For those of you who are unaware of the Clandestine Cake Club (and shame on you!), let me tell you a little about it. Just over 2 years ago, Lynn Hill, a lovely lady from Leeds, organised the first meeting of the ‘Clandestine Cake Club’. Her idea was simple, get people baking cakes again. Not cupcakes, not traybakes or biscuits, but cakes. The rules are simple, it has to be a cake and must be able to be cut into at least 8 slices. You are told where the venue is just before the meeting takes place and then you go along, with your cake, chat to other bakers and eat lots of cake. When you’ve all sampled each others’ goodies (and no doubt eaten far too much!), you then take any uneaten cake home that you fancy and gorge the following day! The whole experience is repeated monthly. It’s marvellous!
The Clandestine Cake Club has spread not just nationwide, but worldwide too. If there isn’t a club near you, it’s very easy to start one and it’s a great way to meet people, who already have the love of cake in common.
Not content with being the driving force of this phenomenon, Lynn has, along with Quercus Books compiled a cookery book from the recipes of the members of the clubs up and down the country. And the result? A beautifully presented 256 page book, full of the tastiest 120 cakes around.
I am, of course, more than slightly biased, because one of my cakes is in the book! I first made a ‘Fraisier’ a couple of years ago. I’d seen it in France and fancied making it, so I did! It wasn’t an easy cake to make, it is time-consuming, but it really is worth it.
It really encapsulates the spirit of summer and is a perfect use for fresh strawberries. Of course, you could always use raspberries (and then you’d have a ‘Fromboisier’) and I had one in Toulouse with pears (which was just divine).
Well, I’m not going to review my cake, but rather the book which it’s in. There are chapters to tantalise even the most discerning of tastebuds; Classic Cakes, Fruity Cakes, Global Cakes and Chocolatey Cakes are just some of those on offer.
Today I made a Dorset Apple Cake, by Karen Burns-Booth I’ve been on the hunt for an apple cake for a while and this one is moist and appley. It’s delicious both just out of the oven and cold. It’s also great with fresh coffee and rose wine, should you wish to have either (or both!) with it!
If you wish to buy this wonderful book, I heartily recommend it (as I would!). It contains an assortment of cakes to take you through the seasons as well as any event when one could possibly want a cake, or just on those ‘just because’ days!
And as for the apple cake, here it is in its glory and just before I tucked in!