Gilding the Lily?

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Gilding the Lily?

Postby Ratatouille » November 28th, 2018, 10:31 am

Recently I have seen several recipes for fairly traditional dishes which are absolutely fine in themselves having additional ingredients which, to me, seem totally unnecessary.

For example in last weeks Sunday Times magazine Skye McAlpine gave us a recipe for Nutella Tiramisu. Also on Sunday Angela Hartnett was bemoaning the appearance of mince pies containing all manner of additions, from salted caramel nuts to chocolate truffles. She asked "Why?" So do I
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby suffolk » November 28th, 2018, 10:37 am

It's called 'adding value' ... the shops can charge more if the product has something extra added ... a lot more ...

And what's the betting that Fererro SpA are behind the Nutella Tiramisu ............... or am I just an old cynic?
Last edited by suffolk on November 28th, 2018, 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby earthmaiden » November 28th, 2018, 11:37 am

I quite agree Rats though of course understand in the case of goods on sale. One of the rules of marketing is to diversify.

The array of weirdly flavoured mince pies and Christmas puddings -especially from Waitrose is astounding. I do feel that traditions will be lost with the introduction of such different things even if they do taste nice. Already we are losing the tradition (and point) of rich fruit wedding cakes and Christmas goods are following fast. Perhaps it is yet another thing we sigh and mourn as we get older but I do wonder who needs chocolate in mince pies or Nutella in anything at all.

There is a pub restaurant near here which serves fairly traditional British dishes. However, each, both main and pudding courses are embellished with additional rich sauces and creams which are totally unnecessary and must cost more to produce. In some cases they ruin the dish making it too rich. I do wonder why they think it a good idea.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Suelle » November 28th, 2018, 11:49 am

There's currently a fashion for 'decorating' home made cakes with what often looks like half a packet of assorted biscuits, several bars of chocolate and half a pound of sugary sweets on top of buttercream. Leaving aside the issue of extra calories, I think it really detracts from the cake itself.

I can see that food manufacturers want to tempt us with new flavours, so that we buy more, but is something like cherry flavoured marzipan in a Stollen (which I saw in Aldi this morning) really an improvement?
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby TeresaFoodie » November 28th, 2018, 12:14 pm

I am also getting irritated by the number of recipes published or advertised as on sale that have a tiny tweak for what seems like the sake of it.

In the latest edition of Good Food magazine they are going on about Christmas tree decorations which mimic food items. What's wrong with a good old round bauble?

At the end of the day as already said, it all boils down to money making.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby earthmaiden » November 28th, 2018, 12:18 pm

Suelle, I went to a tea shop with some friends in the summer which sold slices of those kind of cakes. One wasplastered with Oreos and the other Custard Creams. I chose something different but thought those cakes looked a horrible combination - and meant people got a huge slice of cake and at least two biscuits each as well. Thankfully I've not seen them anywhere else.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby KC2 » November 28th, 2018, 12:30 pm

Heston's cherry crumble mince pies at Waitrose are a case in point - why??!!
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Herbidacious » November 28th, 2018, 1:01 pm

For the sake of novelty?

The cake decorated with biscuits and sweets etc. thing seems like an extension of Freakshakes.

Was tempted to Photoshop a pic of my cat Lily to make her have gold ears, but not really got time for that :)
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Seatallan » November 28th, 2018, 1:27 pm

It's the food equivalent of Per Una clothes I think. Take a perfectly good garment and ruin it with a shed-load of lacey bits,flounces, floppy fabric flowers, etc.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Suelle » November 28th, 2018, 1:35 pm

earthmaiden wrote:Suelle, I went to a tea shop with some friends in the summer which sold slices of those kind of cakes. One wasplastered with Oreos and the other Custard Creams. I chose something different but thought those cakes looked a horrible combination - and meant people got a huge slice of cake and at least two biscuits each as well. Thankfully I've not seen them anywhere else.


I read baking blogs, as well as belonging to the 'Clandestine Cake Club' Facebook group - they're cropping up everywhere at the moment!
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby WWordsworth » November 28th, 2018, 1:44 pm

I agree Seatallen, Per Una clothes are far too fussy for me.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Ratatouille » November 28th, 2018, 1:58 pm

My feeling is that if something ain't broke don't fix it1

it applies to all sorts of things including recipes and clothes.

Is it I wonder because so many folk these days simply have never tasted a properly made traditional dish?
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby StokeySue » November 29th, 2018, 12:19 am

I was reminded today in John Lewis Food Hall - really, not everything is better with chocolate, and definitely not with double chocolate

What reminded me was their chocolate panettone, which to be fair is possibly quite nice but no doubt I’d prefer a traditional mildly citrus one

But it can be quite difficult to find a non chocolate dessert on a chain restaurant menu
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby cyprusmoira » November 29th, 2018, 6:08 am

Oreo Cakes have even reached Cyprus :rolleyes:

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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » November 29th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Funnily enough I had similar thoughts yesterday reading a Xmas mag , featuring a mint choc Xmas pud and an espresso martini version!! To my mind , if you want a chocolate pudding , have one don’t have a Xmas pudding .

There’s a fine line between adding a spin to a classic , to ruining it . For example , I love bread and butter pudding , but I’ve also made it with brioche , marmalade and dark chocolate and with a baileys custard , though not all at the same time . . Maybe it works because it’s a very simple dish , so embellishments can be added , like with a roast chicken , I’ve flavoured it in many different ways before .
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby earthmaiden » November 29th, 2018, 10:54 pm

On the subject of the selection of 'mince pies' on offer on Waitrose this year, I was with a friend today who had bought some lemon ones. They are described as, "An inspired combination of two great classics: a spiced shortcrust pastry mince pie and lemony Sussex Pond Pudding. Topped with a buttery crumble for added texture". I tried for some time to find out what they were like - i.e. was it ordinary mincemeat with lemon in the middle or a different kind of mix of dried fruit and lemon or something completely different and she was totally incapable of answering :evil:. I know that Wildies would have deconstructed it as they ate and would have been able to describe exactly!

Apparently they are nice .. maybe in the interest of science .... :).

I think espresso martini Christmas pudding could work - that flavour combination could enhance the pud - if added in the right quantities.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby StokeySue » November 29th, 2018, 11:14 pm

earthmaiden wrote:think espresso martini Christmas pudding could work - that flavour combination could enhance the pud - if added in the right quantities.

Sorry <shudders>
Espresso martini is a ridiculous thing to start with, while it is perfectly reasonable to make a coffee flavoured vodka based cocktail (for example, a White Russian), serving it in a Martini glass does not make it a Martini, a Martini is made with gin and vermouth, a definition which at a pinch can be expanded to include similar cocktails made with other white spirits and other white wine based aperitifs, James Bond style. Dick Bradsell, the alleged inventor, really should know better

Classic example of gilding the lily in fact :lol:

Coffee in Christmas pud? Doesn’t appeal :sprout:
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby earthmaiden » November 29th, 2018, 11:46 pm

Yep, you're right about the Martini :oops:. I'm just a sucker for just about any coffee/booze combination and will lower my standards accordingly. As for coffee in Christmas pud, I think in a small quantity it would be like anchovies in a sauce - a flavour enhancer that you couldn't quite identify. I wouldn't waste good ingredients trying it at home though.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Zosherooney » November 30th, 2018, 7:38 am

When my Mum was alive she made a lemon sponge fairly regularly, nowadays it's a lemon drizzle cake..... :| I like both.

I sometimes make my own mincemeat, one year I fancied a change, I added powdered star anise, I have not gone back to the original recipe and I get lots of comments (positive ones) !

The idea of adding anchovies to a lamb dish struck us both as odd but did try it........ :sprout: Why spoil the wonderful flavour of English lamb (probably the best in the world) ?
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby suffolk » November 30th, 2018, 8:10 am

The trick is to add just enough anchovy (and garlic) to heighten the sweet unctuous ‘lambiness’of a slowly roasted shoulder without the anchovy being discernible as a discrete flavour ... done like that I promise you it’s heavenly :drool: and no one but the most experienced palate would know that it’s there.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Seatallan » November 30th, 2018, 8:43 am

suffolk wrote:The trick is to add just enough anchovy (and garlic) to heighten the sweet unctuous ‘lambiness’of a slowly roasted shoulder without the anchovy being discernible as a discrete flavour ... done like that I promise you it’s heavenly :drool: and no one but the most experienced palate would know that it’s there.


Absolutely! :chops: :tu: It's one of those combinations that shouldn't work but really, really does.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Ratatouille » November 30th, 2018, 10:21 am

Mr R doesn't like anchovies but he would miss them with lamb - if he knew U added them!

I've just jarred my mincemeat. Always rather tradititional. The spices I like least are those with clove notes - cloves, star anise and allspice.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby StokeySue » December 1st, 2018, 12:05 am

My Twitter feed offers me one of those videos of speeded up disembodied hands

These are making that obvious Christmas essential, a mulled wine bundt cake (spell checker prefers bunny cake) Seems to involve cranberries and a lot of sugar

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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby StokeySue » December 3rd, 2018, 4:49 pm

Just had an email

Fever-Tree's Limited Edition Refreshingly Light Clementine Tonic Water with Cinnamon


Why?
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby WWordsworth » December 3rd, 2018, 6:09 pm

I would probably enjoy that as a soft drink but it's going nowhere near my gin.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby suffolk » December 3rd, 2018, 6:29 pm

:? It sounds as if it might be horribly sweet ... and cinnamon? Why?
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Zosherooney » December 3rd, 2018, 6:43 pm

I have drunk it as a soft drink and was pleasantly surprised......Not over sweet at all and I don't like sweet drinks.
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 5th, 2018, 12:35 pm

Suelle wrote:There's currently a fashion for 'decorating' home made cakes with what often looks like half a packet of assorted biscuits, several bars of chocolate and half a pound of sugary sweets on top of buttercream. Leaving aside the issue of extra calories, I think it really detracts from the cake itself.


One of the girls ( she's about 75) I regularly do the pub quiz with, is famous for her baking, particularly Victoria sponge with which she always wins the Church Fete competition … When it's someone's birthday, she gets lots of 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' and 'wows' and remarks about how clever she is because she adds all these decorations to the liberally coated cake. I can see nothing clever about putting loads of the ready made stuff on top :? :rolleyes:
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby Ratatouille » December 5th, 2018, 1:33 pm

If said lady's so good at baking one wonders why she hides her beautiful Victoria sponges under a load of rubbish?

Gilding the lily on steroids :scared:
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby KC2 » December 5th, 2018, 4:37 pm

I've just looked at next week's Radio Times and there is a recipe for mince pie blondies ... 'nuff sed ...
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Re: Gilding the Lily?

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 5th, 2018, 4:49 pm

PatsyMFagan wrote:If said lady's so good at baking one wonders why she hides her beautiful Victoria sponges under a load of rubbish?


I think she only kept the authentic Victoria sponge for the annual competition .. using something else for a celebration cake ..

Edited to add, a lot of recipients would go for the decorated cake rather than a 'plain' sponge... ;)
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