After a day of rain and hail the early evening brought us beautiful sunshine – just the right weather for the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club Spring Fresh Tastes meeting. Our organizer and Life Coach Karen Perkins had arranged for us to have a spring clean of our houses and bring any unwanted but saleable items to the The Conservation Volunteers shop on the Ecclesall Road.
The staff and volunteers had kept the shop open especially for us and supplied us with tea, squash, plates and cutlery, plus the chance to have a look round the shop. Two of the staff even joined us in baking cakes!
The first cake was Douglas’ Lemon Meringue cake which was a delightful combination of fluffy meringue filled with zingy lemon and fresh cream.
The other staff member, Denisa, made a Pineapple and Coconut cake.
This was covered in cream and had a secret spiral filling inside.
We had several new faces, which is always lovely to see. First up was Bernie who made a Ginger Syrup Cake based on recipe in The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. Bernie liked this recipe because she could make it with ingredients she already had in her cupboards. On the top was a maple syrup frosting.
A classic sponge cake was given a fresh taste by Alison by filling it with her first ever batch of homemade lemon curd and mascarpone. On the top of the lemon sponge was fresh strawberries.
Sisters Mary and Martha of the Swiss House Bed and Breakfast in Castleton took the opportunity to bake something different. Martha’s Orange and Pecan cake also had honey in it with a filling of homemade orange marmalade and mascarpone.
Sister Mary took the recipe for a Victoria Sponge in The Clandestine Cake Cookbook and flavoured it with creamed coconut. The filling was a mix of mascarpone and citrus juices.
Our last newbie was Hannah who made a very pretty two tier sponge cake.
Inside one half was flavoured with lemon zest and the other with lime.
Dave opens his garden throughout the year as part of the National Gardens Scheme and is used to providing his visitors with a selection of teatime treats. He made his own invention of a Citrus Crunch cake which had chopped candied citron peel in it. When cooked this gives the cake a toffee taste. On the top was flaked almonds plus a secret crunch ingredient which we couldn’t guess. This turned out to be brown sugar cubes.
The Carrot cake made by Betsy was the first time she had tried to make carrot cake but it didn’t go as planned! Betsy tip was to make sure you use the right size tin and don’t wash your sultanas. She was able to rescue some slices for us. The cake was made with wholewheat flour and brown sugar. For the cream cheese frosting Betsy also used brown sugar, giving it a darker than normal appearance.
Suzanne raided her garden to add some spring flowers to her Pansy Viola Gâteau Sponge. The cream filling was flavoured with rose. The edible flowers gave a sweet and tangy taste to the cake.
Our organizer Karen went to the Ukraine and back with her Lemon and Poppyseed cake. A lemon glaze over the top added moistness to the cake.
Another recipe from The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook was the Lemon, Lime and Yoghurt Bundt Cake made by Debs. She added a cream cheese frosting and used tulips from her garden to decorate it.
One of the first sweet treats to show in the garden is rhubarb and Christine cut a batch from her garden and used it her classic combination of Rhubarb and Custard Tea cake. The glitter on the top showed off the rhubarb perfectly.
Christine’s young daughter Fleur made an Apple Crumble cake. This used the last of the stored apples from their garden.
Home Coach Helen has decided to give her diet a spring clean and used flaxseed powder and fruit sugar to give her cake a lower G.I. level. The Cherry and Almond cake was inspired by a recent spring walk in the hills with her friend.
A simple Victoria Sponge was turned into fresh creamy delight by Dawn by filling it with a combination of blueberry, elderflower, coconut and vanilla.
I decided to spring clean my cupboards and use some polenta I had brought previously for another cake. To give the cake a fresh, zesty flavour I put grapefruit peel and juice in it plus some grounded almonds. For extra moistness I made a grapefruit juice syrup of which half is poured over when slightly cooled and the rest when completely cooled.
My baking assistant daughter kept up her chocolate cake theme but this time used mint for a fresh, clean taste. The bottom was a moist chocolate cake made with hot cocoa and crushed clear boiled mints. The middle was a buttercream frosting flavoured with peppermint extract. On top milk chocolate and butter was melted together and a drop of peppermint extract stirred in. Once the chocolate was spread on top it was refrigerated until the chocolate had set.
It was great to see some old friends plus make some new friends. If you want to join our next meeting is 18th May with the theme Cakes from the vegetable patch. On 22nd June we will be gathering again for some Cocktails and Mocktails. How can you resist?!