We can’t escape it now – the countdown to Christmas is on. Being such an organized bunch of bakers it was the chance for the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club to try out something new in preparation for the big day itself. With our creations carefully boxed up we squeezed into the upstairs room at Fancie in their new home on the Ecclesall Road.
While most of us may be rushing around trying to get our Christmas shopping sorted it seems Santa and his faithful reindeer Rudolph still have time to relax. Our professional cake maker Silvana made us a beautiful handmade cake of Santa and Rudolph tucked up in bed. Underneath the blankets was a rich fruit cake with the dried fruit soaked in some cola! A nip of whisky in the mixture ensured Santa kept the cold out.Our organizer and Life Coach Karen Perkins went back to the 70s with her retro Bûche de Noël. Complete with faux poinsettia decorations it would be just the right way to finish off meal which started with a prawn cocktail. There was nothing fake about the chocolate Karen used though as it was 80% cocoa.
Our first newbie of the day was Lucy who very bravely not only came to her first meeting but did so in her first week of living in Sheffield and her first time of trying out a new oven to bake her cake. Inspired by her time living in Sweden Lucy made a Yorkshire version of a Swedish saffron cake. In Sweden saffron comes as a powder rather than strands so Lucy had to grind it herself. The cake had a cream cheese topping and dried cranberries as the traditional lingonberries are not readily available in Sheffield.
Christmas cakes deserve a little more time to be given to them so Hannah spent some time boiling a whole orange for her Orange and Spice Cake. It was finished off with a cream cheese frosting and little Christmas trees.
If you were driving home it was probably best to avoid Bernie’s Chocolate Cake as it was covered with Chocolate Rum Sauce. For those able to indulge in it they were able to enjoy a chocolate cake that had been fed with rum for week. To complete the chocolate and Christmas theme it had a ring of chocolate leaves around it.
The snow hasn’t arrived yet in Sheffield but the snowmen were already enjoying their sandwiches at Liz’s winter tea party. Liz put her sugarcrafting skills to good use with her handmade edible snow scene on top of a sponge cake.
Since Christmas is often all about over-indulgence it was good to see a fatless sponge on the table. However, that was where the healthy stuff ended! Suzanne’s chocolate log was made with chocolate, filled with double cream and then covered with some more chocolate and cream. Well, it is nearly Christmas after all…
Forget the turkey it was time to throw another shrimp on the barbie for Martha’s Aussie Christmas Cake. Based on the classic Be-Ro Chocolate Cake recipe the Lego people were enjoying climbing to the top of the chocolate finger diving board to jump in the lime jelly swimming pool.
It may only be November but Christine had Christmas all wrapped up with her Orange Sponge Present and Sticky Gingerbread bow. The orange sponge was filled with orange buttercream and covered with white fondant icing. The gingerbread had edible gold spray and glitter over it.
If you were to associate one colour with Christmas it has to be red and if there’s one of our members who isn’t afraid of a bit of colour it has to be Dawn. Her marbled spiced fruit cake was covered with red cream cheese frosting with some added sugar sprinkles and Christmas decorations.
Individual cupcakes are a no-no at Clandestine Cake Club meetings but a giant one shaped as a Christmas Tree was a definite “yes” from us. Mary, coming along to her first meeting, made a cherry and almond cake and then covered it with green frosting.
To make it a very Merry Mary Christmas we were joined by our second Mary and Martha’s sister. Mary decided if she was going to have cake at Christmas it may as well be one she really, really liked so she made a hazelnut meringue filled with raspberry and redcurrant purée.
It’s often easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas but Home Coach Helen reminded us of the true meaning for the season with her ‘Happy Birthday’ cake. The base was a light fruit cake whipped up with some lemon topped with layered gingerbread stars.
I came over all wholesome and made a vegan fruit loaf cake. It had no added fats or sugar and was made with wholemeal flour. The dried mixed fruit, dates, apricots and cherries were soaked overnight in tea and orange juice and zest and then mixed with spices.
Christmas in November may now be over but you can still join us for our joint 3 Countries Christmas event with the Chesterfield and Newark & Sherwood groups on December 14th.