Thursday, 12 June 2014

Stamford cake club at Love Stamford

This month, I took the Stamford cake club to the new venue Love Stamford. This is a great community venture, mixing shops with a cafe, and a children's play area, plus craft, art, and allsorts of fun stuff. I love the atmosphere in this open-plan venue, and knew it would be perfect for our cake club.

The owner, Andraya, laid out her gorgeous unique armchairs and sofas around little tables for our cakes. It was a great afternoon and everyone enjoyed themselves. Not only did we get the chance to scoff 11 different cakes baked to a Stamford theme, but we also got to do a bit of shopping too - I came away with a new foxy scarf from The Little Scarf Co.

Cakes this month were:
Daniel Lambert Strawberry Roly-Poly Swiss Cake
Georgian vanilla baked cheesecake with almond biscuit base
Dundee cake
Chocolate mousse cake
Chocolate box church cake
Stamford Stone ginger cake
Scripture cake
Daniel Lambert chocolate cake with buttons and belt
Coconut cake with blackcurrant jam
Coffee and walnut cake
Gingerbread cake

All delicious. To find out more about Clandestine Cake Clubs click here

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Strawberry Swiss Roll

The recent Stamford cake club theme was quite literally Stamford - find a recipe inspired by the Georgian town itself. I related to the fattest man in England, Daniel Lambert, who's a notorious character in Stamford. He died in 1809 weighing 52 stone. So, I thought, he was a bit roly-poly... Now, I couldn't make a Jam Roly Poly pudding for cake club, so instead I made a Strawberry Roly Poly Swiss Roll Cake.

A simple recipe:

4 eggs
100g caster sugar
100 self-raising flour
Dash of vanilla paste

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very light and fluffy, leaving a trail when you lift up the whisk.
Carefully fold in the sifted flour, and drizzle in the vanilla paste.
Pour into a Swiss roll tin prepared with butter and greaseproof paper.
Bake at about 200C for 10 minutes, until nicely brown and coming away from the sides.
Turn out on to another piece of greaseproof paper dusted with more caster sugar. Peel off the greaseproof paper from the back, scour a line an inch in from a short end with a sharp knife.
Spread good-quality strawberry jam over the sponge while it's cooling, cover with chopped up fresh raspberries, and roll.
(NB don't leave it to cool for too long before rolling, as I mistakenly did, as then the outer layer will stick to the sugar and the greaseproof paper and will come off. However, if that happens, just cover it in icing sugar like I did!)

To find out more about Clandestine Cake Club click here

 Clandestine Cake Club

Monday, 26 May 2014

Chocolate raspberry fudgey cake

If you're in need of a decadent dinner party dessert, or just a delicious weekend bake, try this chocolate raspberry fudgey cake. It's much like a rich brownie, and is great served with fresh raspberries - it would also be brilliant warm with some vanilla ice cream. Rich, fudgey, delicious - I'll definitely be baking this again!

240g marg
5 tbsp raspberry jam
75g cocoa powder
300g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 tsp kirsch
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt

This is an easy recipe. Melt the marg and jam in a large saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat, then sift in the sugar and cocoa. Beat the kirsch into the eggs, then add gradually into the mix. Sift in the flour and salt, and stir in.

Pour into a prepared tin (mine was a 20cm round loose-bottomed tin). Bake for 15 minutes at 180C, then turn down to 160C for another 40 minutes.

Leave to cool, then serve with a dusting of icing sugar and cocoa powder, with fresh raspberries on the side.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Pear Drops cake

For the latest Stamford Clandestine Cake Club meet, the theme was sweet shop, and I'd seen this cake on Dolly Bakes' blog a while ago and wanted to give it a go - Pear Drops cake. Rachel (aka Dolly) made this as a proper bundt in a 10 cup bundt tin, but my ring tin isn't a proper bundt tin and is about half the capacity - this means I get a nice big cake plus lots of little cakes too.

For the full recipe, please visit Dolly Bakes. The only difference I made when baking was to use just butter, rather than a mixture of butter and vegetable fat.

The M&S Pear Drops fizzy pop is definitely worth a try if you're a fan of these retro sweets - but be warned, you might need dentures after a glass of this sugary treat.

Click here for more information about the Clandestine Cake Clubs.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Stamford cake club at the sweet shop

The gorgeous cricket pavilion of Burghley Cricket Club, in the grounds of stunning Burghley House, Stamford, played host to the Stamford CCC on May 12. The venue was especially clandestine this month, as most members couldn’t find it – I had to act as traffic steward, waving everyone the right way. At the end of the night, the park gates had been locked so we couldn’t leave… We thought of knocking on the door of Burghley House to ask for a few beds for the night, before we were rescued by the cricket captain. As member Sarah said, “It all adds to the magic and excitement that is cake club!”

Our theme this month was a diabetes-inducing ‘Sweet Shop’ and we had an amazing array of sugary cakes. Everyone really pushed the boat out this month with some great flavours, imaginative ideas, and super decorations.

The roll of honour was:
Pear Drops cake – Sophie
Fruit Salad battenburg – Anthea
Confetti cake – Kat
Kit Kat and Smartie cake – Celia
Coconut mushroom cake – Rhoda
Sweet treats cake – Jo
Rhubarb and custard – Alice
Pineapple cube cake – Lisa
Curly Wurly cake – Sarah
Walnut whip cake – Deborah
Coconut cake – Kerry

Rhoda’s coconut mushroom cake was brilliant. Actually made up of lemon sponge and carrot cake, the bottom stalk of the mushroom was likened to Nora Batty’s tights, but (luckily) didn’t taste of them. Deborah’s Walnut Whip was full of fantastic marshmallow, and we urged her to enter it into the CCC Book 2 – Lynn, keep your eye out for that one. Top trumps to Alice’s rhubarb and custard cake, which everyone loved, and we all agreed it would be really good warm with a bit of cream.  I think everyone needed dentures after the sugar attack of my Pear Drops cake (made with Pear Drops fizzy pop from M&S). All the cakes looked brilliant and thanks to all the bakers for their hard work.

The setting was beautiful, looking over the cricket green into Burghley Park, surrounded by grazing sheep (we had to stay on ‘sheep watch’ to make sure they didn’t get on to the wicket), and managed to miss the monsoon downpour happening nearby but instead were treated to a lovely pink sunset over the Georgian rooftops of Stamford. Oh, how I love our cake club…

To find out more about Clandestine Cake Clubs click here