Book club – check! Writers group – check! So when I first heard about the Clandestine Cake Club (or CCC for short) it just made sense (what can I say, I’m a joiner!). The premise is you meet up around once a month at regional clubs and bring a cake (no brownies, no cupcakes, no muffins etc.) and optional friend. Meetings tend to be every 4-6 weeks and the best part is, it's completely free!
The CCC was founded in the summer of 2010 by Lynn Hill and has grown and grown to over 140 regional clubs in the British Isles, but with groups opening as far and away as India, the Cayman Islands and New Zealand. So popular have they become that their first cookbook is released tomorrow, with recipes chosen from hundreds of submitted entries by Cake Club members.
There’s a different theme set by the organiser and very aptly given this is Valentine’s week, the theme was “Eat Hearts, Sweethearts” and the venue was St Bartholomew’s pathology museum – surrounded by some 5000 medical specimens pickled in jars for our viewing pleasure. This was a meeting of the Shoreditch CCC run by the lovely Carla Valentine, who has her own mouthwatering blog, where she reviews afternoon teas, among other things.
From the off everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastic, it's great to be among people who don't think you're mad discussing different ways of colouring icing, or how best to make sure a cake comes out the tin! As you can see there were loads of delicious entries. I made a masala chai tea 'love or lust?' cake from a recipe by Fiona Cairns, from her wonderfully inspiring Birthday Cake book.
|Love or lust? - Sly artwork covering up terrible photography!|
My friend Nikki made a beautiful 'Date on a Plate' chocolate rose cake and Louise came with a Secret Heart cake using the very tin I blogged about a few weeks ago. I've been putting off using this because I was scared of how it might turn out, but she really kindly gave me some great hints and tips, including using this pan coating in order to make sure the cake turns out, so it was an educational, as well as enjoyable evening!
After filling my face with more cake than I thought humanly possible, it was time for a Valentine's themed quiz and I have to say I did dismally. I think I scored 3.5 out of 15, which does not bode well for the pub quiz this evening! The winner was rewarded with two completely cute heart shaped lipsticks, which it is probably best I didn't win as I find even normal shaped lipsticks a bit of a challenge to apply. Eventually we all reluctantly packed up and took as much cake with us as our paws could carry. I took mine into work this morning and it's fair to say it went down very well.
Next month's meeting is going to be Dexter themed, which poses a small challenge as I have never watched any of them, although I am not one to shy away from devouring whole box sets while losing weeks of my life, so challenge on. Any ideas welcome!