Flossie Crums Gets Festive

As Royal Baker to the fairies of Romolonia, Christmas is Flossie Crums’ busiest time of year. The Queen has asked Flossie to make a gingerbread house for all the baby fairies and, of course, there’s the tree to decorate!

ello! I’m Flossie Crums. I’m just an ordinary girl from Little Lickington, who loves to bake. But recently I was asked to be “The Royal Baker of fairy Land.” by Queen Rosie of Romolonia, which was such an honour and a little bit scary. Romolonia is inside the chestnut tree at the bottom of my garden at 22 Maple Syrup Lane. Sometimes I let my little brother Billie help me bake and as Christmas is just round the corner, I think we’re going to be very busy.

Do you love Christmas? I do too! And so do all the fairies. The lemon sorbet ice rink outside the Royal Ice Cream Palace, is where we all go skating. This year, I suggested to Queen Rosie that we decorate the Christmas tree by the rink with edible decorations, just in case anyone is a little peckish after all that exercise.

Edible Baubles

What you need
• 1 packet of marshmallows or other soft sweets
• 1 pot of cocktail sticks
• 1 small clementine or polystyrene sphere

What you do

1. Stick one end of a cocktail stick into a clementine or sphere and the other end, stick in a sweetie!
2. Keep going until the whole fruit is covered in sweets.
3. Finally, attach some ribbon or string and hang on your Christmas tree.

Flossie Crums’ Gingerbread House
PLUS! Hanging ‘Ginger Deer’ and ‘Ginger Pud’ decorations for the Christmas tree

As a special surprise, for all the new little fairies, Queen Rosie and I thought it would be fun for them to have their very own edible house, made from gingerbread. This project is best done over two or three days as you’ll need to leave the walls of the house to stick before you put on the roof!

What you need
• 250g unsalted butter
• 200g dark muscovado sugar
• 7 tbsp golden syrup
• 600g plain flour
• 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 4 tsp ground ginger

For the icing:
• 2 egg whites
• 500g icing sugar

What you do
1. Heat oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/gas 6. Get a grown up to melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
2. Print and cut out the template from the Flossie Crums web site at www.flossiecrums.com. Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about one quarter of the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels.
3. Bake all the sections for 12 minutes or until firm and just a little darker at the edges. Leave to cool for a few minutes to firm up, then trim around the templates again to
give clean, sharp edges. Leave to cool completely. (This is really important or
your house will be wonky!)
4. Now, this is where you can have some fun and go mad sticking sweets on the panels of your house and roof. ( I used Shreddies to look like roof tiles. I also cut little windows in my side walls  when they came out the oven, then stuck sheets of leaf gelatine to make window panes.
5. Now put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe the icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally over night.
6. Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on using more of the piping icing. Finally, I made a little snowman, a tree with presents and sheep from ready to roll icing, and sprinkled edible glitter to give my house a Christmasy sparkle.

To make the ‘Ginger Deer and Ginger Puds’ to hang from your tree, follow the same recipe. Then, once you have rolled out your dough, use round and reindeer- shaped cookie cutters and stamp out some cookies. To decorate these, I used ready to roll icing. Just remember to put a little hole in the top of your cookie before you bake it, to thread the string through to hang on the tree.

Snowmen Meringues

Billie and I LOVE snow! We love making snow angels, tobogganing, throwing snowballs, but best of all we LOVE making snowmen! Last year, it snowed so much in Little Lickington that we made four snow people (Mum, dad, me and Billie) and we even tried to make a snow cat (Goliath) and a snow dog. (Just like Rocket). We thought they were hilarious but the fairies were frightened. So this year, I thought I’d make not very scary at all, but very tasty, meringue snowmen to take into Romolonia and here’s my recipe!

What you need
• 4 medium egg whites
• 225g caster sugar
• Ready to roll icing
• Sweets
• 6 cocktail sticks   

What you do
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1.
2. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Put your eggs in a large, thoroughly clean and dry mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, start whisking on low, building up the speed as the whites expand. Once they are really stiff and there’s no wobble, they are ready for the sugar. They should look smooth, with no lumpiness around the edges. Add the sugar 3 tbsp at a time and quickly whisk in after each addition. Stop once the mixture is thick and ‘moussey’ and stands in peaks when pulled up by the whisk.
3. Spoon 6 meringue ‘bodies’ and 6 ‘heads’ onto the baking tray. Pop them in the oven on a low shelf and bake for 60 minutes until crisp on the outside, then turn off the oven and leave them to cool with the door ajar for 30 minutes, to cook the insides further. Remove from the oven and lift them off the paper carefully.
4. To decorate my snowmen, I used ready to roll icing which I moulded into noses, eyes and hats, then I tied edible lace scarves round their necks. I stopped the heads rolling off by securing them with cocktail sticks pushed into the head and body.

Large Edible Christmas Cracker

For Christmas lunch, Queen Rosie decided that she wanted a giant edible cracker. I don’t know how the fairies are going to pull this, but I do know it tastes delicious.

What you need

For the swiss roll:
• 4 eggs
• 125g caster sugar
• 125g self raising flour

For the filling and icing:
• 300ml whipped cream
• 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
• 1 large packet of ready to roll green and red icing
• 2 strawberry laces

What you do
1. Pre heat the oven to 220ºC and line a swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. (Or better still, use a silicone tin).
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until they are light and fluffy. (This can take up to 5 minutes so be patient).
3. Sift the flour into the mixture, folding it in very carefully.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Take out the oven and get a grown up to help you tip the sponge onto a clean tea towel and, while still warm, roll up the sponge and leave to cool.
6. Finally, unroll the sponge and spoon the jam all over the base. Next cover with cream and carefully re-roll the sponge.
7. To decorate, roll out the ready to roll green icing and cover the cake. Using a separate bit of green icing, mold the ends of the crackers and secure these with toothpicks.
8. Tie the edible laces on to finish the cracker.

To decorate my cracker, I used mini holly cutters and funky flavoured ready to roll icing, plus an edible fairy transfer, both from www.flossiecrums.com.