Royal Ascot and Wimbledon tennis – the British summer season is truly upon us so it was only fitting we should have a theme of ‘Cocktails and Mocktails for our June meeting of the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club. We made our way to the lovely home of member Christine and we were rewarded with a fine selection of homemade cocktails and drinks.
First up was our organizer and life coach, Karen Perkins. Karen made a Cherry Bomb Cake which was cherry sponge with cherry brandy.
A love of cats was Dawn’s inspiration for her Black Cat Cocktail Cake. This was a Cola and Vodka sponge with vanilla cream, cranberries and a cherry brandy and cola icing topped with fresh cherries.
Young baker and co-hostess Fleur made a summer favourite of a Pimms lemon drizzle cake with fresh mint and strawberries.
Baking duo Paul and Moira adapted a standard lemon drizzle recipe and turned it into a Limoncello Savarin Ring Cake with flaked almonds.
Hostess Christine made a very impressive Gin & Tonic Opera Cake which needed an even more impressive 12 eggs! The cake was sandwiched with a white chocolate and Earl Grey tea ganache and soaked in a gin, tonic and lime syrup.
A cocktail party isn’t complete without some Champagne and Deb added some Champagne flavouring to her Blackcurrant Cake. Deb was a bit unsure of what quantity she should put in but how much can be enough?!
From cupcake to big cake Victoria took an American cupcake recipe and converted it to make her Bloody Mary Cake with Cayenne Pepper Buttercream. The butterceam was made by making a roux of flour and milk and then beating in the butter and icing sugar.
The ‘Sex and the City’ favourite cocktail of a Cosmopolitan was made into an innocent mocktail cake with Emily’s sponge cake. It had a ‘Cosmo’ Cranberry and Lemon jam filling plus orange icing and candid peel.
Bernie’s Tequila Sunrise cake was based on the ‘Dark & Stormy’ Cake in the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. The rum infused cake had several layers and also contained orange and cut peel.
One of our new members Margaret took a Nigel Slater coffee and walnut cake recipe and made it into a cocktail cake with the addition of some Kahlua. The coffee and rum liqueur was added both in the cake and in the buttercream frosting.
A normally boozy cocktail of was made into in a non-alcoholic cake version by Jaimee. Her cake was based on a Strawberry Daiquiri.
Another non-alcoholic cake was made by Wendy with her Pina Colada cake. This was topped with some dried pineapple.
The alcohol was definitely present in Stephanie’s Pina Colada cake. She used a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery which contained pecans. Malibu and lime zest.
We went back to Pina Colada mocktails with Mary’s cake as she used Rum extract to flavour it. The covering was made from coconut cream and desiccated coconut.
Mary’s sister Martha used Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness to form the base of her Black Velvet Cocktail cake. The mock Champagne topping also had some deliciously rich Jersey double cream in it.
If you are going to use a bundt tin then don’t use a silicone one was Liz’s advice! A failed first effort was just a distant memory once her Baileys Cake was revealed. A splash of the Irish Cream was in the sponge and also the mascarpone and icing sugar frosting. Some grated chocolate finished it off.
Top chefs will always tell you that you should taste your food as you cook it to make sure you have got all the flavourings right. Anne confirmed that she made sure there was just the right amount of Malibu in her version of Rachel Allen’s Pina Colada cake! The mascarpone and icing sugar topping was paired with some crushed pineapple.
My baking student is of course rather underage for any alcohol and so her obligatory chocolate cake was mixed with some caffeine-free Cola to make her bundt cake. The icing was also flavoured with Cola and cocoa. In the middle was a mixture of fizzy and gummy cola sweets.
As a non-drinker (you can’t beat a cup of tea with a slice of cake) I decided against a cocktail drink cake but made one based on a tin of fruit cocktail. I used dried topical fruit and added some glacé cherries and plumped them up by soaking them in orange juice. The icing sugar was mixed with some water and orange extract and then drizzled down the sides.
With 19 cakes we certainly had our work cut out to try them all out. Thankfully as always we were able to take samples home with us. Many thanks to Christine for welcoming us into her home and to her husband for being today’s cocktail mixer. As they say, we will meet again on 13th July for our American cakes meeting and again on Thursday 1st August for an evening to celebrate Yorkshire Day.