Fanny clearly wants to make the most of having the fryer on, either that or she's completely obsessed with deep frying cheese. I'm hoping it's an obsession. Either way I'm delighted, I've still not been converted by the mahoosive amount of diet and detox suggestions flying around at this time of year. Practically anything that's leftover can be deep fried it seems. This time it's Fannys' Cheese Balls. Like Fanny, I shall skirt over any obvious innuendos, but she does say that her Cheese Balls are extremely popular at 'teenage parties'. Particularly if served with a 'dunking' sauce. For others, they seem perfect when settling down in front of the TV to watch something special - presumably a Fanny Cradock cooking show - if stuffed into a French Bread sandwich. I don't tend to host teenage parties you'll be glad to learn, so it's a Frenchie in front of the TV all the way for me.
Fanny is still using leftover cheese here, which isn't something I tend to have a lot of really. I'm a dedicated cheese fiend, so I'm happy to keep buying more and more. Fanny recommends a mix of strong cheeses here, Parmesan and Gruyère. I KNOW that Parmesan isn't vegetarian, please don't write me nasty letters, just switch it up a little bit with your own preference. I'm not a perfect veggie. I even wear leather shoes. I realise this may all be a bit shocking for you, but focus - we are talking fried cheese again.
To make Fannys' cheesy balls, simply mix the grated cheeses together with some seasoning and fold in gradually a stiffly beaten egg white. At first it doesn't seem at all like they will mix together, but with a bit of a beating I soon have a paste, just as Fanny says. Once well blended, either with a wooden spoon or a small knife, the paste can be rolled into small balls.
I can be a bit overly accurate with some things, and slap-dash with others. Don't judge me. I decide to weigh out the cheese balls into 16g portions before rolling them. It makes me happy. The given mix gives me 13 balls. I like odd numbers. Each one is rolled lightly between my fingers and quickly becomes fairly firm. Fanny says to run your little balls through beaten egg and coat them thickly in fine breadcrumbs. Well, indeed. Nothing can be finer than Ruskoline surely?
Now we are ready to fry! Well, almost. Fanny doesn't recommend this, but I do... Another one of my funny things. I run my little balls through the egg and crumb twice to make sure that the coating is 'safe' and not about to explode in the hot oil spilling molten cheese everywhere. It doesn't take long and much better safe than sorry. They only take around 30 seconds to colour up in the oil. Fanny presents hers in a split French Bread, but its not so clear if that's just a garnish or not. She spears them individually with cocktail sticks which would confuse me - do I pick one up and munch, or pick the sticks out and gobble the whole sandwich? Guess which one I go for? Fannys' Cheese Balls are so tasty, crunchy on the outside and gooey and salty inside.
While the fryer is still on the go, Fanny has another top tip, which is especially helpful if you have any leftover Christmas Pudding lurking in the back of my cupboard like I do. Fanny had insisted that I hide them there to mature when I made some mini ones from her recipe last year. She was positive that they would be perfectly fine a year later, and probably even better. It's time to discover if they were! They look ok, is that a worry or a good thing? Simply re-steam, roll into balls and dredge in egg and, this time, ground almonds before frying. Fanny calls these her 'Christmas Snowballs', which must be covered with a heavy dusting of icing sugar and topped with glacé cherry 'flames' to serve. They are good, the crunchy fried almond coating is a great twist! I wonder what else I can pop into fry...?