Last weekend, Lynn (founder of CCC) invited a few of us to be part of a special club meet which we was filmed by her nephews. I’d been on a fairly large night out just before but luckily managed to wake up just before 8am, drag my sorry ass down to ASDA and buy ingredients for my orange cassava cake. I had in mind I was going to make a coconut cake for the theme “Sunshine” but on the morning I changed my mind as I knew Jini (loyal CCC member) had said she was possibly going for a coconut cake and I didn’t want to cramp her style. When I think sunshine, I think yellows and oranges, citrus flavours and fresh clean tastes.
Orange Cassata Cake is an Italian cake staple (so says Dan Lepard whose recipe I used). It’s cake layered with ricotta laced with mixed peel and fined chopped dark chocolate pieces. I was a bit sceptical how it might taste but I was really pleased with it, despite it looking a little rushed! There were some other great cakes too – a cake with mango filling, a cherry and cardomom cake, passionfruit, lemon meringue cake…I have to admit I always find myself reverting back to basic recipes and trying to make them look pretty, whenever I go CCC I’m reminded that there’s a whole world of flavour combinations out there to try!
During the filming we covered a few topics and it was interesting to hear what others thought about CCC and why they come, especially as everyone has the same feelings about it as me. We all really enjoy the chance to be more inventive with our baking and enjoy sharing our work with likeminded people. There’s something very pleasurable and communal about eating cake with friends. It’s like a more modern version of “breaking bread” with people! There was also a lot of chat around the non-competitive elementof CCC. Were we bothered that it wasn’t competitive? No! We all agreed that we liked it not being competitive, that it meant we weren’t being judged by others and that helps us enjoy the events. Jini made a good point that we have enough competition in our daily lives, trying to better our careers that we felt we could come and relax! I think if it was competitive we’d all spend a lot longer trying to make our cakes look beautiful, when actually the taste is so much more important.
The CCC is also a great place to make friends. For a start, you’ve already got something in common – you really like cake! It’s an easy conversation starter isn’t it – “Oooh what cake did you bring?”. I always come away with some useful tips too. And as Sharon who runs the Pudsey “chapter”, I found out there’s a farm shop really near our house.
Lynn also introduced “the savoury interlude” into proceedings. This was a round of olives plus cheese and biscuits to cleanse a little of the sugar from our palates before we continued eating more cake. I thought it was a great idea! I have a really bad habit of eating way too much cake too early. Still haven’t learnt to pace myself.
If you’re not already a member of The Clandestine Cake Club, you should sign up! There’s already 80 clubs, and you could start one in your area if you don’t find a local one.