Food | The Reconnoisseur

The biscuit that simply takes the biscuit

They’re custard creams – but not as we know them

The biscuit that simply takes the biscuit

May 08 2011
Anna-Marie Solowij

It seems I’m not the only member of the British population to like custard creams, because according to two recent surveys, it’s the nation’s favourite biscuit. But I wonder how many of those polled have tried the version by Melrose and Morgan, the north London grocer that’s fondly referred to by its fans as Melrose & Mortgage, thanks to its prices? It amuses me to think of such a common biscuit having a “designer makeover” to make it suitable for the Primrose Hill and Hampstead set.

Instead of the standard-issue custard cream’s chunky oblongs with their baroque design, sandwiched together with pale yellow fondant, the Melrose and Morgan custard cream is round, and altogether more minimal in appearance, but oh so superior in taste and worth every penny of the £4.95 for a tub containing eight large biscuits.

Instead of the crumbly, almost dusty experience of biting into a traditional custard cream, Melrose and Morgan’s version manages to mix the crisp snap of good shortbread with a slight chewiness that acts as a prelude to the fudgy iced centre. In private, I like to pull the biscuit apart and lick the icing off first, or, if eating publicly, behave with less abandon and take neat bites though the sandwich layers, revelling in the smooth vanilla flavour. But however you eat it, don’t even think of dunking; this is one biscuit that isn’t improved by a tea bath.