My week so far has been dominated by the charity bake sale I held on Tuesday for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. I love baking but I’m not used to doing it on quite such a large scale.
Having made the second of my annual Christmas cakes on Saturday when all the family were around to give it the traditional ‘good luck’ stir, I started baking for the sale on Sunday. I did pastry and biscuit goodies first as I knew they would keep better for the sale on Tuesday.
After three dozen mince pies, two dozen coconut tarts and three dozen butter biscuits I was ready for a relaxing evening but no … Sophie had me helping her to make giant snowflakes to decorate the tables. She is very arty, me not so, so I was relegated to sticking with Pritt Stick while she did all the folding and cutting!
On Monday I started to bake as soon as I got up … Luscious Lemon Cake, Chocolate Cake, Victoria Sandwich, Coffee & Walnut Cake and Carrot Cake, followed by Pecan & Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Gluten Free Fairy Cakes and two batches of Cheese Spelt Scones. I have never baked with spelt before but I have to say they are absolutely THE best cheese scones I have ever tasted (not down to my baking, but the brilliant recipe which you will find below).
I collapsed in a heap around 8pm just as my neighbour, Sarah, who had very kindly agreed to help, knocked on the door with some very prettily iced cup cakes and some gift bags of cantucci, which is a little bit like biscotti but not quite as hard. She even offered to buy any cakes that hadn’t been sold – really kind.
The only thing left to do on Tuesday morning, apart from packing everything safely into the car, was to create the Melting Snowmen Biscuits from the butter biscuits I had baked on Sunday. They were Sophie’s idea as she had made them last Christmas. They were very easy to do, just a dollop of glace icing on each biscuit, a white marshmallow and then decorate with coloured icing, which Chris helped with, particularly the bow ties.
I hadn’t really slept much on Monday night as I kept thinking, “What if no-one buys anything?” I needn’t have worried. The sale started at midday and by 1.45p.m EVERYTHING had sold out. We had also organised a lucky dip and a raffle and overall we raised £643 in under three hours for LLR.
A massive thank you to everyone who bought cakes etc. but also to my helpers; Nat, Teresa, Natasa and Kiera, but mostly to Chris for putting up with two days of kitchen mayhem!!!
After all the hard work I felt I deserved the treat of a Liz Earle facial, which had been organised for Wednesday.
Both my skin and I say a big thank you to Abigail James who you are going to be meeting on QVC very soon, and also to the Liz Earle team who have donated a ‘Superskin’ prize for a competition. I will do it in a separate post on Tuesday and you will have until Thursday midnight to enter, so watch this space.
If you are a Liz Earle fan I have a show with Caroline on Sunday at 6pm during our Beauty Gifts day on QVC, and also shows with Keeley from Elemis and the effervescent Mally – hoping her TSV will last until our 4pm show.
Prior to that, tomorrow sees the last in the series of the Saturday Night Show. The trio of Miceal, Will and myself will be back together and joined by Joan Collins, Mat Trim, Lee Hohbein and the cute little pug who features on our Christmas ads, amongst many others. We’ve enjoyed doing the show and I hope you’ve enjoyed watching it?
Just a little heads-up for those of you who love your pearls … join me midnight Tuesday into Wednesday with the dapper Ralph Rossini for our Honora TSV earrings.
So, as promised, here is the cheese scone recipe I used:
200g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
half teaspoon paprika
75g grated mature cheddar
125ml skimmed milk
beaten egg to glaze
Pre – heat oven to 220 C
1. Sift spelt and salt into mixing bowl and rub in butter
2. Mix in baking powder, mustard and paprika
3. Add cheese and mix to a dough with the milk using a knife
4. Roll out to 2cm thickness and cut into 5cm rounds. use the trimmings to re-roll and cut. (makes 10)
5. Place scones on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with egg
6. Bake for 8-10 mins until golden brown then cool on a wire rack.
Eat warm or cold … yummy!
Hope you can join me for Fashion on Friday at 5pm this afternoon, today with the lovely Renee and her Attitudes by Renee range including the TSV, if it’s still around.
Have a lovely weekend.