Fulham for these delicacies. Whilst searching for info under your biscuit section, I was surprised to see that biscuits, even for advanced level gourmands, always came in packets. Is that to insulate them in the North? I have a great love of biscuits in tins, and of course they are pretty and reusable tins. The spying of biscuit tins on upper shelves must surely warm the heart of the average advanced biscuit fancier?|
Richard in Shad Thames London
|Nicey replies: I'm doing my utmost to empathise but not really making it. So your basic concern is that posh French biscuits should really be available only in tins? However, I certainly follow your basic premise that biscuit tins are a good thing, and it gives my a good excuse to use our biscuit tin icon.|
Came across your website at work on Friday. It sparked mass biscuit debate, a most healthy and enlightening subject.
I wonder if you could settle an argument re: the jammie dodger. Several of us are convinced that in some circumstances the jam filling is supplemented by a `custard cream` style filling, whilst others think we are talking complete bourbon cream. So is the biscuit complete fantasy or does it exist?
Also we were intregued by the biscuit of the week, the hapless `Noblice`.
We do have regular contests when we go abroad to bring back the most strangely named snack. Recently whilst in Belguim, I got hold of some `Plop` biscuits. Photo of packet attached. We soon realised why they are so named their dunkability rating was somewhere around minus 3 and `Plop` was the sound the biscuit made on it's way to the bottom of your mug! More worryingly each biscuit was individually wrapped with a picture of a gnome-type man wearing a pair of pants on his head!!
Anyway keep up the dunking and the good work.
The IT development team at a police force that shall rename anonymous for fear of public resentment of our shared bicuit enjoyment!
|Nicey replies: Nick,
Good work on the plops, they seem to have tried to paper over the cracks by diverting our attention to the chap with half an oven ready chicken in a red jumper on his head. Still well done the Belgians this is certainly a ridiculous name that deserves to be up there in the pantheon of dreadful names.
As for Jammie Dodgers they always have some form of viscous jammy glue inside and never a cream filling as in the case of the much admired Jam Cream Sandwich. Recent Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers did have weird whitish sort of jam in them too, but in all honesty this was very much like jam with a dash of white emulsion paint in it (technically true as titanium oxide was used, the same white compound used in paints and horseradish sauce).
Fig Roll Review
I appeared today on Jason manfords show for the dunk off challenge with my gingernut. Which I know is a biscuit. However, Rob came along with his Fig Roll – and won. Please do not think that I am a poor looser. I have been looking into The Fig Roll and it would seem, that, it is pastry and not biscuit, the tester being that when a biscuit goes off it goes soft and a pastry goes hard and like Jaffa Cakes they are cake and not biscuit as the pastry goes off and goes hard as do fig biscuits.
I would like to know your opinion on this and I’m sure Jason will raise it with you tomorrow when you are on the show.
|Nicey replies: Sara,
Right first off I'm not sure what the biscuits are being subjected to, but if its just a straight forward see how long they can be dunked for then that's fairly meaningless. I can think of a two biscuits that could be immersed in boiling hot tea and shrug it off as if it had never happened, but I'll keep that to myself until I've been on the show.
As for the stale thing we have to debunk that on a regular basis, as it is riddled with exceptions. Indeed the preceding message I've just posted about the Irish Kimberley shows that they have to go stale rendering them hard before non Irish people trust them. It won't do to be sniping at the Fig Roll and trying to make out that it's not a biscuit but is a cake that somehow took a wrong turn and ended up in a biscuit packet. It's actually the filling of the fig roll that gives it a resilience against the hot tea rather than its pastry outer. Feel free to debate the nature of the Fig Roll at length but be aware that French have one that starts off crunchy and goes soft when stale, which we covered in our FigFest.
As for ginger nuts I think that was a good plan, If you had gone in with a Griffins one from New Zealand you might have won.