Arnott’s Dark Choc and Sticky Raspberry Tim Tam Slam

April 1, 2019 at 16:58 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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tim tam slam cherry biscuitSo today, we move on to the next in the Tim Tam Slam range – Dark Choc and Sticky Raspberry Flavour. They are certainly going to town with the long names for this range – it causes all kinds of problems with the page title going onto two lines. I must remind Arnott’s to avoid this in future.

If you don’t know what a Tim Tam Slam is, then you should read my post about the Choc Hazelnut and Gooey Caramel Flavour. I’m not going to repeat it here. Hopefully since them you have been practicing, and can undertake The Slam with aplomb.

tim tam cherryI was immediately hopeful about this flavour. Dark Chocolate is always a cut above milk, in my humble opinion. But then I was also somewhat suspicious about the ‘Choc’. ‘Choc’ can mean some sort of fake chocolate, rather than the normal high quality chocolate that Arnott’s for the most part use (with the execrable Tim Tam White being the dishonourable exception). Thankfully here real chocolate is in evidence; I presume that with the already inflated character count in the name there really wasn’t room on the pack for ‘Chocolate’.

Once again, I didn’t feel these slammed any differently or better than regular Tim Tams, but they were actually quite nice. Bit of a tang to the raspberry, nice rich chocolate. I also quite liked the dual-textured filling – the raspberry creme contrasted with the softer jam.

These are pretty good. I’m going to give them a seven out of ten. Just one more flavour to go – will it continue to improve, I wonder?

Tim Tam Raspberry Choc

November 11, 2015 at 19:24 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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tim tam choc raspberry packWell, somehow this one slipped through the net. Apparently it was created for Valentines Day back in February, but I only just came across it. It’s another Zumbo flavour, and I have no doubt that it came about as a direct result of this very blog. You see, when I looked at the previous Zumbo attempt at a raspberry Tim Tam, I noted that, based as it was on the exceptionally ordinary Tim Tam White, it was never going to amount to very much. An improvement, yes, but with such an unprepossessing foundation it was never going to be a classic. I’ve also previously noted that the Tim Tam Dark is the best Tim Tam. No, I’m not going to argue the point. If you disagree, you are wrong.

Evidently Mr Zumbo has been reading this, put two and two together, and made  – well, we’ll see how much in a little while.

tim tam raspberry choc biscuitThe Tim Tam Raspbery Choc, you see, is made with that fabulous rich, moreish Arnott’s dark chocolate. This puts it firmly on the path to success from the outset. I suspect that Mr Zumbo has also tweaked the filling, as it has a slightly more scented, aromatic quality – almost like a liqueur.

The net result is a smooth, satisfying and decidedly grown-up Tim Tam. Which I am shamelessly going to take all the credit for. In this case, then, putting two and two together comes out with a solid nine out of ten for the Tim Tam Raspberry Choc. Good stuff.

Tim Tam Raspberry White Choc

May 1, 2014 at 14:34 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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tim tam raspberry white choc biscuit  Choc. Four letters to strike fear into the heart of the biscuit aficionado. Four little letters that spell ‘disappointment’. Because, you see, ‘choc’ is what legal eagles insist biscuit marketers write when the biscuit does not contain any chocolate, merely flavoured vegetable fat. But somehow ‘Raspberry & flavoured vegetable fat’ does not have the same ring to it.

Now, I have no doubt the pedants will jump in here, making all sorts of claims about white chocolate not being chocolate in any case, and that cocoa butter is a vegetable fat, so all chocolate can be called flavoured vegetable fat. Well, hurrah for all you Wikipedia readers. All the rest of you need to know is that there is no chocolate in ‘choc’, and is best avoided.*

tim tam raspberry white choc biscuit 2For all that, what are these new Tim Tams? Well, they are another in the range ‘by Adriano Zumbo’, and consist of a white choc Tim Tam with the filling exchanged for a lurid red raspberry variety.

And that filling really is lurid. I wondered if the pack artwork was exaggerated on this point, but if anything the actual biscuits feature an even brighter-hued interior than depicted, as if biting into them inflicts some kind of wound.

tim tam raspberry white choc biscuit insideSo how do they taste? Well, I have to be honest and say ‘better than I expected’. If Adriano Zumbo set out to improve the worst Tim Tam ever made, he succeeded brilliantly, as these are quite chompable. But if he set out to make something truly great, well, he failed. These are not bad; they pass the time and are not an embarrassment. But they are, at best, a mediocre example of the Tim Tam genre.

I’m going to give these a six out of ten.

*The exception that proves this rule is, of course, the Wagon Wheel, a glory of choc that defies all known science.

Raspberry Shortcake

November 12, 2010 at 10:22 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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One of the things I like about Arnott’s is that they don’t flog an idea to death. Having introduced a Raspberry Shortcake, many other lesser companies would have gone on to produce strawberry, apricot, chocolate and tropical mango shortcakes. Arnott’s, however, are content to stick to just classic raspberry.

The biscuit appears to consists of two shortcake biscuits sandwiched together with jam. However, if that’s what you thought you would be mistaken. It’s not jam that sandwiches the two biscuits together. Oh no; it’s fun. Yes folks, that’s right; as the strapline on the pack proudly proclaims: ‘Raspberry Flavoured Fun in a Shortcake Biscuit‘.

The top biscuit has a hole in it, allowing the fun to peep out somewhat in the manner of a Jammie Dodger. There;s something about this that just makes you want to press your index finger into the hole, and then examine your fingerprint. If you see a fingerprint in the fun before you start, then I’d say that was cause for concern.

The shortcake itself is quite soft and crumbly, which immediately alerts you to the fact this is a wholly different beast tot he aforementioned Jammie Dodger. The fun lacks a really distinctive raspberry flavour, although this could be because it is overwhelmingly made from apple. Only 1.8% of the fun content is raspberry.

So just how much fun are they? They are quite pleasant, but I’m not sure they are really dance-around-the-room fun. That said, the soft shortcake is quite moreish and it’s quite easy to chomp through half a pack without really realising it. I’d give these a six out of ten.

Milk Chocolate Royal

September 7, 2010 at 08:24 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Some time ago we looked at the dark chocolate Royal, a biscuit I spoke highly of, and gave a nine out of ten. I did in that article counsel against the milk chocolate ones, but a friend bought me a packet anyway, so I thought I’d take a look at them.

I have to say, I was deeply shocked, and to explain why I have to admit to something. When I wrote my dark chocolate Royal review, I had never had a milk chocolate one. You could therefore quire legitimately call me to task for recommending the dark ones over the milk-  how could I make such a recommendation, you might ask, if I had never actually tasted both varieties?  It’s a good question; however one that is ultimately moot as the dark ones are much better –  much much better in fact, as we shall see.

Back to the matter at hand; why was I so shocked? Well, I had naively imagined that the milk chocolate version differed from the plain chocolate version in chocolate coating alone. How wrong I was! The milk chocolate version is a completely different beast. It has a thin layer of raspberry (or possibly strawberry, or perhaps just ‘red’) jam  between the biscuit base and the mallow, and the mallow itself is pink. The pack itself gives little indication that this is the case; the artwork does depict this, but this is easy to miss, and indeed the pinkness of the mallow is much more pronounced in real life than on the pack. But there is nothing in the description on the pack that mentions the addition of jam.

So what does this do to the taste of the milk chocolate Royal? Well, it exacerbates the sweetness of the whole thing. This is further enhanced by the milk chocolate begin sweeter (the cause of my initial reservations) and just makes the whole thing too sweet, and somewhat over-engineered.

So in summary, I stand by my original conclusion. Go for the dark chocolate Royal, and avoid these. They are way too sweet to enjoy properly; after just one or too you have overloaded on sweetness and can start feeling bilious. And what use is a biscuit that you can only eat one or two of in one sitting? These merit only a three out of ten.

Iced VoVo

March 24, 2010 at 21:10 | Posted in biscuits | 8 Comments
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A little while ago, I looked at the Scotch Finger, an Aussie classic. The Iced VoVo is perhaps even more of a classic than that, and I was prompted to take a look at it by @gascrank.

It was introduced in 1906; whether there ever was a non-iced version (called, one would imagine, the  ‘VoVo’, is unclear. It still crops up in unexpected places; for example Australian Prime  Minister Kevin Rudd mentioned them in his 2007 election victory speech. There is also a large pointillist picture of an Iced VoVo on the wall of Mrs Chillikebab’s gynaecologist; this took on an even more peculiar aspect when I read a story of someone who refused to eat them as ‘they look like female genitalia’.

So what is this at once most staid yet racy biscuit? It consists of a relatively soft biscuit base that is topped with fairly thick fondant icing, with a strip of raspberry jam down the middle. It is then liberally dusted with dessicated coconut. The raspberry jam does actually contain raspberries, too. The back of the biscuit is decorated with a swirly design with ‘ARNOTT-‘ in the middle written in a circle; the position of the hyphen makes it look (to me at least) like ‘ARNOTTI’, which confused me for a while.

There are 12 of them in a packet, arranged in a tray with four little stacks of three biscuits each. This means there are actually not many in a pack; indeed the whole pack only weighs 210g. Also, unlike most other Arnott’s varieties, the pack contains no strapline. No pithy description of the biscuit is offered; presumably because everyone knows what an Iced VoVo is.

However, it seems that actually very few people know what an iced VoVo is, because Iced VoVos seem to induce amnesia. For some reason, no-one can remember what they are like, and every time they have one they are surprised anew that they do not have a marshmallow topping. I must say, I don’t quite know why this is; they are after all called ‘Iced VoVos’, not ‘Mallow VoVos’, so the clue is there in the name – it’s icing, folks. Yet when you offer one to people, you usually get this reaction:

‘Oooh! An Iced VoVo! I haven’t had one of these for ages!’. [bites into it] ‘Oh no! That’s not right. They’ve changed it; the topping is all hard – it should be soft’.

I even got that reaction from an ex-Arnott’s employee, so it’s very prevalent. Perhaps this is why Arnott’s don’t put a strapline on the pack; the line ‘not a marshmallow biscuit’, whilst helpful information for most people (it would seem), would perhaps be a bit strange, and might even cost then sales.

To me, they are a rather fussy biscuit. There’s just too much going on there; the coconut,  jam and icing all fight for supremacy on the palate, whilst the rather soft base lacks any backbone to give texture. Still, they are an Australian classic, so I should be careful about criticising them whilst my application for Australian citizenship is still pending. I believe people have been deported for less.

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