Sunday, 22 July 2012

Beaters Hut Bakers Club - Wednesday 18th July

Hot on the heels of the Bury St Edmunds Clandestine Cake Club last week came the first meeting of a new baking club near me - The Beaters Hut Bakers Club, near Thetford. This club has been set up by Shauna, a fellow CCC'er who wanted to set up a club that brings bakers together on regular basis. This club, however, isn't limited to cake and each month will have a theme which could be either sweet or savoury.

This month's theme was Summer Sweets and by the time everyone had arrived there was a fantastic array of goodies on display.

Once everyone had arrived and drinks were in hand we were ready to dig in. There were a few moments hesitation, mostly down to us not knowing where to start first, but we were soon tucking in. Thankfully, past experience with the Clandestine Cake Club has taught me the skill of pacing myself so I was able to have a try of almost all the puddings on the table. I was still very glad to be able to take a tin of leftovers home with me to enjoy the next day.

So here's what we had to choose from....

Sophie's Whisked Lemon Sponge

Katie's Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

Vicky's Summer Fruit Pavlova

Kayleigh's Key Lime Pie

Corinne's (of Gourmandises) Cherry Armandine

Shauna's Chocolat Beetroot Cake

Lucy's Cherry Meringue Tarts

Mandy's Strawberry Shortcake with Elderflower Chantilly Cream

Shane's Revani - a fragrant, moist cake made with semolina and orange peel. This was served with greek yoghurt and cream, mixed together, and chopped pistachios.

Anna's Strawberry & Cream Meringue Cake

Charlotte's Raspberry Layer Cake

Lynsey's Strawberry Trifle

My contribution was this Strawberry Marshmallow Cheesecake. It turned out pretty well and looked quite impressive, however it didn't have as much strawberry flavour as I had hoped it would. The texture also wasn't as "mousse-like" as the recipe promised it would be.

Please don't ask me to pick a favourite - they were all fab!

For Shauna's write-up of the event or for more information about the Beaters Hut Bakers Club then you can have a look at the website or Facebook page. You can also follow Shauna on Twitter on @BHBakersClub.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Clandestine Cake Club - Bury St Edmunds - 14th July 2012

Last Saturday saw the return of The Clandestine Cake Club to Bury St Edmunds. For those of you who haven't heard of it or haven't seen my previous posts on the subject, the Clandestine Cake Club was set up by Lynn Hill in 2010 with the aim of bringing people together with one common purpose - to make, eat and share cake.

I had originally decided to try a new venue this time but after they told me at the last minute that they intended to charge me to use the room I asked our previous venue, the apex, if they would be happy for us to return and thankfully they were. I was very happy to go back there too as this is pretty much a perfect venue - bright and airy with plenty of space and hot and cold drinks on sale at the bar. The staff were all lovely and helpful too.

So, on to the cakes...

The theme this month was Summer Fruit & Veg and again we had a wonderful variety of delicious cakes.

First up we have Shauna's Chocolate Courgette Cake. I really loved the flavour of this cake and the extra crunch from the hazelnuts.

This beauty is Nathalie's Summer Fruit Drizzle Cake. This cake was so moist and looked so pretty with the colourful fruit mixed through it.

This is Lynda's Red Velvet Chocolate Beetroot Cake. I loved the combination of rich chocolate cake and raspberries.

Rene brought this gorgeous Blueberry and Raspberry cake with her which was full of summer flavours. I'm just kicking myself for not getting an extra slice to take home with me!

This is Charlotte's White Chocolate and Strawberry cake. The sweet white chocolate really complimented the strawberries and the sponge was lovely and light.

Ruth brought along Strawberry Eton Mess Cake. These were lovely and moist with a delicious fruity flavour and the meringue topping finished them off beautifully.

This fabulous specimen is Corinne's Charlotte aux Fraises. It won't surprise you to know that Corinne runs her own business (Gourmandises) making authentic French patisserie and this was a real treat. Thin slices of cake were layered with creme patissiere and strawberries with a little bit of brandy to bring out the flavour.

Finally, we have my contribution, a Black Forest Gateau. Despite a few concerns during the baking process I think it turned out pretty well and it's definitely a cake I want to try again in the future.

If you want more information about The Clandestine Cake Club or would like to find a club in your area then full details can be found on the website here.  I'm hoping to organise the next Bury St Edmunds cake club for some time in the autumn.