Up and down the country, hidden away in secret locations in towns across the nation, there are groups of bakers eating cake and having a chat. Last night was my first encounter of the Clandestine Cake Club, which after being set up a few years ago now boasts almost 200 clubs in the UK as well as groups around the world. I’d seen snippets of things about the CCC on twitter, and knew it was something I wanted to be part of. I love a club, and I love cake- ergo it was a no brainer really. I had to become a Clandestine Cake Clubber, and so when I saw the invite for members to sign up to my local group on Twitter I was on that sooner than you can say soggy bottom.
Armed with the date, time and theme of the next event I set about thinking of a cake to make that would merit me a worthy member of a cake club. They emphasise that the CCC is for anyone and that it’s not a competition, but I could hardly rock up with a soggy, stale Swiss roll now could I? The theme was Cartoons, and afraid of the potential icing overload that may ensue I settled on putting the theme inside the cake and decided to make a Poisoned Apple Cake (a la Snow White). This seemed like a safe bet; I’d made it before and it’d gone down well with friends and family, apples are in season and it wouldn’t have be iced because who ices a fruit cake?
It’s supposed to be a secret cake club- clandestine by its very definition, the club is surreptitious, illicit and covert. We weren’t informed of the location of the club until the very last minute- and as I walked down a cobbled road towards a venue I’d never been to, it all felt very cloak and dagger. Except I was wearing a tweed blazer and carrying a cake box and so (alas) probably didn’t look as stealthy as I felt. Fortunately strange Mason-esque handshakes and introductions via mysterious nods and winks were rendered unnecessary as I entered to a chorus of “cake” and welcoming smiles. I added my non-poisonous Poisoned Apple Cake to the table alongside a plethora of imaginative, colourful , spongey goodness. That was it then. I was in. I sat down with my mid-week, non alcoholic beverage and chatted all things cake with a group of lovely strangers. What better way to spend a cold Wednesday night.
Spiced Apple Cake
175g softened butter
175g light brown sugar
225g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2tsp mixed spice
350g apple- peeled, cored and cubed
grease tin and put oven at 180
Cream butter and sugar
Sift in flour, baking powder and spice
Fold in apples and milk
Spoon into tin and sprinkle over with sugar
– serve with cream