Its Cake Club time again and this month Pinnies and Petticoats was in aid of Comic Relief. No set theme but the option to go all out with the red noses if you so desired. I was still feeling somewhat caked out from the 130 entries in the Fairtrade Fortnight bake off so left it till the day before to decide what to make and in the light of the continuing chocolate and sugar overload it had to be savoury. I had a flick through the Mary Berry Baking Bible and spotted an Onion topped Focaccia and though I could tenuously red nose it up a bit with my own adaptation - Focaccia Bread with Red (NOSE) Onion and Balsamic Topping.
I used my breadmaker to do the first part of the process - mixing, kneading and proving. Then knocked it back, topped it with the red onion and balsamic mix and let it prove for a second time.
The instruction to put the baking tray and dough into a large plastic bag to prove had me scratching my head for a bit but a (clean!) bin liner came to the rescue. The smell as it cooked was amazing and it took all my willpower not to rip off a chunk as soon as it came out of the oven.
Annoyingly the weather conspired against us for the second month running and the sleet and snow contributed to a low turnout of bakers. But what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. First up those who went full out with the red nose biscuits, cakes, truffles and fudge.
The cheeky chappies that were Red Nose Day Raspberry Cookies couldn't fail to bring a smile to your face. And now red nose day is over you can make them with lemon curd as fried eggs for Easter. Multipurpose biscuits.
Next up, Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe Absolutely loved these. Jammy in the middle and a custardy topping. Disappointing lack of sherry however...
Not content with her gorgeous Carrot Cake Muffins with Goats Cheese Topping, Holly went one step further and actually made the goats cheese herself with a kit from Big Cheesemaking Kit. You can read about my own cheesemaking exploits here - Who Let The Goats Out? It worked so well as a sweet topping, must definitely make me some of these with my next batch.
Last in the red corner were Colene's Red Nose Truffles and Red Velvet and White Chocolate Chunk Fudge. Alas the fudge suffered from a batch doubling disaster and wasn't quite the right consistency. It still tasted great eaten with a spoon.
Fantastic array of cakes kicking off with Herman the German Friendship Cake. I have a starter batch of him languishing in the freezer awaiting revival by cryonics. Dan Lepard Sweet Potato, Sour Cherry and Pecan Brownies are supposed to be a low sugar low fat treat. They tasted fantastic but not all that sure they would be diet friendly.
A new recruit to our midst was Katy from Curious Furnishings who also organises the Craft & Vintage March Hare Market. She laid all her cards on the table with a showstopping Victoria Sponge topped with a sewing machine. The Chocolate Mocha loaf cake with Cappuccino Icing was a variation on a recipe from the Great Comic Relief Bake Off booklet. 10 year old boy correctly identified it as being so when he spotted a slice of it the next day in my tupperware.
And last, but definitely not least, the savouries. I brought along some Garlic Mackintosh of Glendaveny and Chilli Ola Oils for dipping. Both are fantastic rapeseed oils. The bread quickly disappeared and was amazingly good if I say so myself. The Caramelised Onion Muffins were equally awesome.
Despite the lower than anticipated turnout we still managed to raise £70 for Comic Relief and will be adding to it with the proceeds from a silent action of a batch of goodies donated by Curious Furnishings. Pinnies, Prosecco, Cookbook and Cakestand is on offer. Visit the Pinnies and Petticoats Facebook page to find out more.
The date and theme of our next meet has still to be set but meantime please dig deep and donate to Comic Relief. Your donation WILL change lives.