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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.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
On the subject of Tim Tams, I also happened to catch one of Arnott’s pimped-up ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ range of Tim Tams, the Chilli Choc Fling, when travelling last year.
Now I’m all for a bit of glamour in my snack treats, but I don’t like my biscuits being violated by marketing teams and image consultants. I say let the baker’s art shine through and leave the sweet talking to cream centres and chocolate coatings thank you very much. I have to say in this case, they did.
I could tell a tale of sophisticated tastings or I could just say that these bad boys didn’t see much sunlight once the first one was tested. Dark chocolate inside and out with a nice little bite to the filling, oh yes. I have to admit, it’s been nearly a year since I tried em and I can’t recall whether they were partnered with tea, it was all over too quickly. Something tells me they’d make more of a ‘platter treat’ than a dunker, but there’s those who’ll dunk anything, so perhaps it’s a case of “each to their own”.
I had the presence of mind to take a photo with my phone should I meet someone who needed this valuable info, I dug it out of my reference archives for you. If they or other chilli choc hybrids are in the UK let us know.
High tech hybrids seem to be the path our biscuits are taking. Tasty though they are, are you worried we may lose the simple foundation biscuits like the Digestive and the Rich Tea?
All the best
ps Bahlsen rock but they’re Zoo biscuits now have posidrive impressions from the screws that hold the shapes in place. What’s all that about? German engineering where you need it most on a biscuit? I don’t think so.
pps Does the jam in wagon wheels react with the chemicals in the marshmallow to give that “I think I’ve got a wrong un” taste in the roof of your mouth or is it part of the grand design?
|Nicey replies: Good thinking on the photo, if only more people would take snaps of strange foreign biscuits. I'm not worried about sensible biscuits being under threat from exotics, I am however slightly concerned about biscuits with chilli in them. I think that could lead to all sorts of strange biscuits for thrill seekers such as something with Fishermans Friend flavour filling or maybe Victory Vs.
For a real tour de force of Burton's Jam and Mallow technology get some of their teacakes the combination can almost be eye watering at times.
Jacob's Mikado Review
|Ahh..fond memories. Maybe it's just me, but I used to eat Mikado biccies by scooping the jam out with my finger, then pulling off the marshmallow.|
As for Iced Vovos (or Iced Volvos as my hubby used to call them) - they're a pale shadow - they're too flat & nowhere near spongey enough.
As for me, I'm a new Tim Tam addict, and have the suck down pat. And yes, they remind me of Penguins too - but has anyone tried the tea slurp through a Penguin yet? We need to be told.
I'm looking forward to a 2 week stay with my parents to relive my biccie fantasies very soon!
Formerly County Antrim, now rural NSW.