For the latest Clandestine Cake Club meeting the theme was Hidden Fruit and Veg. But which fruit or vegetable to use for this??? I debated finding a sweet potato recipe, but as time was approaching I decided on a vegetable I have used before and enjoyed. A Chocolate Courgette cake was beckoning.
I used a recipe from the BBC Good Food on the internet and that was untested! Chocolate, Hazelnut and Courgette.
You can find the recipe here.
Briefly the cake requires mixing all the dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing the wet ingredients in a bowl (including grated courgette) and then mixing them together. Then baking.
Then for the magic bit… the Ganache. I haven’t done much with ganache before… I’m not sure if I ever have. I had a quick internet look and some say melt the chocolate some say put chocolate into the boiling cream to melt it. I went for the latter and it worked a treat. I was quite please I was able to get a really nice shiny smooth finish.
The cake tasted really nice and the hazelnuts gave a really nice texture.
As this is covered in Chocolate Ganache I can enter this into a baking challenge. Hoorah! So this is entering into the Classic French challenge on Blue Kitchen Bakes
The latest Clandestine Cake Club arrived with the theme of “Hidden Fruit and Veg”. For this I chose a chocolate courgette cake covered in Chocolate ganache (i’ll go into this in another post).
The cake club was held at Cafe 76 on Skipton highstreet. A lovely little cafe/deli with an upstairs seating area for us to use.
The venue opened up in the evening especially for us and were amazing. Lovely tea and coffee to go with out lovely cakes. At first many of the cakes kept their fruit/veg component secret so we could see if we could guess what the magic ingredient was. It soon became apparent that you cannot tell the vegetable that was used to make the cake! But all the cakes were incredibly moist which I would guess come from the use of the vegetables.
The cakes were all set up along a window table.
The Cakes that came were;
Chocolate Courgette Cake (me)
Chocolate, Cherry and Potato
Sultana, Walnut and courgette
Chocolate courgette and pecan
Carrot cake (made with polenta)
Carrot and orange cake
Chocolate featured heavily as did courgette as a vegetable ingredient. All were Yummy! I also had some lovely chats with some lovely friendly people. We had a nice number of around 10 so we could all chat away nicely. Now I have to get on with organising us another get together.
I have a new baking tin. A fabulous silverwood square multisize baking tin. This is flat packed (great for when you don’t have much storage space). It is 12inchx12inch and has 2 dividers that you can use to subdivide it into any size of cake tin you wish.
For this recipe I used it as a Swiss Roll tin so that I could make the Mary Berry Swiss Roll from Mary Berry’s 100 cakes and bakes book. This was actually quite easy to achieve. It baked up in just 10 minutes as it was so thin and it rolled really easily without splitting. It was my first Swiss Roll and I think I might be attempting more. There is a chocolate recipe in the book I think I might have a go at!
For my Birthday last year I was bought a Cake Pop baking tray. I had always quite fancied having a go at cake pops but the idea of making a cake and then destroying it just seemed wrong. So what an easy solution… I could bake cake balls and have the fun of decorating them without the need to do the whole mushing it up with frosting.
So I had a go….
First make the sponge mix (chocolate in this case) and put it in teaspoons worth into the baking tray and fix on the top half so that it rises into ball shapes. This will take a little practice in getting the right amount that doesnt seep out the sides.
The little cake balls come out as below… I hadn’t quite got the right amount of mixture n to stop it expanding into little saturn like objects – quite cute. I shaved off these little excesses.
I then set up my decorating station. I was going to dip the balls in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles. I therefore needed somewhere for them to dry.
This was my first attemt and a bit patchy. Plus I need to get experimenting more with chocolate and tempering I think as the following day they dried with white streaks.
Since this I did some toffee apple cake pops which were very successful but I have no photo to share. I made an apple cake mix and then coated them in a toffee sauce. Yummy.
This is quite a delayed post but I wanted to upload some of my various cake projects.
This was a cake for my work colleagues when I left after having my daughter. It won’t mean much to anyone but I was a scientist and these were the type of plots of data I used to work with (quite a good representation if I do say so). The cake overall was not as nice as I had envisaged in my head, think I might have to get used to that sort of thing… I always end up not having as much time to devote to it as my design would need and so it gets a bit simplified. My skills also do not quite match up to what I think they are.
My September Clandestine Cake Club theme was “A Decorated Cake” and so I decided to try out a buttercream icing technique I had seen done. I made a victoria sponge filled with strawberry jam (homemade) and iced with buttercream. I decided to create buttercream swirl roses all over the cake. These I made two-tone by putting strawberry jam on the insides of the piping bag. I found this quite an easy to do actually and it looked really affective when completed. I will be doing this again.
SEPTEMBER CAKE CLUB – A DECORATED CAKE HELD AT HOME AND KITCHEN SKIPTON
The cake club itself was a fantastic event.
We held it at a brilliant baking shop Home and Kitchen just off Skipton high street. They opened up especially for us, provided tea and coffee and some great decorating demonstrations and talks about bakeware and cake decorating equipment.
Just look at the lovely china they provided for our cups of tea to wash down the cake.
The staff are all very knowledgeable and passionate about baking. I think many of our member went away knowing they could go in to the store and be confident to ask the staff for help and advice when shopping there. The demonstrations were really useful and provided some interesting ideas for decorating we may not have thought about before. They also stock some great little cake decorating tools to give easy but affective decorations.
We had some lovely decorated cakes bought along and I think it was enjoyed by all.
So my daughters 1st birthday arrived and I wanted to make her my first tiered cake as her Birthday cake. I decided to go with a theme that meant something to her… and she is quite partial to a bit of Upsy Daisy and In The Night Garden from the CBeebies bedtime hour.
And so I began;
For the week before I modeled the characters out of sugarpaste. My first attempt at this really. Upsy Daisy turned out to have put on a few pounds and a minor mishap on assembling the cake left Macca Pakka with a severe facial laceration but they certainly convinced my daughter.
I made chocolate and vanilla sponges for the 2 tiers of the cake and covered them in sugarpaste. I chose to buy in the coloured paste for this one so I wasn’t trying to colour my own. However I used a make of icing I hadn’t used before (not my usual Tesco Regal Ice) and I really struggled. It was much softer than I was used to and cracked as I smoothed it down over the cake. Plus I realised afterwards that the green icing was not meant for covering cakes as it had too many colourings in for straight human consumption (so I instructed people to not eat that layer of icing).
I was quite happy with the outcome though and my daughter loved it.