Apologies for the absence of posts, I have been catching up on coursework and studying for exams and such, so have been avoiding going on the computer, as once I get on, I cant seem to tear myself away from all the fabulous blogs I read regularly, so I thought it would be best to avoid it altogether and go cold turkey!
Although I still have tons of coursework to do before I finish the course in a couple of months, I am somewhat caught up, so today I decided to break away from the books, and have a lovely day of blog reading (and posting!) and YouTube surfing whilst snuggled under a duvet on the sofa, drinking big mugs of coffee and eating homemade cake - perfect Sunday afternoon in my opinion!
Yesterday my sister and I had a fabulous afternoon at Clandestine Cake Club - a secret once monthly gathering of cake bakers and guests at a secret venue in Leeds, with the exact location only revealed by email a week or so before the event.
Bakers each have to bake and take along a 'proper' cake that can be sliced into 10-12 good slices (no cupcakes, buns or cookies allowed) and there is usually a theme for the cakes (this months theme was 'healthy' Flirtatiously Fruity and Succulent Savoury - as the venue was in the Leeds Healthy Living Network building in Armley!)
I First heard about CCC by another WI member at a meeting a month or two ago, and joined up, but was unable to make the last one in the end (boohoo!) but I made sure I cleared my diary for this one! As the theme for this month was 'healthy' (yeah, right!) Kaila and I decided to go with fruity rather than savoury, and we baked two (so there was enough to go round) Lime and Coconut loaf cakes (a first attempt at this cake meant that we also made a banana and walnut cake too as a back up, just in case!)
Luckily they turned out just fine, and tasted lovely! (If anyone is interested in the recipes I used, just mention it in the comments box, and I will post the recipes)
There were some really stunning cakes, and some fantastic combinations of ingredients brought along: Roquefort, pear and walnut cake, courgette cake, peach upside down cake, rhubarb cake, orange, rosemary and polenta cake, banana and walnut cake (lucky I didnt take mine!) Dorset apple cake, Toffee rhubarb cake, apple and cinnemon tea loaf, beetroot and stout cake, tropical fruit cake, peach, bluberry and ameretto cake, lemon drizzle cake, nutty apple loaf and raspberry layer cake, to name but a few!
There was a lovely selection of teas available, lots of herbal or fruit teas, as well as tradtional tea, all served in lovely cups and saucers :)
The idea of CCC is you and your guest turn up with your cake, display it prettily on the table with the other cakes, get yourself a cup of tea and a plate ready, and when given the ok, join the queue and take a slice of as many cakes as you would like to try, and then mingle and chat with the other bakers.
There was a nice mix of peaple with about 40 in total, as each baker brought along a guest, and I was suprised to find that at least a 3rd of the bakers were men! Who said baking was just for girls?!
Its a really nice way to spend a couple of hours, meeting new people with a shared love of cakes (Though I have yet to meet somebody who DOESNT love cake!) getting new recipes and trying out new combinations of cakes that you wouldnt normally try (the beetroot and stout cake was delicious!)
Our table decided that we would try as many cakes as possible, but sharing a plate so we had a small taste of each cake, rather than a slice, so we could all fit more in!
This is the first plate:
And the second!
Two hours later, our plate looked like this!
We had a lovely time munching our way through lots of yummy cake, and chatting with some lovely people (I even managed to recruit some new WI members-to-be!)
When it was time to clear away around four o'clock, the leftover cakes were divided up, so each person got a selection of cake to take home too!
I definately recommend attending a Clandestine Cake Club event if you havnt yet, as they are so much fun (and cost nothing, except the cost of your cake ingredients,) and as there seems to be events popping up all over the place, there may well be one near you!
Have you been to a Clandestine Cake Club event?