Sheffield’s Clandestine Cake Club at the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ Live Roadshow
It was a lovely late August day in Sheffield with just a few signs of autumn starting to appear. That however was the day before BBC’s ‘The One Show’ came to Endcliffe Park in Sheffield for their first live roadshow. As I delivered my cakey offering at 9am the rain had already settled in and I was worried if the event would ever take place. In ‘The Best in One Show’ tent there were already a number of far superior homages to Sheffield in the form of decorated cakes. I set my cake up and bid farewell to it until later on.
A couple of weeks earlier I had been contacted by our branch organizer Karen Perkins (@fabcoach on Twitter) about the possibility of making a cake with a Sheffield theme for showing on The One Show. Karen suggested ‘cafes of Sheffield’. This seemed very apt to me as Karen has found us some lovely cafes in Sheffield in order to hold our cake sharing and eating gatherings. I decided to do a fruit cake with the dried fruit first soaked in some tea from Yorkshire (you know which one). The recipe is very simple as once the fruit is nicely plumped up you just stir in the sugar, flour, baking powder and a couple of eggs, before baking it for a couple of hours. I decorated it with a covering of white icing and cut a piece of pink icing for a table cloth. Searching through my card making craft stash I found an embossing plate I could press into the icing to give the tablecloth a nice swirly pattern. Not being much of a model maker I used a few props to show my cafe. Daughter Jibberjabber painted her tea set to show not only a cafe table but also a paint-your-own-crockery-cafe. Around the sides of the cake were some wire bicycles as every good cyclist knows that a cycle ride has to end in a cafe stop and Endcliffe Park has a very nice cafe that welcomes cyclists.
Anyway enough of my rushed effort as there were four fine cakes from our members to show off. Firstly Karen made a rich Madeira cake filled with homemade strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream. The design of the cake was the famous ‘Hole in the Road’ which has now been filled in for the tram stop at Castle Square. Karen added some nice touches including the rim around the top and its fish tank.
If you’re not from Sheffield and haven’t a clue what I am going on about dig out those copies of ‘The Full Monty’ as it is featured in the ‘City on the Move’ documentary clip at the beginning of the film. Alternatively see if you can scan the QR code Karen placed around the side of the cake. It is a link to a video about the ‘Hole in the Road’ and includes a song.
The new heroine of Sheffield is undoubtedly Jessica Ennis. Deb Findley made a chocolate and blackcurrant cake and turned it into a gold medal to celebrate Jess’ Olympic success. On top was a depiction of each of the seven events that make up Jess’ heptathlon event. The finishing touch Deb made to it was the ‘sand’ for the long jump pit which was actually some brown sugar.
The beautiful cake representing Sheffield’s claim to be the greenest city in Europe was created by Christine Sanderson. Made in a Bundt tin the cake was made using a special organic Japanese Matcha Nagata Uji Chaen Ceremony Grade green tea. Christine decorated the cake with buttercream which she coloured different shades of green.
A striped football shirt can mean two things in Sheffield but one with red on can only be for Sheffield United. Christine’s eight year old daughter Fleur made a sponge cake in the shape of a football shirt and made it into a special One Show Sheffield United top.
After our cakes had been on show to the public for the day, Christine, Fleur and myself were asked to be on the live show to be broadcast on BBC1. I’m not sure why Karen or Debs’ cakes were not asked to be on ahead of mine but there we go. After we transported the cakes through the mud (perhaps I should have made a Chocolate Mud Cake) to the makeshift broadcasting area we were told that our cakes, along with some from Seven Hills WI, would be part of a feature in which the comedian Alan Davies would judge which one he thought was ‘Best in Show’. Despite being totally against Clandestine Cake Club rules we gamely agreed to be part of the to be judged line-up. Alan declared his favourite cake to chocolate (knew I should have made that Chocolate Mud Cake) but the sight of Fleur’s football shirt cake swayed the Arsenal supporting QI favourite. So Fleur deservedly left the stage sporting her yellow winner’s rosette.
We trooped off through the swamp that was now Endcliffe Park to go home to change into warm, dry clothes and reply to the many text and Twitter messages that had been received. A bit of a different day; thank goodness the next Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club meeting ‘Autumn Style’ won’t be so nerve-racking!