I've got a feeling that Fanny wouldn't like me updating her recipe, but I'm doing it anyway. I fear this is where I would've gone wrong had I been cooking alongside Fanny herself. It's a really simple one, but one of her poor assistants clearly got it all wrong. So my changes are an attempt to avoid any killer glowers and public put-downs from Fanny. We know the poor un-named assistant (my guess it was Young Sally) did wrong because instead of glossing over it, Fanny photographed it for the partwork along side one that she prepared 'properly' by herself. To further reinforce the mistakes the quivering assistant has made, she notes, or actually gleefully states, just for fun you understand, each and every error. The saucepan cake only has four ingredients - butter, syrup, chocolate and biscuits, so what on earth could go so badly wrong?
Well, anyone with Fannys experience will be able to recognise immediately that the cake on the left is the wrong one, right? Look at those shameful lumps of biscuit! Imagine biting into those at a sophisticated party! Everyone would think it's one of those new-fangked Rocky Road things. Without Fanny even pointing it out even I can see that they've had the heat too high in the saucepan and that strategically placed wooden spoon has barely been used. However, look at the smooth and glossy one on the right which has been treated gently in heat terms, but obviously bashed into oblivion thereafter. Much more acceptable for any Christmas Buffet table, especially if tiddled up with some whipped cream lightly flavoured with Kirsch.
For the 'cake' butter, golden syrup and cooking chocolate (especially for hardcore nostalgia fans) are heated very, very gently together until they become one. Fanny says to then crumble in some plain biscuits 'fairly finely' and beat it until it comes together. Remember her warning of the assistant-done-wrong here. Or, do as I have done, and take this opportunity to switch things up a bit and add ready blitzed up biscuits in the form of Lotus Biscoff spread.
I'd never tried it before, but was intrigued after seeing others rave about it on Twitter. Maybe I'm spending too much time on Twitter. It's dead sweet and has the texture of peanut butter (a little), but tastes just like the little biscuits you get with your coffee. It comes in Smooth or Crunchy, but I'm using the Crunchy one for this, after all Fanny did say 'fairly fine' didn't she? I mean, I'm happy to update things to some extent, but I'm not going to go absolutely bloomin' crazy am I? The finished mixture looks glossy and thick as its poured into an oiled flan ring. Fanny suggests smoothing off the top with the cut side of half a lemon. It's not a trick I'd heard of before, but it does seem to work. I'm hoping the smooth appearance of the cooled cake would please not only Fanny but also Dame Chlorella. I hope the ones her Mum made weren't the same as Fannys assistants attempts... I'll be checking on Twitter for the answer, although I promise not to name and shame. Possibly. Maybe.