Whilst we had a vast choice of countries to choose from Italy was definitely our favourite for some baking inspiration. I kicked off with a Lemon, Polenta and Almond cake. For an extra Italian touch this contained ricotta and sultanas as well as being gluten-free.
Our organizer Karen also opted for Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake from Sicily. She opted for a recipe from Nigella but baked it for slightly less time than stated. For an extra lemon zing and moistness it had a lemon syrup drizzled over it after cooking.
It was a trip back to her childhood for Silvana and her Italian Orange Rice Cake. She remembered this cake from being in Italy as a child. To make this cake you need to make a rice pudding first before adding egg yolks and whisked egg whites.
Keeping with the Italian theme Bernie made an Amaretto Cream Cake. This is a recipe from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. As well as having mini amaretti biscuits on top it also contains crushed amaretti biscuits in the sponge.
Another cake from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook but this came via the Cayman Islands and our hostess Liz. This is a mango cake containing a whole fresh mango and brown sugar for a dark but fruity cake.
While we were over that side of the world it was time to visit the USA and time for some chocolate! Amy made a Chocolate Coca Cola Cake. It was topped with an American flag made out of a coloured icing, marshmallows and sugar stars.
My junior baker went for the full on chocolate experience with a Devil’s Food Cake. With dark muscovado sugar in the cake it has a rich fudgy taste which is then combined with chocolate frosting between the layers and covering it.
We went south for Victoria’s Mexican Pan del Muerto. This is a yeasted cake made to celebrate the Day of the Dead which actually goes over three days from Halloween (All Hallows Eve), All Saints Day and All Souls Day between 31st October and 2nd November. The cake has two provings but uses ordinary plain flour. It is flavoured with Cointreau, orange juice and zest.
It was back to Europe for Helen’s Battenberg Cake. This was made in 1884 as a cake to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to Prince Louis of Battenberg in Germany. After battle with a Croquembouche Helen made a dash to the freezer for a Battenberg Cake she had previously made. I have to say it makes an excellent standby cake to have in your freezer!
Our last cake of the afternoon came from first-timer Dani. It was a hop across the Irish Sea for her Chocolate Guinness Cake complete with cream cheese and icing frothy head. Dani originally made an Albanian Walnut Cake but gave it a thumbs down after deciding the cinnamon, mixed spice and cloves combination wasn’t one for sharing.
After a lovely afternoon it’s time to look forward to our next meetings. Date for your diaries are 15th November for Remembrance Cakes Poppies and Peace, 13th December for our Christmas meeting plus some Crafty Cakes on 24th January.