This recipe is smoothness personified

450g icing sugar

225g unsalted butter (Tesco Organic used 2009, very good texture)

Zest of an orange

Rose water or orange flower water - optional


Source: Fanny Craddock's Coping with Christmas


Cream the butter (I start it in the microwave for a few seconds)

Sift about a quarter of the icing sugar into the butter, cream in until thoroughly mixed and the mixture is uniform and soft

Do the same again - second quarter of the sugar.

And again

And finally again - so ALL the sugar is creamed into the butter. It will JUST go, as long as you cream it well each time.

Add the orange zest and a couple of teaspoons of orange flower/rose water if required - adds a certain zing, cream in.

Finally add a good slug of brandy and cream in

Then another slug and cream in again

And again

Fanny Craddock says keep going until the mixture will just hold a soft peak. I stop before that.

Don't add too much brandy at once, risk of curdling the mixture.

Spoon into a serving dish (or two), cover with Clingfilm, put in the fridge to set firm.

This will last at least 6 weeks according to Fanny, though mine usually goes faster than that!

Lick the bowl out furiously.

Fanny recommended adding green colouring - I don't think so darling...

Words and recipe provided by Mark McKergow

Interesting note - most recipes I have found give equal quantities of butter and sugar, which results in something very buttery (eg Delia

This has twice as much sugar as butter, and is more akin to icing which melts on your Xmas pud.

A must for Christmas Day, also goes well with mince pies.

Rum butter would work too - simply substitute rum for the brandy.

I apologise for the quality of the picture. As is obvious it was the end of our Christmas Dinner, alcohol consumed, leading to poor camera control. Better luck next year!