Fanny Craddock and a further fruitcake thought

by awindram


Not midget gems, but US fruitcake mix

So after that previous post, US readers may be wondering what is a decent fruitcake, if not a dry mess containing dyed fruit all the colors of a gummi bear rainbow? Some recipes that you could try are:

St Delia*: The stolid and unsurprising choice would be to refer you to St. Delia’s* recipe.

The Nigella: With the constant knowing winks, the desperate finger licking, and the never-ending innuendo, I find Nigella Lawson more faux queen than sex kitten – a thinking man’s Diana Dors. However, she does have a fun fruitcake recipe that contains just a wee bit of chocolate; or as she puts it – “a gorgeously haunting … ghost of chocolate.”

Sweet Fanny: America had Julia Child, Britain had Fanny Craddock. I think we got the better deal. The daughter of the marvellously named writer Archibald Thomas Pechey (nothing he wrote could ever hope to match the lyricism of his own birth certificate), Fanny, along with her “husband” Johnny, was one of the first television cooks in the UK. With painted-on eyebrows and thick, almost grease paint, make-up she was a grotesque, a walking, cooking death mask. A TV drama was made about her life. It can be fond here. It is better than Julie and Julia.

One of her fruitcake recipes can be seen here. I don’t necessarily recommend it, but it is compelling. Thankfully, there’s is no Nigella-esque finger licking, though she does occasionally wink at the camera.




*Delia Smith, TV chef. Her US equivalent? She’d be analogous, of sorts, with Martha Stewart – though without the insider trading conviction.