Back in August, the irrepressibly glamorous modern day Fanny Cradock Charlotte White somehow convinced me to do a series of Fanny inspired demonstrations in the Cake and Bake Theatre at Foodies Festival in Edinburgh. Fanny herself toured the country doing similar demonstrations, so as my mantra in life is 'What Would Fanny Do?' - I had to say yes. OK, so Fanny sold-out venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, and this prospect was a tent in a muddy field. Still, it was enormous fun, and great to meet so many Fanny Fans.
Charlotte asked me back as well, so perhaps I did alright. Christmas Foodies is indoors, so not a hint of mud anywhere, but it is also held in November, which is very early for Christmas I'd say. I packed my glittery balls (in homage to the Baking Nanna) and Fanny's very own Pyrex Bowls (a design - Winter Star - she had commissioned and sold directly to people through the part-work) and headed for the EICC with a whole new set of Fanny Cradock Christmas recipes to share with the good folks of Edinburgh. Also on the Christmas-tastic line-up were Lara from Bross Bagels and Amy from Baking with Granny. Such a hoot.
We had a fun-filled three days. On Saturday afternoon I baked Fanny's Famous White Christmas Cake, complete with blue Royal Icing and stuffed with multi-coloured glacé cherries and Angelica. On Sunday, I constructed a Choux Paste Christmas Tree, with each Choux Bun filled with cream (and no goo) and covered in Green Glacé Icing. The Cake and Bake Theatre was filled with innuendo, much of it unintentional (honest), laughter and reminisces about 'how we used to bake'. Friday night was special though, as Charlotte hosted a 'Late Night with Fanny' session - well 7:30pm is quite late for bakers - and I only had one thing on my mind to make for this special occasion...
Fanny's Bûche. It's basically her special Swiss Roll (which never cracks) flavoured up with cocoa (or any other powdered flavouring, try Beetroot! You can find the recipe in the November edition of Foodies magazine... nestled alongside others from Jamie Oliver, Rosemary Shrager, Nadiya Hussain, Sabrina Ghayour - so in good company!), filled with cream and then smothered in chocolate buttercream. The old-fashioned treat went down well with the crowd, who even forgave me when Fanny's Bûche did sadly crack. The Buttercream hid all my shame, and a flurry of Icing Sugar made everyone forget. Well, what would Fanny have done?
You can catch Fanny cooking up her Christmas favourites this year in the UK on the BBC Red Button Channel form Saturday 9th December - freeview channel 601, freesat channel 981, sky channel980 and virgin media channel 991 - it's all in the booklet!