Thursday, 22 September 2011

Clandestine Cake Club - September

Last night I took my friend Kate to the Newcastle Clandestine Cake Club. I explained the idea: a dozen different cakes to eat at a private venue. No charge, just friendly people, a cup of tea and the chance to take home any leftovers.

Naturally she was reluctant, but once I added that all the cakes would contain at least "One of Your Five a Day", she accepted the invitation faster than she can spot a stray apostrophe. (We once passed a cookie shop displaying a massive biscuit that said SORRY YOUR LEAVING. We winced simultaneously).

There were eleven cakes, eight of which contained fruit.
Clockwise from top left: amaretto cherry bakewell cake; lemon cake with cream; raspberry and white chocolate cake; hummingbird cake; polenta and orange cake; spicy pear cake; apple and cheese cake; toffee apple cake 
Three cakes contained vegetables.
Clockwise from top left: carrot cake; parsnip, ginger and lime cake; a nice teacup; chocolate and beetroot cake
I had seen the recipe for spicy pear cake on the CCC website here and was keen to give it a try. I liked the autumnal taste of pear, cinnamon and nutmeg and I love cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Certainly nobody could claim it wasn't fresh: Cake Club starts at 6pm and the cake had gone in the oven at 5pm. The cake and I arrived slightly late and slightly warm.

Keen as ever to get as many of my five-a-day through the medium of cake, I also tried the parsnip, lime and ginger cake which was moist and zingy, as was the lemon cake with cream. I've always wanted to try a beetroot chocolate cake but have been put off by the grating of the beetroot, but now I've eaten one so dark and rich I will definitely try marrying baking one. I love bakewell tart (in my view, a senior member in the cake royal family) and the amaretto cherry bakewell was spot on. I faffed a bit when the leftovers were being portioned up so I only managed to get my paws on two slices: the polenta and orange cake, which I am eating as I type - I love the slightly gritty texture of the polenta; and a slice of hummingbird cake, which is pineapple and banana cake and is for later.

Kate did not faff when it came to leftovers as she needed to take some home for Marc, claiming that he is practically skin and bones. Perhaps he will now forgive me for using him as the model for a murder victim on Kate's birthday cake.

The venue for the evening was The Knit Studio, which is tucked away in the cloister of the 13th century Blackfriars Priory in the centre of Newcastle.

The Knit Studio offers beautiful yarns, patterns, books, knitted goods, quilts and fabrics. There is a large craft table, copious amounts of tea and coffee, and a very knowledgeable and friendly owner. It made me want to relearn knitting and finish that dolly's scarf I started 30 years ago. The studio also runs events and workshops in knitting, sewing, crochet and spinning. Not the hideous kind of spinning where you get hot and sweaty on an exercise bike, but real spinning. 

The "husband sofa" for the safe deposit of men. 
I feel much the same way about him myself, pet *dreamy face*
Thanks to The Knit Studio for being such great cake club hosts and thanks as always to Lisa for organising it so well. Once again this event was fully booked, so if you would like to eat a huge amount of cake in a non-judgemental environment, visit the website for details of the October club. 

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