Charity Cakes (Guest Blogger)

Hello, mystery guest blogger here.  Well, perhaps not so mysterious but it’s a better title than ‘guest blogger’.  Anyway, I have been asked to write about our baking evening extravaganza, in order to prove that our kitchen gets graced with more than just bread-based items from time to time.  Only occasionally though.

So, it was the department charity bake sale, and not one to do things by halves, I invited no fewer than four additional baker-colleagues round to our house to whip up as many things as possible in a mere couple of hours.  Cue lots of flour everywhere, a veritable game of Tetris trying to fit things in the oven/ingredients in bowls/people in the kitchen, and a smorgasbord of tasty things at the end of it.  And some serious sugar rush-crash combinations.  Between us we managed to make:

– Coconut ice

– Peppermint creams

– Macaroons

– Triple chocolate chip cookies

– Fudge cookies

– Ginger chocolate refrigerator cake squares

– Date, orange and walnut cake

– Easter-themed chocolate rice krisipie cakes

– Peanut butter squares

– Banana loaf

Counting up the amount of butter, sugar and chocolate in all of that is probably ill-advised.  Suffice to say we virtually bought out Tesco’s supply of chocolate slabs, and we got through about 2 kg of icing sugar.  How much of that went all over the kitchen instead of into the baked goods we will never know (why is it that however hard you try to avoid it, icing sugar + electric whisk = surefire icing-sugar-ghost-face?).  Although just in case any of the guest bakers end up reading this, the kitchen was incredibly tidy by the time the dust had settled and baked goods were in their final forms, thanks to an equally whirlwind-like cleanup effort.

My personal triumphs were the peanut butter squares (like Reese’s pieces, but better.  Thank you Nigella Lawson for showing me that peanut butter can be improved by the addition of, wait for it, more butter and a bit of sugar just for good measure), the rice krispie cakes and banana bread.  Less of a triumph was making the non-cook ones first and then discovering that banana bread takes *an hour* to cook.

Anyway, everything was rather good, and some of it even made it to the bake sale.  A suspiciously large number of items were deemed ‘test’ or ‘not nice enough to sell’, funnily enough…  And even more things were taken in, only to be ‘bought back’ straight away.  Testament to the tasty goodness of them all.  And yes, peppermint creams do make a very nice breakfast-based snack.  Complements the toothpaste.

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