The other day, I was walking through Woolworths after a particularly gruelling three-hour boxing session* when I made the mistake of passing the health food aisle.
I normally bypass that area of the shop in favour of the produce, pasta, and peanut butter aisles, because in those aisles I get to ask myself the following exciting questions:
“Is the broccoli or cabbage cheaper this week?”
“Can I afford the wholemeal pasta today?”
“Should I get three or four jars of peanut butter to last me until Friday**?”
Ah, the life of a PhD scholarship student. What larks!
As you might surmise from the above, there are two reasons I usually avoid the health food aisle. First, it doesn’t start with the letter “P”, and second, that way lies expense. If I wander too far past the invisible borders of Health Food Land, I will inevitably find that pricey-pricey cashew butter, organic oat bran, and strange sugar free chocolates fall into my shopping basket.
It’s not my fault, I promise.
Anyway, this particular day, I was so addled by my boxing exertions (ha! Gotcha again!) that I found myself facing the Macro range of Woolworths products. And you know what fell into my basket?
Gluten free vegan Tim Tam-replicas. Fo’ shizzle. They exist.
Macro Wholefoods Market Gluten Free Double Choc Biscuits
Just like real Tim Tams, these vegan and gluten-free chocolate treats are comprised of two rectangular chocolate biscuits sandwiching a chocolate cream, all of which is encased in chocolate. For those who like to know such things, here are the ingredients: sucrose, dairy free compound chocolate (sugar, palm oil, cocoa mass, emulsifier), gluten free flour (tapioca, chickpea, rice, corn), vegetable shortening (palm oil, antioxidant), cocoa powder, flavours, raising agent, and salt.
Mmm. Compound chocolate and shortening. Deeeeee-licious! Particularly as these faux-Tim Tams have less than .1g of trans fat per 100g, and also no galactose. Hurrah! Our bodies aren’t about to be invaded by space aliens! (Don’t even try to tell me that “galactose” doesn’t sound like space aliens to you.)
What, you want to know what these taste like instead of listening to a lengthy digression about space aliens? Really? Well, okay, but I can’t say I understand you.
The aroma of these was all biscuit (cookie, to you Americans), no chocolate. In fact, that’s pretty much the overall gist of these Double Choc Biscuits, as while they were pleasantly sweet with some nice contrasting textures, they were sorely lacking in chocolate flavour.
For a gluten free product, the biscuit components were surprisingly good, with a nice balance between crunchy and crumbly. The cream filling was generically sweet, but inoffensive. It tasted a little like buttercream, but without the richness that comes from, well, butter. The chocolate coating didn’t have a whole lot of flavour, but at least wasn’t greasy or insipid.
Overall these were quite nice, but were nowhere near as rich and decadent as an Arnott’s Tim Tam. (I meant to put these Macro vegan Tim Tam-ish bikkies through the real test – the Tim Tam slam – but I accidentally ate them all before I could.) The biscuits are innocuous, and I do think they’d make a nice, easy treat to have on hand for vegan/allergic kids so that they don’t feel left out at snack time. So that’s something.
* Complete lie. Have you seen what I look like? As if those piddly little arms could swing more than three punches in a row without getting tired and needing a chocolate pick-me-up. Hmm. I really should start lifting cans of chickpeas in front of the TV or something to work up my strength…
** It’s usually a Wednesday at this point.