• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

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  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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Gorillas in the Biscuit

When my friends and I were in the middle of our university finals, we found there were two sure-fire ways of cheering ourselves up (my housemates were all accountants, which meant it took a lot to cheer them up during their exams). The first was to dress up as gorillas and go for a little walk through the streets of Exeter, visiting friends and giving them frights. Sometimes we would just dress up as gorillas and sit around in the house, chuckling all the while at our incredible inventiveness.

But sometimes the gorilla suits were being used to chase men dressed up as bananas through London, and sometimes we needed something even more powerful to lift our spirits. And that’s where the biscuit cake came in.

This is extreme biscuit-eating. It’s where all the crazy biscuit people end up. In fact, it is the very best thing that you can do with a packet of chocolate biscuits. We used to make this in enormous quantities, filling huge lasagne dishes with the mixture, and devouring it with the enthusiasm you will only find in a house of six slightly poor female students. As supplies dwindled, we would start chipping away at the cake until small cliff stacks of the stuff remained, waiting for one person to admit defeat and gobble them up.

I loved this cake so much that I served it at both my 21st birthday celebrations and my wedding (the day before I got married, my chief bridesmaid found me in the kitchen, frantically melting chocolate). It is probably one of the more unhealthy biscuit recipes you can make, and if you’re living on a student budget, it is perfect as the cheaper the ingredients, the better it tastes. Best eaten wearing a gorilla costume.

Serves: (not as many people as you would imagine as everyone eats it in such enormous portions)

500g milk chocolate (the really cheap own-brand stuff is best)

50ml milk

125g butter

250g chocolate biscuits (yep, the cheapest ones again)

8 packets white chocolate buttons

100g white chocolate

A dash of very unhealthy food colouring for the top

  1. Break milk chocolate into pieces and place in a pan with enough milk to cover the bottom. Melt over a low heat, then stir in the butter and add more milk until the mixture is silky.
  2. Set the pan aside to cool for half an hour or so. In the meantime, break the biscuits into chunks, and mix with chocolate buttons. And grease the cake tin you are putting it in. If the cake tin doesn’t have a bottom that falls out, line with greaseproof paper if you want to have any hope of getting the thing out of the tin.
  3. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough not to melt a chocolate button, pour it into the cake tin and mix the chocolate digestives and buttons in. Then whack in the freezer for three hours, and hey presto! You’ve got the yummiest cake ever.
  4. When I make biscuit cake, I like to make an outrageous topping. It normally involves a very small drop of red food colouring into some melted white chocolate, and, if I have a lot of time, using a clean paintbrush to make a pretty picture.

3 Responses

  1. Genre-straddling, between biscuit and cake is usually discouraged in these pages but I think i’d like to make an exception. I may try this at the weekend (the biscuit cake, not the gorilla suit)

  2. Oh my goodness, who knew accounting students were so freakin’ nuts! I love it, just love it though I’d eat it all myself and that would be bad. Love the wedding cake idea though, if only I wasn’t married…..damn

  3. Another student house biscuitcake is the one where you dip ginger biscuits in sherry and then sandwich them together to form a log with cream whipped up with more sherry. Cut slices at an angle to form a stripey biscuit/cream/biscuit/cream gooey slice. I always rather liked this until I made one for a house party and woke up hungover the next morning to find it untouched except for the various cigarette butts stubbed out on it. 😦

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