The darkness was nearly upon us and the wind and the rain was howling outside – it was time to seek comfort in the cosy surroundings of Harland Cafe. Situated on John Street, between Bramall Lane and London Road by Go Outdoors, it provided the perfect refuge for our Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club Halloween meet-up.
We weren’t sure anybody was still living in Suzanne’s Halloween Gingerbread Cottage so it was only right we had to send in the demolition team to find out. Their report came back that its foundations was a chocolate sponge, mint chocolate gravestones, headless jelly babies, and melted marshmallow cobwebs! We were let into a little secret that the house was made from a Lakeland kit but it didn’t take away from the effort and skill involved.
As we all know cake is good for you so anyone who came a cropper and ended up in Alice’s Haunted Graveyard didn’t die from eating too much cake!. Her intensely chocolatey Death by Chocolate cake was being visited by some meringue ghosts and had a surprise chilli kick to it.
Reaching out from the dark chocolate and Grand Marnier base was Martha’s Wave from the Grave cake. The creepy fingers were made from marzipan set in a dark chocolate ganache.
Most pumpkins around Halloween get craved into scary faces but Margaret was ruthless and chopped it up to put in her Pumpkin Spiced Rollcake. The tricky Swiss roll had chopped pecans for taste and texture and it was filled with buttercream and homemade blackcurrant blood!
If we had one set of fingers where were the others? On Anne’s cake of course! The Zombies had moved to the Arctic and taken with them a selection of eyeballs, bones and even an ear which apparently looked very much like Anne’s boyfriend’s ear! The cake was from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook and was flavoured with orange zest, white chocolate and orange buttercream.
Over the pond in the USA Halloween is celebrated on a far grander scale and Silvana went looking there for inspiration. Her Pokey cake decorated with skulls and gravestones had red veins running through after being poked with liquid jelly and left to set.
Sara encountered one of the things that can frighten any baker – a broken oven! She bravely battled on and was able to conjure up a malty cheesecake with crunch nuts. The base was made from choc-chip biscuits.
Our organizer and life coach Karen Perkins went ghostbusting with her ghost spawn ectoplasm cake. It was filled with some supernatural Haribo sweets and homemade strawberry jam.
In the semi-final of the Great British Bake Off the quartet had to tackle the Charlotte Royale or the dreaded ‘Brain Cake’. This inspired Alice to make her own version but thankfully not brain in sight! Instead it was filled with a delicious chocolate mousse and beautifully decorated on the outside.
The lovely cakes sold at the Harland Cafe are made by resident baker Beth and she decided to join in the fun with us by making her own Halloween cake. The chocolate orange sponge was topped with a coffin effect and a marshmallow ghost.
As always a chocolate cake was requested by my Junior sidekick so we came up with our Chocolate Trick and Treacle Bucket Cake. The cake was chocolate and treacle and cut into four layers and filled with green buttercream but not mint flavour instead it was orange! Apparently Junior had seen something similar on Junior Bake Off. On top was our trick & treating sweety bounty.
Thank you to the Harland Cafe for opening after hours for us and being so hospitable. Before we knew it after several slices of cake and lashings of tea and coffee it was time to share round the cake and set off home. The great news is we get to do it all again shortly as our Noel Novelty event is on the 16th November. Book now to avoid disappointment!