Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Clandestine Cake Club - Bury St Edmunds - 23rd March 2013

Last Saturday five intrepid cake clubbers braved the snow, yes the SNOW, to gather at a secret location in the centre of Bury St Edmunds.  Our venue this month was to be found at a relatively new restaurant in Bury, Graze Kitchen and Bar.

Graze has only been open for a few months but in that short time it has become a favourite amongst the locals (as its number one spot on Tripadvisor can confirm) thanks to great surroundings and fantastic food. The restaurant offers "small plate dining" so rather than sticking to just three courses, diners can choose four, five, or even more, smaller-portioned dishes. Just perfect for someone like me who likes to try as many things off the menu as possible.

To get an idea of what's on offer have a look at their current menu.

Graze also have a wonderful private dining area which I knew would be ideal for our meetings as soon as I saw it.

And it looked even better with a selection of cakes on the table!

Our theme for this month was "Cooking THE Book". THE book of course being The Clandestine Cake Club Book which was released last month, and guests were invited to either bake a recipe from the book or bring along another favourite cake of their choice. (Have a look here for more details of the book and our launch party at Waterstones).

Here's what we indulged in.....

Katherine's Poppyseed Cake

Patricia's Amaretto Cream Cake

Sophie's Coconut Paradise Cake

Chrissi's Cardamom-Infused White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

My Treat or Treat Tuck Shop Cake

So many delicious cakes as always and it was a real treat to tuck in to the leftovers the next day.

Thanks to all my guests for braving the weather and thanks to Graze Kitchen and Bar for making us feel so welcome.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Clandestine Cake Club - Bury St Edmunds - Sunday 9th December 2012

Yes, that does say 9th of December! I realised recently (ok, a few weeks ago) that I had completely forgotten to do a write up of the Bury St Edmunds Clandestine Cake Club pre-Christmas meeting.  The fact that it was pre-Christmas goes part way to explaining why I never quite got round to doing the write up but it doesn't excuse the fact that it's now March. Oh well, better late than never!

On a Sunday afternoon a small group of us met at one of my favourite places for lunch in Bury St Edmunds, Josef's Vegetarian Cafe. Josef's cafe can be found down St John's Street and serves a wide variety of tasty vegetarian food.

It was lovely to get together in the warm to talk about cake instead of thinking about presents and turkeys for a change and we enjoyed sharing some fantastic cakes.

Here's what we had to choose from...

Helen F's Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cake

Rene's Trifle Cake

Lynda's Buche de Noel

Nathalie's Coffee Amaretto Cake

Julie's Not a Terry's Chocolate Orange Cake

And finally my Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake

Thanks again to the staff at Josef's Vegetarian Cake for looking after us on chilly winter's afternoon.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Pastitsio & Lamb Moussaka with Feta Topping

I love pasta bakes and mince-based oven bakes, or in blogging terms, those dishes that are very difficult to take a decent picture of.  You'll just have to take my word for it that they taste great!

These sorts of recipes are perfect for weekends. You can prepare them in the morning and then they're ready for you to just pop them in oven for half an hour or so when it's time for dinner.

These are two of my favourites using lamb mince and actually use a lot of the same ingredients, notably aubergine and tomatoes.


The first one is the Greek pasta bake which combines a tomatoey mince sauce, white sauce and pasta.

There are lots of recipes for Pastitsio out there on the internet but you can find the one I use here. It's slightly annoying that it uses just half an aubergine but you could always use the other half in this Veg & Bacon Pasta Sauce recipe, or in this MediterraneanVegetable Couscous. In both of these it won't matter if you use half an aubergine rather than a whole one.

Lamb Moussaka with a Feta Topping

The second recipe is more like the classic Moussaka in that mince and aubergines are layered in a baking dish and finished off with a cheesy topping. In this case the topping is a fantastic combination of greek yoghurt, feta cheese and egg that adds bags of flavour. I like to serve this one with a salad or veg and some garlic bread.

You can find the recipe on the delicious magazine website here.