Are any of you Clandestine Cakes Club members? Have you heard of the club before? If not, and you LOVE baking cakes and anything cake related, you have to check it out! The basic premise is that as a member you bake a cake to take to an event, you share the cake with other members and then make new friends over the common interest of cake!
I heard about this secret cake society over a year ago and was super excited with the idea. There are clubs all over the UK, and increasingly all over the world! It was founded in the summer of 2010 by a lady called Lynn Hill from Leeds, Northern England. The mission statement for the CCC is: Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake, now there is nothing wrong with that!
As you all know you can make plans and then life gets in the way so you put things off and then you find that months have gone by and you still haven’t gotten round to doing those things that you really want to do. The CCC is that thing for me! I joined one of the groups but kept on missing out on their meets due to being busy at work or having other things planned. I even baked a cake once and then missed the meeting as I was stuck at work! So this time, I planned way ahead and sent an email to join the January meeting.
There are a few main things to take note of. The venue is a secret until a few days before the event. Once you have signed up to the event, the organiser will send an email to confirm the venue. There is a ‘Cake only Rule’- ‘CCC is not like any other club. You can share a cake, you cannot share a cupcake, Muffin or a Brownie. There is interaction and conversation as soon as you begin to slice a cake, that you don’t seem to get when you pick up a cupcake etc.’ You can also take a guest with you (who can choose to bake or not!).
Each event has a theme to guide your baking and give inspiration. The theme of the event I attended was ‘nouveaux’ -trying out a new recipe or using a new cook book or cake tin etc. The groups are run by volunteers who do it because they love cake and baking. So check out your local group and join one today! On the night there were 15 cakes on offer! A lot of new members so lots of people to chat to and get to know. The tea flowed and we worked our way through all the cakes with the determination to try every single one of them.
The recipe I decided to go with was a Pistachio, Cardamom and Yoghurt Cake. Not strictly a ‘new’ recipe for me but a ‘new improved version’ of the cake as I wanted to ensure that the cake would taste nice and I not turn out a total disaster! The cake was well received on the night, although it wasn’t the most attractive cake there. I got lots of comments about the flavour combination and was even asked for the recipe, which is always a good sign! The cake is fairly dense but still moist due to the yoghurt and the lime drizzle. The flavours work really well together and it’s sto easy to do if you have a food processor!
So here it is: (You’ll need a food processor and a small sauce pan)
Pistachio, Cardamom and Yoghurt Cake (Adapted from ‘Sweet Food’ publised by Murdoch Books)
- 150g Pistachio nuts
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom (about 15 pods)
- 150g Butter
- 185g Self Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 180g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 125g Plain Yoghurt
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 2 tbs Honey
- Grease and line cake tin (either 20cm round tin or 2lb loaf tin)
- Place pistachios and ground cardamom in the processor and pulse until just chopped
- Add butter and flour and caster sugar then pulse for 20 seconds or until crunbly
- Combine yoghurt and eggs then add to the cake batter before pulsing again for 10 secons or until just combined
- Bake in oven at 180 degrees C for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
- In a small pan warm up the lime of the juice and the honey until combined and becomes a sticky syrup
- Once the cake has cooled a little, pierce it all over with the skewer and slowly pour over the lime and honey mixture as a ‘drizzle’
- Allow cake to fully cool in the tin
The original recipe contains a lot more sugar and a little less cardamom but I found it way to sweet, so I use honey to make the syrup, and found the cardamom could be stronger, so I have changed the recipe to my taste. The original recipe can be found on this site.
I really enjoyed my first event as a Clandestine Cake Club member and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves cake! 🙂