Monday, 25 February 2013

The Clandestine Cake Club Book + Bury St Edmunds Launch Event

The 14th of February 2013 was a very exciting day for members of the Clandestine Cake Club as this was the release date for the Clandestine Cake Club book. This book, put together by the founder of the CCC Lynn Hill over many months, is a compilation of recipes submitted by club members from all over the country and even overseas.

The build up to the date of publication was very exciting and when I heard that the publishers, Quercus Books, were going to send me a copy to review I was delighted. After impatiently waiting for the postman for a few days it finally arrived on my doorstep.

Having seen a few snapshots beforehand I was expecting something good but I hadn't quite anticipated what a beautiful book it would be. The colourful background and Lynn's beautiful Pistachio and Lime Cake on the cover immediately tell you that a lot of thought has been put into the design and this is only reinforced as you flick through the pages.

There are 120 recipes in the book, which is divided into chapters such as Classic Cakes, Victorian Cakes, Fruity Cakes and Creative Cakes, and they all conform to the club rule that only allows for whole cakes that can be sliced into portions. Definitely no muffins, brownies, cupcakes or tarts here! This makes it unique among my recipe book collection which can only be a good thing.

I am, of course, more than a little biased but I can honestly say this is a really lovely book that I would recommend to any fellow bakers out there. I've already made one cake from it (the Raspberry & White Chocolate Loaf - see below) and can't wait to start trying out some of the other recipes.

Don't just take my word for it though. Here are some more reviews from fellow bloggers and CCC members:

Scrapiana - who's post gives us an insight into the gorgeous photography

Dolly Bakes - Rachel's brilliant write-up includes more of the wonderful photos from the book

Farmersgirl Kitchen

The retail price is £20 but is also currently available for £12.80 from a certain online book seller.

To celebrate the book launch a number of clubs around the country have been having special events in local book shops and the Bury St Edmunds group was no exception. So on Saturday 23rd February a number of us gathered in Waterstones, in the Arc shopping centre, with an extensive selection of cakes to share with the general public. We were also delighted that Lynn herself made the journey all the way down from Leeds to join us for the afternoon.

With the help of some bunting and other goodies supplied by the publishers we encouraged passers by to sample our cakes and took the opportunity to tell them all about the club.

In the picture above you can see (from left to right), Helen's Mocha Hedgehog Cake - one of the stars of the book, Rene's Chocolate Surprise Cake, Ruth's Blueberry & White Chocolate Cake and my Raspberry & White Chocolate Cake (another recipe from the book although not submitted by me).

The other cakes we shared included...

Tamar's Carrot Cake

Lynda's Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake (which was still warm from the oven!)

Barbara's Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

Shauna's Lime Drizzle Cake

Sharon's Lemon & Lime Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake (towards the front of the picture)

Jane's Chocolate Surprise Cake

By an amazing coincidence we had two chocolate surprise cakes containing a mystery ingredient and yes, it was the same ingredient - mayonnaise! Not something you'd expect to see in a cake but it really made both cakes really moist and delicious.

All in all it was a really successful afternoon with a number of books sold and potentially a few new recruits. If you're interested in joining us then keep an eye on the events page on the CCC website for upcoming meetings in your area or like us on Facebook.

Thanks again to Quercus Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and also to Waterstones for letting us take over part of their shop for the afternoon!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Beaters Hut Bakers Club - Monday 18th February

Last night saw the latest meeting of the Beaters Hut Baker's Club, tucked away in a secluded location near Thetford. In keeping with Valentine's Day the theme for this month was "The Food of Love" and it was clear from the array of delicious delicacies on offer that when we think of love we think of cake, chocolate or a combination of the two!

Here are some close-ups of the delights we indulged in....

Shauna's Rocky Road

Jessica's Chocolate Cloud Cake

Jayne's Chocolate Fudge Slice

Tamar's Red Velvet Cake

Sharon's Valentine's Cupcakes

Mandy's Chocolate & Rose Cupcakes

My Raspberry Heart Cheesecake Cupcakes

As always everything was delicious with plenty of good conversation (mostly about food!) to go with it. Thanks to Shauna for bringing us all together.

If you'd like to come along to the next meeting keep an eye on the website or facebook page for details.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Hotel Chocolat Competition Winner

I'm pleased to announce that the winner of the Hotel Chocolate Valentines Day giveaway is....


Please email me your address as soon as you can so I can arrange for your prize to be posted to you.

Thanks again to Hotel Chocolat for sending me their fabulous Open Your Heart To Me box to review and for letting me host this competition.