Monday, May 14, 2012

Sugar mice from my childhood


I often find, a smell, a sight or a taste has the ability to transport me back to my childhood. Recently I tried some of the new Regalice white chocolate fondant and in my mind I was right back with these mice. 
I immediately telephoned Grandma Kiwicakes and asked her to find the promotional pamphlet for making these mice (it came with the tins of condensed milk) - shock horror it could not be found. But thanks to the wonder that is the online community and the responses I received to my facebook plea for the recipe, I was able to make these wee fellas. 
Special thanks go to Trish Woods-Curle, who took the trouble to search scan and email the brochure through. Trish's version at a guess, would be the copy after mine (mine was printed on white or cream paper with pink accents and black writing, prior to colour photography being the norm, it would have been printed in the late 1970s or 1980 - if anyone has that version I'd still love to see it). Trish tells me her Mum wouldn't let her make them. Funny that, Grandma Kiwicakes (my Mum) would never let us make them either, it was my Granny, who let my older brother & I make them during school holiday visits. Shockingly I can also add, my grandparents also let us have sugar or condensed milk on toast (they have a lot to answer for, for my sweet tooth!). I'm not surprised Grandma Kiwicakes didn't let us make them, as a parent I'm not sure I'd let the kids eat a bag of icing sugar and 1/2 tin of condensed milk for just 4 mice.

I made them just the way we did as kids, the recipe is for peppermint mice. However we only ever made the white ones peppermint and the pink ones were left plain. We also always used slivered almonds for ears, pink cachous for the nose and silver for the eyes. Granny always seemed to have a box of Black Knight licorice on hand and we cut a long flat strip up for tails and whiskers. I had forgotten how the resulting icing spread slightly before it properly dries, making the mice a little wider than when they are modelled (but it all came racing back to me). 

As an adult, I would struggle to eat a pink mouse, although a wee piece was nice for old times sake, I had to chase it down with a piece of peppermint mouse, to take away the cloying sweetness.


The original recipe, click to enlarge & print.


We always used licorice for tails, this recipe calls for string - but until I can see a copy of my original old recipe, I don't know if the licorice was something Granny came up with.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my "mice" memories, as during the time I sourced this recipe and tried it out, I've thought an awful lot about the baking I did with my grandparents, as well as the time I spent with them in Turangi, during my school holidays.
A note to those considering making this icing, it's not overly suited to modelling, it spreads before setting and dries with almost a wrinkly crust - great for elephants skin wrinkles though)


I hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Does tasting or smelling something have the ability to transport you down memory lane, if so what?
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