Thursday, 30 January 2014

Stamford Clandestine Cake Club - healthy cakes

Can cakes be healthy? Probably not, but they can be healthier. This month's meeting of the Stamford Clandestine Cake Club was full of slightly-better-for-you-than-normal cakes, featuring plenty of your 5-a-day, lacking in sugar and fat, and generally feel-good baking.

On January 27, we met in the Melbourn Brothers pub in Stamford, also known as the All Saints Brewery. It's also called 'the secret pub' by many Stamfordians, as it doesn't really have a signpost and goes unnoticed by many tourists and locals alike. A secret pub befits the secret cake club. It's a fun pub full of character and charm, old dusty beams and charming nooks and crannies. We holed up in the top room, a perfect size for our group. The staff were really attentive and helped me set the room up well, providing us with lots of cutlery and plates, and in return they loved the plate of treats from us. For more information, visit the Melbourn Brothers Facebook page.

We had 15 members with 12 healthy cakes this month. The roll of honour was:
Chocolate mocha fat-free cake - Sophie
Apricot oatmeal cake - Sam
Mashed potato lemon drizzle (gluten-free) - Alice
Fat-free Angel cake with passionfruit coulis (a change to my label, which says mango!) - Simon
Apple and ginger cake - Anthea
Sweetcorn, lime and coconut cake - Kerry
Low-fat lemon roulade - Vic
Fat-free fruit sponge - Sarah
Banana bread - Karen
Low-fat pumpkin loaf - Ali
Swiss roll with home-made apple and blackberry jam - Celia
Mango and lime yoghurt cake - Vicky

The surprise of the night was Alice's mashed potato lemon drizzle - you would never have guessed the ingredient, it was a lovely, light lemon drizzle. Definitely one for the recipe books should you have gluten-intolerant guests round. Anthea's apple and ginger cake was delicious with a great ginger tang, and also included squash (extra healthiness). Vic and Sarah filled us with fat-free cake and lots of fresh fruit, while Celia impressed with her lovely jam filling, coupled with her broken arm - heaven knows how she managed to roll her roll up with one arm, well done Celia! Altogether the cakes were delicious and healthy (sort of), a great start to our cake club year.

For more information about why Clandestine Cake Clubs are so amazing, visit the CCC website.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Hummingbird Bakery red velvet cake

For my birthday this year (January 3, please note, put it in your diaries for next year) my brother bought me a Hummingbird Bakery red velvet cake - how lucky am I!

It was delicious from the first bite. Thick, creamy, smooth cream cheese buttercream on the outside, a fluffy sponge, brilliant colour... And massive. It went on forever - it lasted for days, even with my appetite.

It was my first taste of a real Hummingbird Bakery cake - not living in London means I just get to read the books and try to recreate their magic in my own kitchen. I will definitely be visiting the Bakery next time I'm in London, even just for a cupcake rather than a massive large cake.

I was tempted to take it to cake club and pretend it was my own - joke, of course...