In most places of the UK the Jubilee celebrations came to a close on the Bank Holiday Tuesday; not so in Cardiff, however, as the Clandestine Cake Club continued the party with a Best of British themed event. There was such a wide scope of things that fit the theme – a traditional recipe, or something that represented a concept intrinsically British or even a famous sight or landmark in cakey form.
I had a grand idea, initially – a cake version of Stonehenge – but being away the weekend before pretty much put the dampeners on that. Instead, I thought to adapt a previous idea, the Trifle cupcake, but modify it for a full cake. A vanilla sponge cut into three, with the bottom layer having a raspberries and raspberry jam; the second a healthy soaking of sherry, and the top decorated with patissiere creme, whipped double cream and the remaining fruit.
At least, that was the plan……
I cooked the sponge and was a bit disappointed when it sunk – nevermind, I thought – the top is going to be covered with patissierie cream so it won’t show. Nope; what had happened was I pulled the cake out of the over before it was property cooked, meaning the middle was still a gooey mess and I only discovered this just over an hour before the event itself. I almost made another sponge; but with time becoming an enemy I decided to cut the middle out, just leaving me a ring of properly cooked cake. The raspberries were jammed in the middle to fill the whole, jam spread along the one cut and the patisserie cream put on top so it looked like a whole cake.
I don’t suppose I can be too disappointed, and people were very nice in what they said about it. Again, the standard of baking was incredibly high; two incredible cakes decorated like our monarch’s crown, a postbox, Victoria sponges with lashings of fresh cream and strawberries, a delicious Pimms cake, a Honey and Apple cake with ingredients from England, Scotland and Wales and a chocolate crisp cake. And it was held in the most lovely of confines at Insol Court, a beautiful Victorian mansion with splendid ornamental gardens.
I like this club, it really does challenge and inspire me – very much looking forward to July!