My partner Polly’s father went to school with Benjamin Britten, and we found this recipe for ‘Benjamin Britten’s Symphony’, in her handwritten household book. It’s a dessert jelly of dark and glamorous flavours – basically made from black treacle and fino sherry, set with gelatine – in truth more like Ravel-in-aspic than something by the composer of the austere Peter Grimes. But family legend has it that it was indeed invented by Ben. We asked our friend Ronald Blythe, who knew Ben well, if he had heard of it. He hadn’t but remembered that both Ben and Peter Pears adored “nursery food” – which would explain the jelly, if not the combination of alcohol and molasses, which gives the concoction a slightly wicked, nautical flavour. The full recipe, and other oddball cooking improvisations, are in Wild Cooking

The writer’s alternative Honour’s List, the Guardian Cryptic Crossword.

27 Dec 2012,  26 across. “Naturalist moves end to middle, perhaps. 5 letters.”