Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I established today that Hob Nobs are pretty good biscuits for dunking. I can carry out a 'hover' dunk for approximately 11seconds before it absorbs too much of the hot drink and annoyingly plops off into the deep below.

This got me thinking...A Biscuit Dunk-ability Test.

Jammie Dodgers - Rating 7/10. They're quite good. Thsi is due to the sandwich configuration is rigid. The jam/cream interface between provides a degree of flexibility and adhesion - preventing the 'soggified' or 'dunked' biscuit sections from disintegration.

Chocolate Hob Nobs - Rating 8/10. More dunk stable than the uncovered variety. The Hob Nob composite (with or without chocolate) is more stable than say a 'Nice' biscuit. The ingredients in the Nice type are fine and compared to the grain reinforced structure of the Hob Nob which are frail and can only be safely dunked by true experts or reckless dunkers.

Shortbread Finger - Rating 8/10. Highly compressed shortbread fingers are brilliant, but the better the quality of the shortbread, the less hardy they are with respect to tea exposure.

Sponge Finger - Rating 1/10. The increase in mass is way beyond its strength (once moistened). A dunking diasaster therefore is imminent and can not be prevented.

Wagon Wheels - Not Rated - I have a conspiracy theory about wagon wheels. We have been slowly conned. Over the years, the manufacturers have been steadily decreasing the size.

Custard creams - just albino bourbons...so Harry Hill once said.

Rich Tea - Rating 4/10. A very low dunk-ability factor. The possibility of breakoff is very high, resulting in the enivitable wet stain.

Ginger Nuts - Rating 9/10. Coffee is better than tea. Once the prescribed time has elapsed rigidity is maintained and the sucking can begin. The result is a strange tingling sensation on the tongue, livening up an average cup of coffee.

Kit-Kat - Rating 6/10. You CAN dunk a Kit Kat, but the problem lies with its construction of 4 or 2 fingers. This design is held together with a thick web of chocolate and not a biscuit or wafer lattice. This is suceptible to a variation in structural integrity across the whole jointline. If Kit Kats are divided into individual fingers they are then dunkable and withstand some serious dunkage without collapse.

Why don't packaged biscuits have a dunking factor clearly marked on the packaging to assist the novice dunker?

Having researched this further, I found that sugar is very soluble in hot water so as a rule, the higher the sugar content the less robust the super-structure of the confection. Exposure of a sugar rich biscuit to hot water causes the sugar to disolve out of the cured dough matrix and weakens the flour-based lattice. Result? - Severe biscuit collapse. Osmosis occurs, the biscuit taking on sugar until it matches the concentration of sugar in the tea. This causes a supersaturated condition, the boundaries between biscuit and tea become fuzzy - Heisenberg's uncertain-tea principle explains this nicely. Upon researching this subject further, I found this... http://www.teadunking.co.uk

What has this taught me? Only that I'm bored senseless and obviously I'm not alone!

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