Newark & Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club – Mary Mary, Quite Contrary

 Group logo of Newark and Sherwood

The rain keeps coming and the wind keeps blowing which means our gardens aren’t growing very well at the moment but it didn’t put us off for this month’s Newark and Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club meeting. Our theme was the classic nursery rhyme:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.

It was fitting therefore that we met at the lovely Darfoulds nursery, just outside of Worksop. Their café is located in a cosy and light-filled greenhouse and proved to be great venue for us to meet.


Our organizer Deb showed off her fine cake decorating skills with her bee and daisy cake. Without the bees we wouldn’t have many flowers in our gardens. Inside was a lemon sponge cake based on a recipe from the most famous ‘Mary’ in baking – Mary Berry! By covering the plate with icing as well this would also make a great Easter bonnet cake.


I can vouch that Christine has a beautiful garden all year round and she made use of her thyme in her cake. The recipe is Nigel Slater’s Lemon and Thyme Cake which makes a beautifully moist cake with the extra texture and flavour from some ground almonds.


Carol and Amy find in the summer their garden gets taken over by Californian poppies and this inspired their Poppy Seed cake. They used a Rachel Allen recipe for it which makes two poppy seed sandwich cakes which are then filled and covered with vanilla buttercream, Some edible roses on top finished it off.


Shelley and Charlotte both had the same idea with their Rachel Allen After Dinner Mint Chocolate Cake but decorated them in different styles. Shelley’s cake had a dark green icing and some very indulgent After Eight Mints on top.


Charlotte was joining us for the first time but is already a seasoned Clandestine Cake Cub member. She was very organized in being able to bake a cake for us as she only moved up north last week. Charlotte chopped up mint and stirred them into icing for her topping and used chocolate leaves.


The only thing that is growing in my garden at the moment that is edible is my faithful rosemary plant which also fits in with the ‘Mary’ theme! I decided to add it to a gluten-free lemon polenta cake. Over the top I drizzled a lemon syrup infused with rosemary.


Thanks to Deb for organizing and Darfoulds for hosting us. It was lovely to see everybody and have cake for breakfast! If you want to join us in the future and know of any possible venues please contact us. Remember we cover the whole Newark and Sherwood district and we are willing to travel for cake!


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