Express & Star

The Big Debate: What is the best biscuit for dunking?

Today is National Tea Day so we’re discussing what is the best biscuit to dunk in a cuppa? Heather Large and Matt Panter share their views.....

Chocolate biscuits work best with coffee, argues Heather

Heather Large: Try a custard cream

When you want an afternoon treat, you can’t beat a biscuit with your cup of tea or coffee.

They are the perfect duo and dunking is a much-loved British tradition that most of us have grown up with.

Recent research by biscuit baker McVitie’s revealed that 80 per cent of us are self-confessed dunkers.

For me, the best biscuit to have with tea is the custard cream because I think the sweet taste of the cream goes really well with tea.

It can also be dunked quite a few times before it starts to break up and sinks to the bottom of the mug.

However, as someone who almost always chooses coffee over tea, I’m more likely to be dunking a biscuit in my Nescafé than in my Tetley. And my usual go-too sweet treat to accompany my caffeine-hit has to be something with chocolate.

You can’t beat a chocolate chip cookie or a chocolate digestive with coffee. I wouldn’t say no to a bourbon either. I love a mocha and love the combination of the melted chocolate and coffee.

Anything containing almonds in also a winner. Biscotti are great dunked in coffee although I find the process has to be repeated many times before the biscuit is soft enough for me to eat.

But it’s always worth the wait.

Matt Panter: Just gotta be a rich tea

I’d like to say I am a risk taker but nothing would be further from the truth.

However, when it comes to dunking a biscuit in a cup of tea, I can be a real maverick.

I like to push it to the limit when it comes to the length of time the biscuit stays in the cup, increasing the danger of it falling into the depths of the mug, due to a poor dunking technique. In order to make sure you don’t have a biscuit-dunking mishap the choice has to, for me, be the humble rich tea.

You know where you stand with a rich tea. It’s plain and so you can get a grasp of how much the tea, or coffee, is being absorbed.

With a digestive or a Hob Nob, for example, it’s harder to get the clear picture of the state of play with the biscuit and it can suddenly crumble, leaving it sinking to the bottom.

Rich tea biscuits are not as sturdy as, say, a ginger biscuit, and certainly not compared to shortbread but if you get it to the perfect point of absorption – soft but not too soggy – you are in for a treat.

And because it is a plain biscuit, when you dip it in your hot drink, it absorbs some of the flavour of that drink too. Pop a party ring, chocolate digestive or custard cream in and you are dealing with too many flavours and textures at one time.

The only time I sway away from rich tea in the dunking stakes is when it comes to drinking cold milk. You can’t beat a choc-chip cookie in that case but, overall, rich tea rules!

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