Newark & Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club – Cakes for Lent
Now we were halfway through Lent it was time for the members of the Newark & Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club to show that giving up cake isn’t necessary and with a few clever twists can be virtuous as well as delicious.
Despite the freezing temperatures outside we were assured of a very warm welcome from our host and member, Christine, in her lovely home. Our organizer Carol had prepared some very smart cake name holders for us and once all the cakes had arrived it looked a very impressive spread.
Carol had made two cakes. The first was a Greek Lenten Bundt cake. This contained almonds, cranberries and sour cherries. The original recipe also had Ouze in it but Carol decided to leave it out this time!
The second cake Carol made was an Orange and Rosemary Polenta cake. The reason Carol made this cake in particular was because one of our members is a coeliac so is unable to eat gluten which is found particularly in standard flour. The original recipe requires the drizzle on top to be made out of orange liqueur but since most of us would be driving back and the liqueur isn’t cooked at all, Carol decided to give up the alcohol in favour of orange juice instead.
One of our new members, Paul, has decided to give up flour for Lent so baked an old recipe from his Mum for ‘Easy no-flour fruit cake’. In place of the flour it has cornflakes as well as mincemeat and condensed milk
The Orange Lenten bundt cake was made by Deb. It conformed to the traditional Lent custom of giving up eggs and other other diary produce. To give it its fruity tang half a pint of orange juice was included as well as some marmalade.
Our young baker Fleur made one of her favourite cakes of a Pineapple Upside Cake. It was meant to be gluten-free but there was a little mix up with the flour! However, it still proved to be a fruity Lenten delight.
Our host, Christine made the Parsnip and Maple Syrup cake complete with glitter sprinkles. With the inclusion of apple in the recipe this made for a very tasty way to have 2 of your 5 a day! The filling in the middle was made with mascarpone. If you are unsure about parsnip cake but like carrot cake then you’ll have need need to worry as the taste is very similar.
Simnel cake was traditionally eaten during the middle Sunday of Lent in what has now become Mothering Sunday. Girls in service on a rare day off would take their mothers a Simnel cake. Nowadays it is usually saved until Easter itself. Pat made her version of a Simnel cake complete with marzipan three crosses and an angel.
Joyce was unable to join us but she very kindly bought us a Fruity Squash Loaf. This was very moist and the colour of the butternut squash could be clearly seen in the cake.
Another new member to the group was Janet who made the traditional Greek Lenten cake of Tahinopitta. As the name suggests this contains the sesame seed based paste of tahini. It has in it walnuts, almonds and orange juice but no animal fats or products.
Lois has coeliac disease so can’t eat any products containing gluten. She has recently purchased Gluten Free Baking and her Carrot cake was one of the recipes in it. This shows that giving up gluten needn’t be cake free!
The Lemon and Sultana cake was made by Barbara. This recipe uses less sugar and margarine than other recipes.
I decided to make a cake from the new Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. In it is a recipe for a very Lent friendly Vegan Lemon Cake. It’s very quick and easy to make as essentially it is lemon flavoured sponge. The recipe says to use limoncello in the filling but since I don’t drink and it is Lent afterall I substituted the 2tbsp of limoncello for 1 tsp of lemon extract.
It was a lovely evening that passed by very quickly. Many thanks to Christine and her husband for letting us meet at their house and keeping us supplied with drinks. Also thank you for Carol to organizing. The Newark & Sherwood group will be joining the Nottingham group for a book launch event on 21st May at Nottingham Waterstones. If you would like to come please book a place.