Arnott’s Shortbread Cream – Mango and Cream

August 1, 2017 at 15:41 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Arnott’s have been busy again, with more ‘Twisted Faves’. This time they have taken the Shortbread Cream, and made it mango flavour.

I love mangoes. They herald the arrival of summer; sweet, luscious and decadent. I like all varieties, although I’m especially keen on the R2D2 variety (that’s not what it’s called, but I can never remember the real name), and the more recent ‘Kerrygold’. The junior Chillikebabs like them too, and we often share a mango after lunch, popping it our into a hedgehog to endless delight.

Mrs Chillikebab doesn’t like mangoes. She says they smell of wee. So how will these biscuits fare? Sweet and luscious, or lavatorial?

Sad to say, they don’t hit the mark. Mango is a tricky thing to do in a biscuit, as that fresh zinginess is pretty hard to recreate. It seems Arnott’s have fallen into the all too common trap of making something too sweet and cloying, without any bite or fragrance. You have to search quite hard to get much mango flavour from these; they are just a bit sickly, with a slightly artificial tang. Tellingly, when I put the packet out in the kitchen at work, there were three or four biscuits left at hometime. This is a rare occurrence, so these are not really doing it for anyone it seems.

Sorry Arnott’s. It’s a nice idea, and good on your for having a try, but these I’m afraid are only getting a three out of ten.

Farmbake Butter Shortbread

May 25, 2011 at 15:49 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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There’s something quite appealing to me about biscuits that come in bags. They are associated in my mind with a sort of devil-may-care eat-as-many-as-you-like attitude, possibly because when I was small my parent used to sometimes buy large bags of broken biscuits from the market, and you had to eat them quickly as they were usually on the verge of going stale. You don’t see broken biscuits at the market any more for some reason; markets nowadays seem to be more about hideous china cups and retro (meaning ‘broken’) electrical goods.

These butter shortbread are made with 14% butter, and are the same size as the Choc Chip Cookies, at 45mm across. They are thicker though, especially in the centre as they are quite domed. You get a generous 28 biscuits in a packet, so can make yourself feel quite ill if you choose to eat a lot of them in one go. I can attest to this from experience.

Leaving aside the fact that when you hit biscuit number twenty all that butter sitting in your stomach makes you rather queasy these are really quite pleasant. Nice and crunchy with quite a rich flavour; although if I was to be picky I’d say the vegetable oil comes through just a bit too strongly – perhaps they could have done with slightly more butter?

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

Arno Shortbread

January 25, 2011 at 11:17 | Posted in biscuits | 2 Comments
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In case you didn’t realise it, Arnott’s have a Scottish heritage. Old Mr Arnott was a immigrant from Scotland who opened his first bakery in Australia in 1865, to provide pies and biscuits to the people of Newcastle, New South Wales.

This Scottish link is still very evident in the number of shortbread lines Arnott’s make – no less than five (Scotch Finger, Chocolate Scotch Finger, Shortbread Cream, Glengarry, and the Arno Shortbread). There’s a kind of pecking order with these biscuits that relates to the amount of butter used in the recipe. At the bottom of the pile in this respect is the Shortbread Cream, with not much butter at all (but the cream tries to make up for that). Then comes the iconic Scotch Finger, with some butter. Next is the Arno Shortbread, which has quite a lot of butter, but also still contains some vegetable oil. And finally at the top of the heap is the Glengarry, which is made only with butter.

The Arno Shortbread, then, is pitched towards the premium end of the market. So how does it compare to the iconic (and much cheaper) Scotch Finger? Well, it is much crumblier, and evidently cooked to a higher bake. It has a bobbly raised surface that looks quite attractive. And it does have a quite distinct buttery taste; it doesn’t quite transport you to a windswept heathery moor replete with loner piper, but it is a tasty biscuit. The high bake means it doesn’t dunk terrifically well (this job is best left to the Scotch Finger), but it does make a nice change.

However, I do wonder about this biscuit. It’s kind of one of those orphan lines that kind of isn’t anything. It’s not a Scotch Finger, delivering the goods every day. And it’s not a Glengarry, catering to the premium end of the market. It just feels a bit unnecessary. I suspect consumers feel the same, as it was definitely the case that this line was not moving very fast in my local supermarket, as evidenced by the outdated ‘simple goodness’ tag (this was updated to ‘Natural Ingredients’ some months ago, and this was the only line in the store for which the new packaging apparently had not filtered through). Not, of course, that I would suggest that Arnott’s cull this line. Oh no, we love the plethora of varieties in the Arnott’s stable. In fact, I suggest you go out and buy some Arno Shortbread immediately, to keep the sales up and help preserve this biscuit!

I’d give this a seven-and-a-half out of ten.

Shortbread cream

December 2, 2010 at 17:49 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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The Shortbread Cream. A biscuit that harks back to Arnott’s Scottish heritage, consisting of two shortbread biscuits (baked with a mixture of butter and vegetable oil) sandwiched together with vanilla flavoured cream.

The biscuits have an attractive ridged line down the centre which give them a sort of Art Deco feel, and the cream filling really does have a scalloped edge as depicted on the packet. They were first introduced in 1908, so clearly the Arnott’s biscuit designers were ahead of their time with the Art Deco thing.

They are made to an Arnott’s family recipe, and seem to be a very popular line. You can even buy then on, although only new, rather than second hand – although the out of date packet design shown in the picture does not inspire confidence that they are going to be fresh.

They are quite nice; the shortbread crumbles nicely and melts in the mouth, and the cream filling adds a nice touch of indulgence. Yes, they are nice, but they aren’t great. There is not quite enough butter compared to vegetable oil, so they are a bit, erm, oily. And the cream filling doesn’t really live up to it’s billing as ‘vanilla cream’; it could do with rather more vanilla.

Perhaps that’s being churlish; they are quite good and it’s quite easy to chomp through most of the packet in one sitting. I’d give these a seven out of ten.


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