Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Red Devil" Cheese Scone Noses: A Comic Relief Special

Way back in 1988 a new institution was born in this country - Comic Relief. I was back in School back then, but I remember it quite distinctly, as a friend and I (Ben Clover I seem to remember) had been given special dispensation to stay up late and watch the live broadcast on the TV, in the sixth form common room. Powered only by a variety of hot drinks, plenty of toast, and an army of assorted spreads, we made it through right to the end of transmission. I can't for the life of me remember much about the broadcast, except for the strong sense that things were amiss in large chunks of Africa, and that Lenny Henry wasn't entirely sure what was going on for most of the programme, but at least I can say I was there.

Fast forward to 2011 and Comic Relief it still with us, and as fab as ever. Tomorrow is comic relief day, and for once I decided to cook in honour of it, and something a bit unusual to boot. A spicy - and very red - variation on my Mum's cheese scones.

Red Devil Cheese Scone Noses
Now my Mum's cheese scones are - of course - the best cheese scones on the planet. Aren't all Mum's cheese scones? I make them myself quite often, they're a particularly brilliant way of using up milk and cheese which has started to lose its lustre, shall we say. I've even done variations, my Brie & Lemon Balm Scones the most successful so far. But tonight I thought I'd push the boat out, and try something a bit ... well ... odd.

The most long running theme of Comic Relief has to be the red nose, and in fact the whole enterprise is often referred to as Red Nose Day - or RND as it's now cropping up on Twitter. So what, I figured about Red Nose Scones? But not just plain old red noses, but spicy, hot, cheesy red noses. To the kitchen! Actually, I had no way of making any any red food at all at this point, bar adding vast quantities of tomato puree, but luckily my neighbour Angela was happy to share some food colouring that she had spare, so I was in business.

But back to the recipe. Really simple, First here's the cheese scone recipe, sans Comic Reliefness ...

"Red Devil" Cheese Scone Noses

by , March 17th, 2011

A spicey twist on a classic cheese scone recipe, perfect for comedy events. Should take about or so to prepare, , so .

  • 450g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 200g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g butter, thickly diced
  • milk to mix, up to ½ pint
Now that will make you fab cheese scones, which need to be shaped and baked in the usual way. I have a trick (actually, my Mum has a trick) with the preparation of the dough too, but that'll have to wait till another time. The processor took a nasty slice off my finger, so my typing's a bit slow tonight ...

To make my RND Red Devils you just need to make the following additions:
  • 4 teaspoons of red food colouring (Less than four might well work, but I had four, so I used four. They do need to be REALLY red, after all)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash hot sauce, e.g. tabasco or similar
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree

Mix all the dry ingredients in a food processor, then add the butter and process briefly. Add the cheese, process briefly again and then add the food coluring, the hot sauce and the tomato puree. Then start to add the milk with the machine running until the mixture forms a firm ball inside the machine.

Shape into walnut shaped balls and bake in a fan oven at 180° for 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.

What you should end up with is something like this:

Front lot ready for the oven, back lot are baked already and now cooling
With the quantities from the recipe above you should end up with at least 30 red devil noses, hopefully more. Personally I got 35 out of it (it may have been 36 actually - I've lost track of how many I've eaten already).

I think they would be fab split in half whilst still warm, and served with cold butter, especially a chive or garlic butter, but they need to go to work tomorrow to join the other baked goods being sold to raise money for charity. Of course everyone else will be producing sweet cakes and the like, so chances are my little red devils might be coming home again with me - but then again you never know. They are damn tasty, and on comic relief day anything might happen ....


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