Good afternoon everyone and hope you're having a great weekend.
I was very excited on Thursday, as I attended my first ever meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club - Warrington branch. I live in Liverpool but work in Warrington, so I thought a branch which meets weekday evenings would be perfect for me to visit and unwind after a hard day's slog in the office.
The event was held in Jenny Wren's Coffee and Ceramics - a lovely cafe and pottery studio in Stockton Heath, a pretty village area to the south of Warrington town centre. The theme was to bake a recipe from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook which you have never baked before ... a theme which had apparently been requested by several members. This was easy for me as I didn't own the book .. but I quickly went out and bought it and wasn't disappointed as it contains some great recipes. (For anyone who hasn't got it, it is currently on offer for £4.99 in The Works .... alas cheaper than when I bought it two weeks ago!!)
I was a bit nervous, partly because I'm not very familiar with the area so hoped I would find both the venue and parking ok; and also because I wasn't sure whether I would know anyone and whether my cake would be up to standard given that I have still only been baking for a few months. I needn't have worried though ... I found the place ok, and everyone was very friendly. It was lovely to meet Helen Rimmer the organiser, and I also got talking to several other ladies including Julie Carney who actually has a recipe published in the book!! There were also a couple of ladies there from my office so all in all it was a great social get together.
In my initial state of apprehension when I first entered I forgot to take any photos of the cake table while it was still "intact", so the photos show the state of play after we had all dived in !!
There really was an amazing selection of cakes as you can see, covering a whole spectrum of flavours. There really was something for everyone!
I made a heroic effort to sample several of them but there was such an array of delciousness that I was defeated way before I got through the whole range of cakes, even though I only took mini slices lol!
Here is what I made .....
As you can see I made a passion fruit cake - and here's the recipe.
Passion Fruit Cake
Taken from The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook
Serves: the book says 8-10, but I would say 12 medium or 16 small slices.
For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g cater sugar
2 heaped tbsp passion fruit curd (the recipe in the book contains details of how to make your own, but I have to confess I wasn't really geared up to making and storing preserves so I bought some Thursday Cottage Passion Fruit Curd from a local deli - and very nice it was too!)
4 large eggs
225g plain flour (ideally half white, half wholemeal)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp lemon jiuce (I used concentrate so used 1 tsp)
For the filling and topping:
100g white chocolate
100g butter, softened
160g icing sugar
3 tbsp passion fruit curd
2 * 8" (20cm) round sandwich tins
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C / fan 170°C / Gas mark 5. Grease and line the 2 sandwich tins.
2. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the curd. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and add a tablespoon of flour with the final egg to help prevent curdling. Sift in the remaining flour and baking powder, and fold in gently until thoroughly combined. Combine the milk and lemon juice and stir into the mixture. Divide the mixture between the two tins, spreading evenly. bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Make the icing by melting the white chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Beat the butter and icing sugar for the icing together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy, then mix in the melted chocolate until well combined. Finally beat in the curd. You will need to use the icing quite quickly as it will firm up as it sets.
4. To assemble the cake, spread half the icing mixture over the top of one sponge (I actually turned it upside down to get the flat surface uppermost), then sandwich the two together and spread the remaining icing over the top. As an optional extra I decorated the top of the finished cake with some white chocolate curls (pre-bought from Asda).
Here's the finished article ....
This cake had a really nice flavour imparted by the passion fruit curd - this recipe is a definite keeper. I was little apprehensive as to how it would turn out, as for the first time ever I broke my eggs straight into the mixing bowl one by one (instead of whisking them first in a separate bowl) and THREE IN A ROW had double yolks - yikes!! I don't think I've ever had a double yolk egg before so that was pretty remarkable and I didn't know how much difference it would make to the finished result.
Luckily it didn't seem to spoil things as the cake seemed to down fairly well at the CCC, my husband liked it, and when I took some leftovers to work the next day they also got a positive response. Overall this was quite a confidence-boosting bake as it was easy to make and the results were good.
I would like to enter this cake into a couple of baking challenges ...
First of all, Love Cake (April) - Spring into Easter
I deliberately chose Passion Fruit cake for my CCC bake as it ties into Easter through the theme of Christ's Passion, rather than through the usual chocolate eggs and bunnies!.
Secondly, The Pink Whisk (in conjunction with Two Little Fleas) - Easter Bake & Make
That's all from me for now - feeling a little "caked out" right now, but I'm sure I'll soon get over that!! ;-)