Tim Tam Three Bean

August 2, 2015 at 14:36 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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timtam3beanpackGoodness. Another new Tim Tam. They really are churning them out. But is it all quantity at the expense of quality?

The latest incarnation is ‘Three Bean’ – the three beans in question being vanilla, cocoa and coffee. Some years ago I used to drink coffee with a friend in a cafe called ‘Three Beans’. Rather good coffee it was too, and many a worlds wrong we set to rights over a short black.

Would this new range (exclusive to Woolworths, it appears), live up to those memories? Or is this going to be another Peanut Butter debacle?

A few years ago, I’d have been pretty prejudiced from the start. I never used to like the whole coffee / chocolate combo thing, but I have to say as I get older and mellower it is growing on me. I have become rather fond of those chocolate-covered coffee beans you can buy – or at last I was, until I found that after eating a handful of them (well, several handfuls really), I was unable to sleep for about a week. I am rather sensitive to caffeine, you see, but it never occurred to me that eating whole coffee beans was really just one massive stimulant boost.

timtam3beanbiscuitSo how does the Tim Tam Three Bean fare? Well, actually I thought it was rather good. Coffee taste was rich and authentic, the vanilla added a nice sweetness and the chocolate finished it off nicely. I ate rather a lot of these in one sitting quite late at night – and then wondered if I would be unable to sleep. Luckily I didn’t experience any insomnia, so the caffeine content I guess must be quite low.

I’m going to give these a solid seven out of ten, but it’s probably worth mentioning that they were not a 100% hit around the office – some people were not so keen, so caveat emptor and all that.

 

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Fun Sticks – Vanilla

May 14, 2013 at 11:01 | Posted in biscuits | 2 Comments
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Vanilla Fun Sticks PackYou may remember that some time ago I looked at the Choc Fun Stick. At the time I noted that there was also a vanilla variant – which I have finally got around to looking at.

You may also remember that, when looking at the Choc version, how struck I was by all the parallels to cigarettes – everything from the look to the packaging. Well, the vanilla version steps this up several notches. The thing just looks exactly like a roll-up. Indeed, it’s very reminiscent of a rather different kind of fun stick I remember from my college days. It’s quite uncanny. Frankly it rather puts me off them, but once I had taken the few obligatory imaginary puffs, I sampled it.

Vanilla Fun Stick ArnottsAs you’d expect, it’s very similar to it’s choc brethren. Quite sweet, but with a satisfyingly vanillary taste, free from the artificial tang that bedevils some cheap vanilla products. They are quite moreish, with a good crunch to them, and small enough to chomp away with abandon.

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

Tim Tam Double Choc Vanilla

March 22, 2013 at 19:49 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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chocvanillapackVery excitingly, the Tim Tam Bus came to Sydney the other week, down at Circular Quay. This is all part of the marketing activity for the new ‘treat pack’ size that has been recently launched – you will recall we already looked at the Choc Orange variant. I wasn’t able to spend as much time on the Tim Tam Bus as I would have liked, but I did note that the Choc Orange was not the only new flavour launched with the new range. Oh no. There was another one – the Double Choc Vanilla. For some reason this version has not found its way to my local supermarket, but I was subsequently able to track down a pack so that I can now reveal to you, dear readers, its innermost secrets.

But before I do that, I must get something off my chest. You see, I stumbled across the Tim Tam Bus quite by accident, but it turns out its arrival was not unnoted in the blogosphere. Indeed, apparently Arnott’s actually invited some bloggers to attend. Now, I’m a humble sort of a fellow, but, well, I do feel that having  ploughed through every variety of Arnott’s sweet (and a number of savoury) biscuit lines, showing my loyalty and sharing the Arnott’s love all over the internets, well, perhaps it’s not too much to ask for such an invitation? Hey ho. I guess it’s all down to numbers – because, sad to say, dear reader, there’s a good chance you will be the only person to read my blog today. Indeed, it’s quite possible you’ll be the only person to read it this week. And perhaps Arnott’s have brand alignment problems if they associate with a bicycling weirdo who revels in breaking the law. Unrequited love is, as they say, the purest form. So never fear, Arnott’s, I will stand by you. But I just wanted to say that. If that’s OK.

Choc Vanilla Tim TamSo, what does the Double Choc Vanilla Tim Tam taste like? The first thing to note is that the ‘double choc’ seems to be broadly synonymous with  ‘double coat‘. They have a nice thick chocolate coating, but I have to say it seems slightly less thick than the true double coat. (I’ll have to do a side-by side comparison to verify this.) Either way, it is the standard milk chocolate, and the vanilla creme is white in appearance.

And they actually taste pretty good. The vanilla is quite understated, and I reckon in a blind tasting a lot of people would mistake them for regular Tim Tams. Indeed, I had to surgically extract some of the creme from the centre of the biscuit to verify that it was indeed vanilla flavour. I don’t see this as a fault, though; it’s rather refreshing given that many of the flavoured Tim Tam varieties are so brash and full on. I liked these, and would rank them as at least as good as the Tim Tam Original. Perfect for a treat!

Custard Cream

March 7, 2011 at 11:13 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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The Custard Cream is a classic biscuit. Available everywhere, from every manufacturer, they have been around since Victorian times. According to the BBC, they are the UK’s favourite biscuit. They are definitely not Australia’s favourite biscuit, however – this honour belongs to the Tim Tam. Nevertheless, I’m sure Arnott’s sell quite a few Custard Creams, as they seem to have lots on the shelf at my local supermarket.

The first thing you notice is just how long the packet is. It’s a full thirty centimetres long, and because it is quite slender it feels even longer than it is.

The second thing you notice is the design on the biscuit. It follows the ISO standard Custard Cream template (part of the vanilla-flavoured products specification, ISO reference 3493), with a diamond in the centre with a pattern of lines ending in circular sworls radiating outwards. The words ‘Custard Cream’ are also present, along with an ‘A’ for ‘Arnott’s’.

They are quite crumbly, so care has to be taken when eating them as they can create a lot of crumbs. The two parts can easily be broken apart to reveal the vanilla-flavoured cream centre; however doing this is a real breach of etiquette and not recommended in polite company.

They taste like custard creams. Crumbly, sweet biscuits with a vanilla flavoured cream centre. There’s not much more to say about them really. They are quite nice – definitely one of the better varieties of custard creams, although the degree of international standardisation for custard creams means that there isn’t a huge variation between manufacturers.

A solid six out of ten, I think.

Delta Creams

March 1, 2010 at 16:21 | Posted in biscuits | 6 Comments
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The Delta Cream. A biscuit that we are all familiar with, and yet would rarely go out and buy a packet of. Indeed, I was a bit taken aback when I was given this pack; Delta Creams are, after all, those not-very-popular biscuits that get left at the end of the Cream Selection pack (usually along with the Orange Creams). Seeing a whole packet of them just seems, well, a bit odd somehow. Evidently enough people buy them to make it worthwhile to Arnott’s to package them up, and seeing as one of those packs arrived in my possession I thought it was worth looking at properly.

The first thing that struck me about the pack was the strap line for the biscuit. ‘Delicious Rich Vanilla Cream Filled Biscuits‘, it proclaims. Arnott’s are evidently pretty confident about these; they are going to be delicious. It says so on the pack.

The biscuits themselves consist of a pair of cocoa-flavoured biscuits sandwiched together with cream. The top of the biscuit is decorated with a fancy floral design, and has the word ‘DELTA’ emblazoned in the middle. The pack image suggests that the cream extends right to the very edge of the biscuit; this is not the case in the actual biscuit. The biscuit is 46mm across, whilst the blob of cream only has a diameter of 37mm. Today’s question (which, as usual, wins a pack of these biscuits): what is the average width of the cream-free border on the edge of the biscuit?

So – the final question. Are they delicious? Well, the biscuit part has only the merest hint of cocoa about it, but is very sweet tasting. The vanilla cream filling (and I note that the use of actual vanilla is not noted on the pack, although it could be the ingredient simply marked ‘flavour’) really does not taste of vanilla at all. It actually tastes of sugar. Perhaps there is the tiniest hint of some candy-like flavour in there; however it is very faint and has an artificial tang. Taken together, this really makes these biscuits extremely sweet, but without much flavour to balance out the sugaryness.

In terms of looks, these biscuits are rather similar to American Oreo cookies; unfortunately they also seem to be aiming to be in a similar style too – loaded with sugar, but light on any real depth or complexity. Definitely not one of the stars of Arnott’s range, these probably only merit about three out of ten.

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