Monday, 1 June 2009

French Fancies

DSCF3521Something I always enjoy in baking is taking things which nowadays we seem to think are only possible if bought in a shiny packet from the supermarket. Its what inspired the Biscuit Mission, because I wanted to prove that homemade versions are just as good, sometimes better, than shop bought varieties. And of course there is always the plus side that by making homemade you know exactly what’s in everything you are eating. Big name brands which are constantly seen everywhere have sort of lulled us into thinking that certain foodstuffs do have to be made in a big factory somewhere. The brand I was focusing on recently, was Mr Kipling.
mr kip.
I will admit that I have eaten a fair share of Mr. Kipling products in the past – not just the French Fancies, but Cherry Bakewells, Battenberg and cake slices. And I’m not too ashamed to say I have enjoyed them – they are so popular some call them a national favourite. But my likeness of them fades slightly when I see this…
That many ingredients for a Fondant Fancy? And so the quest began to find a way to make them at home. There aren’t many recipes out there, and the ones that are just didn’t seem close enough to the Mr Kipling variety. Most are also under the name “fondant fancy” although not technically using fondant. Eventually, this little gem from BBC Good Food was found, made, eaten, and enjoyed.
DSCF3502First whizz up the chocolate cake base in the mixer.. DSCF3504 Cook, cool in the tin, and then cut it into even squares.
Place half a truffle, cut side down, on every cake square.
Smother each cake in dark chocolate icing, and drizzle with extra milk chocolate icing. Find the whole recipe here.
Rather a layering job as you can see, these are a slight kerfuffle! However, according to my taste testing family, they turned out very good! Not for the fainthearted, due to the four different types of chocolate involved, but soft and crunchy and sweet all at the same time! Sadly, not quite the same as Kipling. If anyone knows how to make the icing more fondant-like without being completely hard, and the little mound soft and buttercreamy – please tell me! Until then, enjoy these.


Steph said...

Lucy, I totally agree with you!! I'm so glad you were able to make your own homemade version. The different textures sound amazing. Sometimes it's hard to recreate the exact textures without chemicals. I can never get my frosting as whippy as I would like.

I think it's great that you actually think about all the stuff that goes into processed food. At 13, I never even thought that baking from scratch was a possibility. I guess I thought cakes just magically appeared..haha.

apparentlyjessy said...

Wow, I agree, I prefer home cooked food so much more than store bought! These look alright, I'd certainly eat one, cover them with coconut and you'd have a perfect lamington!
I love that you wrote kerfuffle, hehe made me think of Little Britain, love that show!

George said...

Oh Lucy they look wonderful. I don't eat any prepack cakes anymore, the ingredient list does rather worry me.

Ash said...

What a great idea! I love that you're trying the store bought stuff from scratch! I would vote that homemade surely tastes better! Especially these- they look delicious!

karl's sweet child said...

omg you're so cute! and i linked your blog!

Marie said...

Ohh Lucy, I am impressed!! Your French Fancies look fabulous! Well done!

Tulip said...

A girl after my own heart! I love to make homemade versions of what you can buy in the shops! My latest one is jaffa cake tarts

Love your french fancies, bet they were much nicer than Mr Kiplings!!!

Celia said...

I am now on the same mission as you! My mother used to make her own fondant icing which was poured over the cake. The closest recipe I can find is at:
But while this recipe says knead, I know that Mum used to get the fondant to a certain consistency and then pour it over the cake where it would set within seconds. The icing was the most unforgettable fudgey taste/texture. I also remember a few disasters when the fondant crystallized before she had chance pour it on the cake - so back in the pan it went - I think it's a bit of an art only perfected through trial and error.

Anonymous said...

Check this link out.. they're lemony Fondant Fancies :)

Anonymous said...

omg, these look delecious!!! i'm a baking freak too, lol. i'm 13. i love how ur so creative with ur recipes and uve come up with something new. I LOVE THIS WEBSITE!!! xx