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i was horrified to see that 84/137 of responses - that's over 60%! - to your current poll claim that the best topping for "fairy cakes" is buttercream icing and bits cut off the top of the cake. Surely everyone knows that those are butterfly cakes? Look, a quick google reveals that not only are they called butterfly cakes, but that they are amongst the "best of british" food:
and they are so-called because, obviously, they look like butterflies.
whereas fairy cakes are small cakes in paper cases topped with glace icing (of any colour - pink or white is irrelevant) and decorated in some way - half a glace cherry stuck on top, or sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, or, as Nigella Lawson herself suggests, small sweets like dolly mixtures. So, enough of this butterfly cake nonsense - they are something else entirely (albeit, i admit, closely related). I hate to have to suggest this, but perhaps you should stick to tea and biscuits, which is surely enough for any right thinking person, and stop these occasional forays into what is apparently unknown territory (toast and cake)?
Best wishes - and hello to Wifey!
ps. maybe third time lucky and i'll get onto the feedback page. would it help if i added that, apart from this mistake (perhaps it was a trick question and you knew all along?) your site is fabulous
|Nicey replies: Oi Victoria,
Actually I'm completely with you on the icing thing, Butterfly or Angel cakes what ever, but it was the Wife who put the cat amongst the pigeons saying that's what she considered to be a Fairy cake. So I thought I would do a poll to prove her wrong and so far its not going too well on the side of reason. Now I know that people are going to point our that fairies have wings also hence the name, but I still personally think its icing and something else on top, sometimes even those little edible bicycle wheel ball bearings.
||Just writing to wish you a very happy, if belated birthday Nicey.|
What the public want to know, of course, is if there was a particular treat that was kept to accompany the special birthday sit down and mug of tea in NCOTAASD HQ? Or did you just have cake?
|Nicey replies: Actually given that it was a fairly chilly damp and drizzly day we had a BBQ in the HQ grounds. I've had a couple of slices of Battenburg today though. Wifey bought me a splendid plastic box to keep screws in, and because it was obviously a special day, a hose reel for the outside tap.|
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
Having looked through your feedback, I notice that there are many items relating to various cakes and biscuits but very little correspondence on the subject of toast.
I imagine that for most people, the phrase "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" evokes an image of afternoon tea. This is perfectly understandable as the 3 o'clock cuppa or a freshly brewed pot on arriving home after work are the most anticipated and well deserved breaks in the average day. On these occasions, a biscuit or a nice piece of cake is exactly the right accompaniment.
There are, however, other tea drinking opportunities, particularly breakfast and supper time, when a slice of toast is more appealing. As a child, one of my favourite culinary treats was hot, buttered toast with a sprinkling of sugar. The toast has to be hot to allow the sugar to melt into the butter. Nowadays, I enjoy toast with butter or marmalade for breakfast. Speciality jams are also provided for the younger members of the household.
For supper, I will occasionally top my toast with peanut butter or something more exotic such as cheese (with a dash of Lea & Perrin's), pilchards, plum tomatoes or mushrooms with cream.
Perhaps you could provide a survey on the best "toast topper", including butter, jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite (yuck!), mashed banana etc.
As you can see from this short list of options, toast is extremely versatile and should note be ignored.
p.s. Possibe new icon alert.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
Our mate Nick Parker wrote a splendid book on toast, he also ran the London marathon last Sunday.
Of course Toast falls within the gamut of tea and sitting down activity. Wifey likes tea before, during and after Toast in the morning. Wifey sticks rigidly to Marmite or cheese. I like Bovril, Marmalade, sometimes a spot of jam occasionally Peanut Butter with sweet pickle or fresh ground black pepper. A spot of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is very good also. The whole team enjoys Sardines on toast and we feel strongly that more people should eat Sardines on toast.
I'll try a sweet toppings poll first, but I think I know the outcome already.
Big Woos for the icon fest nature of this message
I live in Indonesia, which has to be the world's second most tea-loving nation. They have invented Teh Botol, or tea in a bottle, which tastes like angels crying on your tongue. But where Indonesians really excel in tea and sit-downs is in the little snacks and cakes they make.
And the best place to get those is on Merpati Airlines, the domestic carrier. Along with your tea, they give you a little box with a cake (often of surprising colour- maybe even green or pink), a deep fried something (could be a spring roll) and a green chilli. Take a bite of chilli. It's hot. Take a bite of spring roll. Mmmm, now you're getting somewhere. Take a sip of tea. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Finish with the cake.
I had to mention this. These tea-at-altitude interludes play a large part in my life.
All the best to the wife,
PS I think you should have an aeroplane icon too.
|Nicey replies: Yes the case for an aeroplane icon is building. I don't think I can run to an 'Angels crying on your tounge' icon, however.|
||Dear Mr and Mrs Nicey.|
I'm new to this country and would love a bit of a sit-down and some cake. The people I'm currently resting with keep going on about a man called Mr.Kipling, who they say (using a funny voice) makes exceedingly good cakes. I'm after your help - Who is Mr. Kipling? Where does he come from? Does he make exceedingly good cakes? And if so, where should I start?
Kind Regards, Charles.
|Nicey replies: Oh yes Mr Kipling is the man, you'll be alright with any of his stuff. His website isn't too shoddy either, full marks there. It will tell you all you need to know, but you might do well to get stuck into some of his Cherry Bakewell tarts, French fancies, Country slices and Fruit pies.