Today, it's really a bit of a joke name, or, to some, even an insult to call someone a 'Fanny'. Fanny herself seemed to carry it off with style and grace, it's hard to imagine her as anything BUT Fanny. She WAS Fanny. I wonder if she'd laugh at the Irn Bru adverts which resulted in bottles appearing all over Scotland emblazoned with her name in direct response to the Coca-Cola 'personalised' version. The adverts had everyone talking about the name 'Fanny'. I think she'd find it a hoot. As long as people were talking about her, and she'd believe they were, she'd be delighted. That's what her name has given her, and I reckon she knew it would. It's almost impossible to mention the name Fanny without sniggering and without thinking of Mrs Cradock. Perfect.
Working in jelly allowed Fanny an opportunity to shine. Her aim was to bring a little of the Victorian splendour of enormous jelly structures to the modern dinner table, without the hours of work and the kitchen full of maids. For Fanny, it was an everyday dessert of suspended fruit, and she favoured mandarin segments seemingly floating in an orange cloud. For this one I'm substituting orange juice for Irn Bru. Well why not, they go together like Fanny and Johnnie.
To make the jelly vegetarian, I am again using an agar based powder. The difference with this to regular gelatine is that it needs to be added to cold liquids, dissolved and brought to the boil before leaving to set. There go all the lovely bubbles of fizz in the Bru...
No 1970's dessert would be complete without a tin of mandarin segments, and they are still easy enough to find in the supermarket. Adding some lovely fresh, in season Scottish raspberries for a splash of colour, taste and to add a flourish to the final presentation. I don't think Fanny would've, but maybe Jill or maybe even Frances might've.
So, the Irn Bru jelly liquid is boiled up and ready to go. Fanny says to dribble a little bit in the base of your wetted mould and then to start setting the fruit into it. When that layer is firm, lay another on top and cover again with jelly. And so on until your mould is full. See, no need for the kitchen maids, perfectly achievable in an ordinary domestic kitchen. The veggie jelly sets in around an hour and, with my fingers well and truly crossed, turns out well. It holds it's shape with a very welcome wibble and wobble. The finished jelly is a little cloudy, which I find happens with Agar, but the colour is vibrant and unmissable... Just like Fanny herself. So, stand back Phyllis, Frances, Nan, Elsa, Susan, Philip, Phyl, Phatti and Jill, this one is for Fanny and all the other Fannys out there.