So ages ago I went to The Cake and Bake show with some friends, and while we were there I met another friend who was a member of her local Clandestine Cake Club. We chatted to the lady at the stand, and once home we both looked online for a local club. It held one back in the Autumn (with the theme of Winter Spice) but I could not go, so I was very excited to be able to attend one last weekend.
The theme for this event was “The Proof of the Pudding” so I attempted a pecan pie style cake.
I found a recipe in the CCC cookbook for caramel cake which included spices, so I used that as the cake base- you had to add some ready made caramel to the cake mix, so I used a jar that I bought.
I added pecans to the mix as well.
To make it more pecan-pie style, I wanted to have a soft caramel filling. I have a recipe by Rachel Allen for hazelnut caramel slices (I made them here– ages ago!) and the caramel filling is quite soft.
Anyway, I followed the recipe but it seemed to go a bit thicker than normal. But I was going to a hen do that evening and had no time to start again, so I just had to hope for the best.
I put some in the centre, and then topped it with the rest. I then sprinkled it with toasted coconuts, a few dark chocolate chips (which melted when they touched the warm caramel-mmm), and then toasted pecans.
I was pleased with how it looked.
But in the morning I realised that the caramel was more like toffee and would be hard to slice- it was too late by then to do anything!
For the meeting we were going to The Pudding Stop (what a great fit for the theme)- I had not been there before but I don’t think it had been open long. I was a bit nervous about going in, but everyone was so friendly. My friend was there, but as well as catching up with each other we chatted to new people too.
Just look at the spread of cakes! Sticky toffee cake, banana split cake, raspberry crumble cake, trifle cake, banoffee cake, lemon and blueberry cake….
I loved the little teapots too- with loose leaf tea. I had an Earl Grey to start, and then a peppermint tea later on.
My cake was extremely hard to slice because the caramel was basically toffee, but everyone was so friendly and no-one minded- phew! Next time I think I will practise the recipe first, although this time I had no time.
There was a lady from the local paper too, so I shall keep an eye out for her article. It was a real mixture of people- Andy was teasing me that it would all be retired people, but most people were a similar age to me, or slightly older. Everyone was so friendly though and the two hours just whizzed by! One girl I was chatting to had been to a different cake club before, and told me to have only tiny slices so you could try them all, but even though I had small-ish ones I only managed to try 3. At the end we left plenty of cake for the staff as a thank you, and then we all got to take some home too so I could try the other ones.
Cake supplies for me and Andy for the rest of the week!
It was really lovely. I am not the best at meeting new people and often my mind goes blank, whereas when I know someone I can chat for England (as you can tell from how much I ramble on my blog) but I am really glad I went as it was great to meet new people, plus who would not want to spend a few hours eating cake and drinking tea? I have already mentioned to some friends about going back to the place after a meal out as the desserts sounded amazing.
Are you good at meeting new people? Would the cake club appeal to you?
If you are interested the write up is here, and of course you can sign up and find a local meeting in your area.