This month’s Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club meeting saw some more freezing temperatures but thankfully no snow this time as we made our way to the cosy Cocoa Wonderland on Ecclesall Road. An early start ensured that we would be having cake for breakfast, all washed down with pots of tea provided by Cocoa Wonderland, including their English Breakfast, Black Forest Gateau and Pink Potion varieties.
It was great to see a number of new faces this month including our guest speaker Dave Darwent. Dave opens up his garden in Sheffield as part of The National Gardens Scheme and told us the history of his house and garden plus how he got into baking. In order to raise funds Dave has produced a recipe booklet inspired by his Grandma’s baking which he sells on open days. Some of his creations can be found on his website.
Dave very kindly made us two cakes to try. His first cake was a Passion Cake which he found in a 1984 Family Circle book. Over the years he has adapted it from a standard carrot cake so it now contains vanilla paste, walnuts and walnut oil and also some crushed honeycomb on the cream cheese topping.
The second cake Dave baked was a Cointreau Chocolate Cake which started life very innocently as a Be-Ro chocolate cake but now includes several tablespoons of the orange liqueur.
Our organizer and Life Coach, Karen Perkins made a stripy chocolate ganache heart cake. The inside had layers of vanilla and chocolate in between a cocoa cream filling.
We were without Paul this month but he did make us a gorgeous Sachertorte which was brought along by his wife Moira, who decorated the top. The pair had a late night panic as they ran out of ground almonds but they were able to substitute some ground walnuts instead. I can confirm this worked very well!
Home coach Helen knows a thing or two about baking and came with a beautiful twist to a classic Be-Ro milk chocolate cake. Added to the top were kumquats and marmalade and it was filled with chocolate crème fraiche.
The caramel cake was made by Betsy who patiently melted lots of sugar, cream and butter to make a caramel filling and frosting for her sour cream cake.
A triple layer chocolate cake from Jen was flavoured with chilli and cinnamon. Some gold and silver sprinkles gave it some star appeal.
Silvana has gone from home baking to making a business of it with Silvana’s Cakes. Her stunning pink Champagne cake was decorated with white chocolate ganache and glitter.
Hannah’s passion cake with cream cheese, bananas, carrots, spices and walnuts was given some heart with some praline chocolates on top.
Chocolate Guinness is always a hit amongst cake lovers and Clare’s was no exception. Instead of the usual cream cheese topping Clare made her own chocolate bottles filled with whisky.
Another cake made famous by Nigella Lawson was Debs’ offering of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. This was rich and delicious and may have you sneaking down to the fridge late at night for a midnight treat.
Newbie Adam came with his version of the of his idol’s, the Barefoot Contessa, Chocolate and Coffee cake with added salted pecans. Adam’s buttermilk cheat is to mix milk with lemon juice and leave for 10 minutes.
Another new face today was Dawn who treated us to her version of a chocolate, orange and chilli cake. Dawn uses chilli powder in the recipe to make sure the chilli flavour isn’t too hot and overpowering.
A veteran of Clandestine Cake Club is Christine who made a passion fruit cheesecake with some beautiful piping. The original recipe called for an extravagant 12 passion fruits to be used but cutting down that number didn’t change the lovely freshness of its taste.
I decided to make Fiona Cairn’s white chocolate and cardamom cake but omitted the filling for fear of the cake falling to pieces when I tried to cut it. Instead I glazed the top with rosewater icing. The recipe asks for a 20cm round tin but this corresponds perfectly to a 22cm heart shaped tin.
My baking apprentice was very happy with the choice of chocolate for a theme and made a chocolate truffle heart cake with strawberry hearts decoration. The eggs were separated with the whites whisked and then folded in. The topping was a dark chocolate ganache.
Today was our highest ever number of attendees and I’m always amazed by the variety of cakes that are brought along. Thank you to everyone who came and a special mention to Karen for continuing to find us some fantastic venues and to Cocoa Wonderland for looking after us so well.