A SATSUMA AND A SUGAR MOUSE
When I was a little girl I always knew that at the bottom of my stocking would be a delicious-smelling, loose-skinned Satsuma, a handful of nuts (why? I was hardly likely to be able to crack them with my teeth!) and a sugar mouse.
I’m sure the sugar mice for the Rhymer’s annual Mouse Hunt in Every Woman for Herself were made by Em the traditional way, using uncooked egg white for the fondant, but I’ve devised this simple recipe using only icing sugar and tinned evaporated milk. You can add a little liquid glycerine for a slightly softer fondant. I just form my mice by hand, but you can get plastic and silicone moulds for them, too.
Trisha Ashley's Sugar Mice
6oz/175g icing sugar
A tin of evaporated milk
Sugar balls for the eyes
Thin string for the tails
Food colouring, if desired
Half a teaspoon of glycerine (optional)
Put the icing sugar into a bowl and slowly add the evaporated milk a teaspoonful at a time until you can form a fondant dough. If you overdo the milk, just add more sugar till you get the right consistency.
At this stage, you can divide up the dough and add a tiny drop of food colour to each batch, kneading in well. I like to leave half my mice white and colour the rest pink, but one year I made green peppermint mice.
On a board sprinkled with icing sugar, form the fondant into small pear shapes, pinching one end into a pointy nose and two rounded ears. Press in little silver sugar balls for eyes.
For a traditional tail, pierce the back of the mouse with a skewer and then push in the end of a short piece of thin string. (Caution: do not eat the string unless you are seriously short of roughage.)
Allow to dry and harden, then store in a box or tin lined with greaseproof paper till needed.
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