I've known about the Clandestine Cake Club for quite some time and have thought about joining but never quite summoned up the courage. It was started about six years ago by Lynn Hill in her home in Leeds but has grown in popularity and there are now groups all over the UK and even further afield. The idea is simple... members meet in a secret location and all bring cake, eat cake and talk about cake. As I'm aiming to do sixty new things by the time I'm sixty I decided to bite the bullet and join my local group in Cambridge. As Cambridge has a new organiser the theme of Monday night's meeting was "All Things New"
I've been wanting to try an elegant Chiffon layer cake like this one by Jin Yee Chung in The Cambridgeshire Cook Book for quite a while so it seemed an ideal opportunity to give it a try. The unusual green colour comes from an Eastern flavouring called Pandan... an extract derived from Pandan leaves
I was slightly alarmed at just how bright green my cake mixture turned out...
Less elegant... more neon! The cake is three layers of very light sponge layered with a Pandan and coconut flavoured custard.
With some trepidation I took my cake into Cambridge on Monday evening to Novi, our secret location. Despite giving off an air of confidence I find new situations like this a bit nerve wracking but I need not have worried. Every one was really friendly and when I got inside I even found there was someone I knew which was lovely (Hello Terry!)
The table was laden with the most amazing looking cakes and I was a bit concerned that not only did my cake look rather unusual but might taste a bit different too... Pandan tastes a bit nutty like coconut but has a flavour that resembles basmati rice! Being "new" to me I didn't really know what it was going to be like!
But I was relieved that others really seemed to like it...
The first cake I tried was this wonderful chocolate daquoise, that was so good I didn't want to eat anything else... but I did! I tried four or five of the cakes before I reached my limit. We laughed and talked... mostly about cake... and the two hours whizzed by. About thirty women of all different ages joined by a love of cake!
And what's more... we got to take the leftovers home!
I'm already looking forward to the next meeting!
And that's another sixty by sixty crossed off my list... only fifty five left to go!
I'd like to tell you there will be something other than cake in the next couple of posts but with another bake off challenge coming up and a Cake Slice Bakers deadline next week, there's going to be more cake I'm afraid... although I'm also back teaching embroidery this week too. It's one of those weeks!