Choc Ripple

January 9, 2010 at 18:02 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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For my birthday, Laura bought me a pack of biscuits. Very excitingly, they are a hitherto untasted variety of Arnott’s called ‘Choc Ripple’. Indeed, I was so excited I was compelled to share my thoughts on them with the world. The Choc Ripple is part of Arnott’s ‘Simple Goodness’ range of everyday biscuits (as opposed to the ‘everyday treats’ range of more luxurious creams) which was instantly of interest. Chocolate is normally considered a premium ingredient (as the top of the range Arnott’s biscuits, such as the Tim Tam attest), yet here it is in a cheaper variety.

A scan of the ingredients reveals that these biscuits are made with vegetable oil (not butter), and the ‘choc’ comes from cocoa, rather than full chocolate. They are, however, packaged up nicely with the biscuits nestling in a plastic tray more commonly seen on more expensive lines, with 27 in a pack.

So what do they taste like? There is no doubt the ‘choc’ flavour is understated; coming through more as a hint at the end. The golden syrup (the other main flavouring ingredient) actually comes through more strongly, and in fact they do have a quite nice home-baked taste. A bit like when your mum used to make chocolate cakes by putting a bit of cocoa powder into the mixture – you know, the ones that were brown but only a bit chocolatey. These are rather like that.

Interestingly, when dunked into tea (I chose English Breakfast to have alongside them as I felt it would be a good combination) the texture goes very soft – almost brownie-like – and the chocolate flavour comes through much more strongly. In fact, they would be excellent for dunking because of this, if it was not for the fact that they are rather crumbly and bits break off into the tea as you go. This is going to leave a lot of brown sludge in the bottom of your cup which no-one wants, although I suppose you could conceivable make two cups of tea for this; one for dunking and one for drinking. This seems rather extravagant, however, for such an everyday biscuit.

The most extraordinary thing about the Choc Ripple, however, relates to its texture. When I opened the packet and had the first one, it was very crunchy, with a tendency to fracture into crumbs. However, it is rather a damp day, and evidently these biscuits go stale extremely quickly. (They must rival silica gel as a dessicant; I daresay you could use them to stop moisture forming inside your camera case, although crumbs might get into the mechanism, so perhaps this isn’t altogether advisable.) Within about four or five minutes, the texture had changed; they had become softer and less crumbly. I suppose it’s a but harsh to say they went stale; they are still quite OK to eat – in fact, they might even be nicer with a softer texture. But it is a bit disconcerting that they change so fast; if you want to experience crunchy Choc Ripples you really have to work fast after you open the packet.

Still, not a bad biscuit. Overall I’d give them a 7 out of 10 – quite nice for an occasional change. Mrs Chillikebab believes their role in life is to give to kids who are pestering for a chocolate biscuit; they can be palmed off with these instead of a more expensive Tim Tam, and I daresay she’s right.

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  1. Within about four or five minutes, the texture had changed; they had become softer and less crumbly. I suppose it’s a but harsh to say they went stale; they are still quite OK to eat – in fact, they might even be nicer with a softer texture.

    I suspect that this is because their purpose in life is not to be eaten as a biscuit, but to be the chief ingredient of Chocolate Ripple Cake. This “cake” is the dessert with the highest deliciousness-to-effort ratio in the Western world.
    Take one packet of Chocolate Ripple biscuits. Take a 300ml bottle of cream. Whip the cream (perhaps adding sugar and vanilla to taste). Take a flat platter or something similar, upon which to construct your cake. Take a biscuit, slather it with cream; take another biscuit, more cream, stick the biscuits together. Make a small stack of biscuits sandwiched with cream. Turn the stack on its side. Add more biscuits to the end, sandwiched with more cream. There should be cream left when you’ve used all the biscuits. Cover the cylinder-on-its-side of biscuits-and-cream with more cream, so the whole thing is covered with cream.
    Refrigerate overnight.
    Cut on the diagonal, and you will have stripy chocolate “cake” with cream in between: chocolate ripple cake.
    I’ve also heard it called “Snowlog”, which I find a more mellifluous name.

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