Monday, 14 July 2014

Clandestine Cake Club - Bury St Edmunds - 28th June 2014

The theme of the last Bury St Edmunds Clandestine Cake Club was "Layers, Layers, Layers" and boy did we get our money's worth this time! We each had to bring a cake with at least two layers and as you can see below we had some fantastic cakes to choose from. However, lots of layers means lots of cake and we all struggled this month to meet our usual slice quota. I think most of us managed around five slices... definitely not up to our usual standards! 

Our venue this month was the Six Bells pub in Horringer, just south of Bury St Edmunds, who were very welcoming and provided us with a lovely big table in a side room for us to spread all our cakes out on. I haven't eaten here since it was taken over by the new owners but I've heard great things about the food and hope to give it a try soon.

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

Sarah and Tamar's Elderflower Cordial Cake

Helen F's Lemony Layer Cake

Rene's Pimms and Strawberry Layer Cake

Katherine's Boozy Orange Cake

Amelia's Dark & White Chocolate Layer Cake

Kate's Strawberry & Vanilla Layer Cake

Lynda's Neapolitan Triple Berry Cake

Sam's Chocolate Chip Layer Cake (poor Sam had a bit of a cake-dropping incident en-route which didn't do the icing any favours. Still tasted fab though!)

Siobhan's Blackcurrant & Star Anise Cake

Sophie's Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake

My Chocolate & Marshmallow Layer Cake

Thanks again to the Six Bells for being such great hosts. For details of all upcoming Clandestine Cake Club events have a look at the website here.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Chocolate Melting Moments

I came across this recipe in a fit of have-to-bake-something-right-now madness that sometimes comes over me, particularly when I haven't done much baking in a while. Unfortunately I discovered that I had no eggs, unsalted butter or even the half-full box of stork that usually lives in the fridge on an almost permanent basis. Luckily this recipe doesn't require eggs and I found we had just the right amount salted butter in the only-for-toast butter dish. Clearly this was meant to be.

I've made similar biscuits before. The Grannie Boyd's biscuits in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess are the same sort of dry (but in a good way), crumbly, chocolatey biscuits that are deceptively simple to make but also the sort of recipe I might skip over for looking a bit unexciting. In the book where I found them (Rachel Allen's Home Cooking) they don't have a picture and I hadn't even noticed the recipe until the other day. My mistake! Not only are these biscuits amazingly yummy on their own, but, unlike Nigella's recipe, they're taken to the next level by sandwiching them together with Nutella, yes NUTELLA!

So...quick, easy, yummy and Nutella! What are you waiting for?

Chocolate Melting Moments
(from Home Cooking by Rachel Allen)

125g/4 1/2 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g/2oz icing sugar
50g/2oz cornflour
25g/1oz cocoa powder
100g/3 1/2 oz plain flour
Nutella for filling

1) Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) Cream the butter in a large bowl and add the icing sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift in the cornflour, cocoa powder and flour and mix until the dough comes together.

3) Shape the dough into a sausage shape and slice into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls, place slightly apart on the baking sheet and then flatten each biscuit a little using the back of a fork. The biscuits don't spread much so bear this in mind when flattening them. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until slightly firm.

4) Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Once they have completely cooled, sandwich the biscuits together with a generous layer of nutella.

Makes 24 biscuits, 12 when sandwiched together