Disclaimer: this may not be a definitive guide.
I thought a good use of my post-uni – pre-graduation time was to devise a ranking of biscuits based on their dunk-worthiness. In the avoidance of doubt, I didn’t do a Paul Hollywood and dunk a cake.
To compile the guide, I thought I would test two variables; length of the dunk, improvement created by a dunk.
For the length of dunk, biscuits were dunked in a cup of tea, and held for five seconds, pulled out, assessed and re-submerged. The end of the clock, came when the biscuit disintegrated. This did leave a delightful scene in the bottom of my mug.
Here you can find the times; those not a multiple of 5 was where the biscuit could be felt to fall in the mug or potentially fell on the way back in. In the interests in keeping this highly scientific the same hand was used for every dunk!
Bourbon cream: 22 seconds
Chocolate chip cookie: 15 seconds
Coconut cookie: 21 seconds
Chocolate crumble: 20 seconds
Romany cream: 31 seconds
Custard cream: 15 seconds
Shortcake: 26 seconds
Jam sandwich cream: 1 minute 15 seconds
Milk chocolate digestive: 30 seconds
Milk chocolate wheel – after three minutes this was still rock solid and I don’t have the patients to keep dunking!
Oat crunch cream: 35 seconds
Rich highland shorties: 33 seconds
From this, the biggest takeaway was, if your biscuit is covered in chocolate, you may get melted chocolate fingers before the biscuit crumbles. But also please be careful about how long you dunk for, as no one enjoys spooning out their biscuit.
The second aspect was the taste test, again in an effort to be highly scientific, a second taster was used to provide a balanced opinion. However, some biscuits were not in high enough supply in the variety pack to let all biscuits be taste tested by both participants. Blame the supermarket!
The first biscuit is again the bourbon, contrary to popular opinion I’m not a huge fan of the bourbon cream. Taste test results were a mixed bag, both agreed it was worthy of a 4, to begin with, one, however, thought dunking made it a 6/10, the other down to a three. From this, the conclusion is to try for yourself.
Next, we have a chocolate chip cookie. It should be noted this is the supermarket selection version and not the well-known brand – which is a firm favourite of mine. Taster 1 felt that the biscuit was worth a three out of ten, both before and after dunking. Taster 2, however, thought the dunk improved it from a 6 to a 7. Neither taster provided a dramatic change in score – results inconclusive.
Biscuit three was the coconut cookie. Probably not one I would usually opt for in a biscuit tin, however, this biscuit has a good crunch and was better than expected. Again taster 1 did not change their score based on dunking, but it did receive a high 8. Taster 2 felt the dunk weakened the biscuit and took it from a 7 to a 6.
The chocolate crumble was a disappointing biscuit. Although, kudos for the accurate name as it disintegrated on biting. Both tasters gave it a 2 before dunking but diverged to give it a 1 and a 3 after dunking. The biggest takeaway for this biscuit is simple. Don’t eat it, dunked or not.
Romany cream, which is similar to the Oreo could only be tasted by one taster. It did not receive high marks. Going from a 2 to a 1 when dunked. Again, it may be the case that the supermarket knock off variety has let this biscuit down.
Moving on to the custard cream – a biscuit that might be best eaten when split into two and the filling scraped off. This, however, was not how this taste test works. Both tasters rated this one a 6 out of ten, to begin with. Dunking had no effect on the first taster’s score but saw taster 2 drop it to a 4. The most dramatic change of the day!
The shortcake, much like a good shortbread, but without the sugar dusted on top. This received a middle of the road 5/10 both before and after dunking for taster 2. Taster 1 was less impressed and gave it a 4, dropping to a 3 after dunking.
Jam sandwich cream – again just the one taster. This would usually be the biscuit I’d jump for in a selection pack. This scored an impressive 8 before dunking, slipping to 7 post dunk.
The milk chocolate digestive was another disappointment. I have tried supermarket own brand of these and have not been able to notice a difference. This selection pack was different and not for the better. Scores on the doors? 3 before 4 after the dunk.
Milk chocolate dunk might have been able to hang out in tea for the longest, but it might hang out in the packet for a long time too. Both tasters rated it a 2 before dunking, taster 1 didn’t change their mind on the dunk, taster 2 boosted it to a 3.
Oat crunch cream another biscuit reserved for just one taster. This biscuit scored a consistent 5 both with a dunk and without.
The rich Highland shorties by this point, sugar levels were high but like the troopers we are, we endured another mediocre biscuit. Taster 2 gave it a 5 across the board. Taster 1, however, bumped it to a 5 from a 4 after dunking.
This guide has shown me more than anything, not to expect the creme de la creme of biscuits in a 2 quid variety pack. The answer on whether to dunk them or not has not really been solved either. I will continue to dunk my biscuits in my tea and enjoy them, but I will make sure the biscuits taste good when not dunked too!
Also shout out to my second taster, who has informed me he never wants to eat another biscuit again!