I know what you’re thinking:
This blog post is genius.
And you’d be right.
Not only do I get to play around with some indoor still life photography, I also get to eat a tonne of awesome biscuits.
And as if that’s not enough, I get to put them on my expenses too.
Yes, I am a genius.
But enough about me. This post is about the biscuits.
You’re probably wondering why I put an arbitrary calorie count on the biscuits in this article. Well, it’s quite simple.
I am a glutinous pig who binge-eats biscuits like they’re in short supply.
I eat my biscuits four-at-a-time by dunking them in my tea or coffee, so I try to keep my intake below 200kcal in order to maintain a modicum of control over my expanding waistline.
Another thing about the biscuits featured in this article is that they all cost £1 or less. Most of them were purchased from Poundland, but some came from Bargain Buys or Asda.
I’ve offered my thoughts on each individual biscuit, then ranked them at the bottom. Let me know if you agree with me.
A small legal point – this article is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies featured, and these are my individual opinions.
Let’s get started.
These are Asda’s own-brand, but I personally can’t differentiate between them and any other brand, so they’re easy to find wherever you shop. They stand up well in tea and coffee – you’ll very rarely find one that breaks off mid-dunk, though they do impact on the taste of the hot drink so that’s something to consider.
They’re easy to find and 46 calories per biscuit they’re a really satisfying way to spend my allocation. You never feel like you’ve been short-changed by a ginger biscuit.
If you’ve ever bought a coffee from a swanky independent coffee shop, you’ll be familiar with the Lotus biscuit. It usually comes in a plastic red and white transparent packet on the side of the saucer, and it’s inherent elegance adds a feeling of sophistication to your overpriced coffee.
That is, until you see you can get a massive packet of them for £1 from pretty much any mainstream supermarket.
Don’t get me wrong though – I LOVE Lotus biscuits. It has a real richness to it that belies it’s 37 calories, and it means I can eat five of these and still have space for a carrot (yeah right) within my 200 calorie allocation. Partnered with a nice rich coffee, there’s no doubt this is a perfect mid-afternoon biscuit. Oh, and it’s vegan too.
Biscoff Lotus with Belgian Chocolate
Now I wasn’t planning on including these in my blog, but when I saw them in Poundland I shrieked with joy and felt compelled to buy these as a duty to you, dear reader.
My, was I disappointed. This biscuit is the perfect example of why you should not try to build on perfection.
Amazingly, this chocolate version is still only 37 calories. However, this has been maintained by significantly slimming down the biscuit. The problem is twofold: Firstly, the layer of Belgian Chocolate is so thin that you can’t really taste it. The biscuit is so rich anyway that unless you rub the chocolate against your tongue, you barely notice it in your mouth. Secondly, the reduced size of the biscuit means that you can’t make out the unique flavour that makes a Lotus biscuit what it is. The upshot of all of this is that ultimately this just tastes like a mouthful of tasteless brown sugar. That’s not the worst part though – when I dared to dunk it, it lost all taste completely.
Stick to what you know, Biscoff.
Belvita Breakfast – Milk & Cereals
I still laugh in the face of the suggestion that any biscuit can be considered a breakfast meal. It is fantastic marketing though, and as a biscuit addict I don’t need much justification for adding them to any meal so let’s go with it.
I could make a comment on the timed carb release and all that stuff they talk about in the adverts, but let’s be honest, there are only three things I really care about here: taste, texture, and dunking durability.
It could be argued that this one falls down on the taste test. There’s no arguing that it’s a little bland, but the lack of a potent sugar hit at least fools me into not feeling so guilty about eating biscuits for breakfast. The texture gives a satisfying crunch as well, so no complaints there. Where this biscuit really stands out though, is both in its dunking durability, and its impact on your drink.
This biscuit stands tall for a long while in my morning cuppa. On the rare occasions that part of the biscuit has fallen off into my tea, its impressive structure means that there is usually time for me grab a tea spoon and rescue it before it ruins the bottom of my cup.
This one comes in at 54 calories per biscuit, and they come in pre-packaged bags of four so obviously you have to eat them all in one sitting (it’s the law, in case you’re wondering). That means it’s slightly over my 200 calorie limit, but then you do get a good size, texture, and a satisfying crunch, so it’s still worth considering.
This one came a little out of leftfield. It wasn’t on my radar until I spotted it in Poundland, and even then I wasn’t intending to buy it until I caught sight of the nutrition information on the packet. Amazingly for such a sturdy, chocolatey biscuit, the packet tells me that a serving of two biscuits comes in at 89 calories – or 44.5 calories each.
You don’t get a huge number of biscuits in these packets (12) but the quality of the chocolate and the dunking durability means I’ll definitely be picking some more of these up in the future. The chocolate melts perfectly when dunked in tea, meaning you can lick it off and then enjoy the Rich Tea-like biscuit separately. This feels like a premium biscuit, as well as being relatively light, so this is a welcome new addition to my regular shop.
Ah, here we are. The biscuit that prompted this article. An impulse buy at just 67p from Bargain Buys, I really wasn’t expecting much.
These incredibly tasty shortbread biscuits come in at just 41 calories each, and because they’re called Sports, that means they’re healthy, right? It’s an amazing achievement which further compounds my theory that Fox’s really are the king of biscuits.
Fox’s Sports really do have everything – low calorie content, a sugary hit that’s not too rich, a relatively dunk-resistant structure, and a luxurious melt-in-your-mouth taste. They’re also the perfect biscuit to crumble and put with ice-cream and fruit (making them even healthier) on a hot summer day.
McVities Digestives Twists – Chocolate Chip and Caramel Bits
I bought these for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Anything caramel-flavoured will always catch my attention, and even more so when they’re only 45 calories each. I think these are actually £1.29 now, though they were on special offer at £1 when I first bought them. That said, it’s quite a big pack so I didn’t feel short-changed.
The first thing you notice is that they’re slightly thinner than your regular digestive. I’m guessing this is because the caramel flavour is quite subtle and it’s very possible it would have got lost completely in a full size digestive biscuit. They definitely have a caramel-ly sweetness to them, but personally I found it a little underwhelming.
In terms of structure they’re quite brittle. They break very easily in your hand, and thus melt and dissolve into a cup of tea very quickly.
These were nice for a change, but given that there are more satisfying biscuits on this list that cost a fair bit less, I’ll probably only buy them for a bit of variation every now and then. There’s also a coconut version that I haven’t tried, so maybe I’ll give them a go sometime.
And finally… no, don’t go yet, this isn’t as black and white as you think!
Another biscuit that you can get from any supermarket, and one that tends not to have a huge amount of variance between brand names.
This might surprise you given the other types of biscuit on this list, but Rich Tea will always come in near the top in my opinion. For me, they are the deserving sidekick to the archetypal British cuppa.
Yes, they’re not fancy, they don’t scream luxury, they don’t have any bells and whistles, and they’re probably not going to be the ones you instinctively go for when you raid grandma’s pantry. But – and this is an important but – in terms of structure, taste, and dunking durability, they’re pretty much unbeatable.
You can count the number of seconds before the biscuit bends and still have time to get it up to your mouth. You can experience the satisfying crunch no matter how little is left after the biscuit after dunking. And you know damn well that you’re going to get a sweet, sugary hit that isn’t too overpowering, meaning you can demolish these between meals without ruining your appetite.
And all this in a perfectly-sized, round biscuit, for just 38 calories.
Here are my rankings. I decided on these by ranking each biscuit on three factors: taste, dunking durability, and calorie content. Taste and durability are marked out of ten, while calorie content scores are created by subtracting the calorie content of the biscuit from 50.
I’m sure there are other methods you could use – for instance checking the amount of sugar in each biscuit – but hey, I just wanted to write about biscuits. If you’re here for nutrition information you’re in the wrong place.
Anyway, here is the final table:
|Biscoff Lotus Milk Chocolate||37||13||4||2||19|
|McVitie’s Digestive Twists||45||5||6||6||17|
|Belvita Breakfast Milk & Cereals||54||-4||6||9||11|
Who’d have thought it, eh? The humble Rich Tea biscuit coming top of that list? When all is said and done, the reliability of an old low-calorie favourite always comes through. The classic Biscoff Lotus deservedly comes in second – there’s no doubt it’s a superb coffee biscuit but it’s lack of dunking durability ultimately cost it top spot. An honourable mention too, for Fox’s Sports, which will no doubt be making a more regular appearance in my biscuit tin/belly going forward.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Did I miss your favourite biscuit out?
Let me know by liking, sharing and commenting on social media!