Arnott’s Choc Cherry Coconut Tim Tam

March 14, 2018 at 11:08 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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When I was a boy we would often gather around the pianoforte as a family to sing. And if that sounds weirdly Victorian, well, yes it was. I remember Mum’s crinoline used to get terribly in the way in our small dining room.

Anyway, one of the songbooks we used was the News Chronicle Songbook. It was a very old edition, quite possible also dating from the period. And one of the songs was called ‘Cherry Ripe‘:

Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Full and fair ones; come and buy.
If so be you ask me where
They do grow, I answer: There,
Where my Julia’s lips do smile;
There’s the land, or cherry-isle,
Whose plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow.

I remember learning this song, which I would play on the piano as my father sang in his rather fine high baritone.

Goodness, enough reminiscing. What on earth has this got to do with Tim Tams? Well, here we are with the second in the new range of Messina flavours. Choc Cherry Coconut. Now, when I think of dark chocolate, cherry and coconut, I don’t immediately think of ice cream. In fact, I have never ever seen choc cherry coconut ice cream. Is it even a Messina flavour?

You see, when I think of choc cherry coconut, I think of something else. Yes, you are thinking it too. (And here’s a question – does the name of that particular sweatmeat have anything to do with the seventeenth century English poet Robert Herrick?)

Anyway, the link between these Tim Tams and all this cherry tomfoolery is very marked. You see, these Tim Tams taste exactly like a Cherry Ripe bar. The filling even looks like it. They are more crunchy, and the chocolate ratio is greater, but to all intents and purposes they are the same. Well, I would venture perhaps ever better, as the biscuit texture and additional chocolate actually improve on the somewhat flabby original.

I like Cherry Ripe. So I liked these, and an going to give them an eight out of ten. Well done Arnott’s. If you don’t like Cherry Ripe, then steer clear.

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Tim Tam Black Forest

February 27, 2011 at 16:50 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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The Black Forest is a dense, fir tree forest in southern Germany. It is famous for two things; its giant earthworm and for its cake. The giant earthworm Lumbricus badensis, found only in the region, grows to lengths of sixty centimetres, and lives in burrows up to three metres deep. The cake, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is made with chocolate, cream, sour cherries and kirsch liqueur, and lives on 1970s dessert trolleys.

I think it is safe to say that Arnott’s took their inspiration for these biscuits from the cake, rather than the worms – indeed the pack notes that this is a ‘dessert inspired biscuit’, and includes a small picture of perhaps the actual dessert that was used as the muse.

As such, the regular chocolate cream filling of the regular Tim Tam is replaced with a combination of white cream and cherry flavoured fudge, with the fudge down the centre of the filling with cream either side. The pack artwork implies that this fudge is quite liquid, and spills out enticingly perhaps even in the manner of a liqueur. However, the cherry filling is actually quite chewy, with a consistency closer to soft toffee.

The major disappointment with these biscuits was the chocolate coating. The pack artwork suggests that it might be dark chocolate, which I thought would add a degree of sophistication. However, it is in fact milk chocolate – but oddly not the same chocolate that is used on the regular Tim Tam. It is I think slightly darker, and actually strikes me as being lower quality, although this may be an artefact of the rather sweet chewy filling interfering with the palate. The other disappointment was that there seemed to be no kirsch; a mandated ingredient in a Black Forest cake, according to the Deutschtortegesetzgebung. I suspect this is because of the outcry when Arnott’s last tried marketing an alcoholic Tim Tam, the Tim Tam Tia Maria, which was subsequently withdrawn from sale.

I’m not really sure about these; they do have a kind of retro appeal, which I suppose is the point. However, they just don’t quite work; something is lacking. (Indeed, two whole biscuits are lacking, as for some reason you only get nine in a pack, as opposed to eleven in a regular pack.) I’m going to give these a six out of ten.

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