Now the science of biscuit dunking is well understood thanks to the work of scientist Len Fisher. He even came up with a formula for biscuit dunking. But even without using Len’s formula the new biscuit stood up well in our tests. Here’s a round-by-round breakdown from WM Producer Tim Aviss;
In the first round the Rich Tea came up with a surprise win, beating the Malted Milk. There was also a shock exit for the Bourbon which came a cropper against the Custard Cream. In a heavyweight clash the Hob Nob narrowly defeated the chocolate covered Digestive. And in the final first round match the Ginger Nut failed to live up to high expectations by losing to the Jammie Dodger.
Onto the semi finals which saw the Rich Tea once again defy critics by demolishing the Custard Cream. And the early favourite the Hob Nob bowed out after another strong showing from the Jammie Dodger which went a full 1 minute 10 seconds before crumbling into the tea.
And so onto the big final, which, for the neutral, turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax. The Rich Tea, clearly showing signs of fatigue, managed just a few seconds before taking a tumble leaving the Jammie Dodger Victorious.
Then entered the monster biscuit from Worcester to take on our winner in the Champion of Champions bout. Both the Jammie Dodger and the Worcestershire Feast survived the first dunk, but moments after the second dip in the tea, the Dodger melted away.
So a victory for this new biscuit. But science says it’s not how long your biscuit lasts that’s important, it’s how it tastes.
Biscuits are basically starch held together by sugar. Dunking melts the sugar leading to a more intense sweetness but also leading to disintegration. At the same time the starch grains swell which temporarily helps to hold the dissolving biscuit together. If we return to the work of Len Fisher then his formula gives us the perfect dunk time for major biscuits; 3.5 seconds for hobnobs and ginger nuts and 8 seconds for digestives.
Further research shows you’re best to dunk at a very shallow, almost flat, angle and that for the best flavour abandon hot drinks altogether and go for chocolate milk. Let me know how you get on if you decide to do further research yourself
A relatively new addition to the British biscuit barrel (we’re a fiercely traditional bunch), the world’s best-selling biscuit made the jump across the pond and into our beloved brews in the 2000s. Biscuit purists, however are seeing this “twist, lick and dunk” cocoa and cream product as an unwanted invader, threatening the classics we all know and love. But what are the greatest dunkables to be found in the UK? Flip through our top 10 selections!
9 Rich tea biscuits
Terry Wogan has previously proclaimed rich teas to be the “Lord of all Biscuits”. Terry may have good taste, but when it comes to dunking they’re soggier than the worst competition at the Eurovision song contest. The optimal dunking time is less than one second. If you’re lucky.
8 Chocolate Hobnobs
Chocolate Hobnobs are a delicious, and majestically named, addition to the barrel. However like rich teas, they’re not without their malfunctions. The chocolate is destined to stick to your fingers as you dunk and the sheer brittleness of the submerged Hobnob will leave an entire harvest in the bottom of your trusty mug. But you can’t blame them – that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
7 Raspberry creams
While Jammie Dodgers may have cornered the market, the real action will always remain in raspberry creams thanks to the spellbinding friendship of fake jam and exceptionally sweet cream. The dunking factor is only met with minor problems as the cream melts and the jam goes syrupy – if timed right the whole experience becomes a celebration in your mouth.
In days to come when children are raised on tea, instead of milk, this will be their preferred snack. The bourbon is what the inferior Oreo knocked off with its dark chocolate sandwich layers and fondant filling. An excellent dunker with true staying power it can’t be denied – it’s only real flaw is that it’s simply too popular to find a niche.
5 Custard creams
The bourbon and the custard cream are brothers in arms – if you like one, you’re bound to like the other. The custard variety manages to narrowly overshadow its friendly rival due to the sweeter nature of its filling and more compact size, meaning the average dunker can enjoy more excursions to the biscuit barrel.
4 Fox’s Butter Crinkles
Sometimes you just need a named brand to get the job done. What Fox’s have done is removed all of the elements that can so easily go wrong in a good biscuit when it’s dunked – fondant fillings, flimsy construction, nuts and the most controversial of all, chocolate. You’re left with a true pioneer – a simple, yet distinctly delicious creation. Unfortunately it isn’t esteeemed enough to be regarded as the classic that it so rightly has become in the hearts of biscuit connoisseurs.
3 Chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies were a disaster waiting to happen. They had annoying little clumps of chocolate that always manage to smudge onto your fingers (and in turn your cup and your face, marring your day) and some even add sharp nuts to the mix. God help us, some wildcards contain even more chocolate. But somehow it all comes together when the biscuit gets submerged. The chocolate mixes brilliantly with the cookie itself to a point of perfection and just when you think this is getting too soggy, the optional nut pieces retain their hard texture. A design marvel.
2 Ginger nuts
Ginger nuts are a cultural phenomenon. They’re one of the few biscuits in the world which, after dunking, retain all of their consistency and flavour. Gone is the fear of the fragile biscuit, hinging its way into oblivion over your steaming miniature caldron of tea. Ginger nuts are the war horses of the biscuit world.
It had to be. If they were around at the time, digestives would have survived the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs to reign head and shoulders above the competition to this day. If the original, stripped down variety doesn’t brew up a storm don’t worry there are many variations to be had and they’re all good. Chocolate, dark chocolate and – most revolutionary – the chocolate caramel all hit the spot, but beware they do get messy.