Fanny was often somewhat shameless in her promotion, plugging and product placement on TV, in her newspaper columns, in her books and probably most notably throughout the partwork. Whether it was a careful but quick flash of the Lurpak wrapper she really didn't mean to show you while un-moulding the steamed christmas pudding, or the grapefruit knife that you really must have but was normally so hard to find in ordinary shops, she'd feature items in a recipe, in a picture and again on screen. And subtly let you know where to get them from. Surely she was in on the deal. Many bloggers do it today, and PR companies think they invented it recently.
I'd be rubbish at it, by Fanny's standards, as I like to feature products that I've bought, found and love. For Fanny though it seemed to be all part and parcel of the game. If she could convince you to purchase an item that you never really needed, to make something you were never really very likely to make again, she had won. We all love a gadget don't we, and, well, if Fanny was using it, it must've been the thing to have. After all, if you did as Fanny did, you were sure to be doing it right, the professional way.
Sometimes though she wasn't quite so subtle. To fill up a tin with goodies ready for Easter, Fanny suggests making her Honey, Nut and Date Triangles, or Petites Tranches au Noix. They are really just stuffed puff pastry sandwiches, baked. However, you clearly need something to make the perfect triangles of puff pastry, that you've bought in from your favourite supermarket. Fanny's suggestion is a 'wheel' contraption that you roll over the rolled out pastry and voilà, fourteen identical triangles. It is, Fanny tells us, particularly helpful if you happen to be making large quantities 'at speed'. Fanny shows you how, in a handy pic-strip. The wheel is coincidentally easily available (in person or by mail order) from Elizabeth Davids shop in London.
I'm not making large quantities, nor am I concerned about speed, so I employ Fanny's second best option, of cutting them free-hand. My own idea of how to do it involves a pizza cutter. I do use my favourite pizza cutter from my local pizzeria, La Favorita, so perhaps I should cut a deal with them to promote it? I bought my puff pastry ready rolled from Sainsburys. Another opportunity missed. Fanny also loves Sainsburys apparently. The cream cheese she lists in the recipe is not any old cream cheese. It's Sainsbury's cream cheese. Perhaps Sainsbury's would not be so pleased with me though, as I bought my walnut pieces from Tesco. The dates came from my local fruit and veg shop, Tattie Shaws. The honey came from local store, Earthy. I told you I wasn't so good at this promotion malarky.
Fanny mixes the cream cheese, chopped dates, honey, orange juice (I used Sainsburys Taste the Difference which was surely the right thing to do?) and zest. In her dash round the promotional opportunities she omits the nuts from the recipe, but I mix them in anyway. Thanks heavens for the photos, so I know where they should be. They get sandwiched between my imperfect triangles, brushed with egg whites and sprinkled with cater sugar. From Tesco. Topped with a dried piece of banana. I can't remember where I bought them. Then simply baked. They are really tasty, the orange zest and cream cheese make a wonderful partnership. One of the best things Fanny has suggested I make actually. Sadly I do not have a pretty blue plate that is readily available from Fortnum and Mason to display them on. I have such a lot to learn from Fanny. I am such a bad blogger.