Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Clandestine Cake Club's 1st birthday celebrations

A lovely cakey Happy 1st Birthday to Clandestine Cake Club, Northampton and a special thanks to Gillian for all of her hard work in creating a lovely meeting.

The very first meeting was held at the lovely Jeyes in May 2012 so Gillian thought it appropriate to have our first birthday celebration there too.
The Jeyes family had put on a fine spread and we had a proper afternoon tea complete  with sandwiches, crisps and pots of steaming Yorkshire Tea (now proud sponsors of Clandestine Cake Club).

Although I haven't been a member since the very beginning I have been going to 'cake club' since December. Even though I make cakes and cupcakes most days, the club gives me the chance to really experiment with flavours in the kitchen and developing new decorating techniques.

My special 'cake slice' birthday cake

Sandwiches and crisps and pots of Yorkshire tea

Carmela's 'Nigella' doll cake

The lovely conservatory set up for our afternoon tea 

Debbie's caterpillar cake and Rosie's choccoccino cake

Sue's raspberry and white chocolate cake and a giant French fancy!

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated towards my SkyDive in July. I am doing this for the fabulous charity ShineUK who help support families affected by Hydrocephalus and Spina bifida. Jeyes so kindly donated a beautiful cake stand for me to raffle and it fetched £30!! In total I raised £75 so I'm really grateful to everyone who donated... thank you! xx

Happy baking xx

Having fun at my cupcake decorating classes

Firstly, a big thank you to my lovely friend Carmela for allowing me to hold my classes in her beautiful home.

My students and I had a fabulous time, they were more than willing to learn and I was happy to share my knowledge an experience.

Busy, busy! 

Carmela creating little daisies for her cupcakes

Gillian preparing to make some mini ribbon roses

The fun bit... putting all their decorations on to the frosted cupcakes. 

Fantastic cupcakes ladies!

Lovely picture of Gillians cupcakes 

My next class was held at the Vintage Retreat in Northampton. Three lovely ladies joined me, one being a bride whose wedding cupcakes I made back in 2011. She now has a little girl and would like to be able to create cupcakes for her birthdays.

 Some more lovely cupcakes... a selection of roses, gerbera, daisies, daffodils, blossoms and sunflowers.

I have a range of classes available on both days and weekends, if you'd like to take part in an upcoming class please visit my website

Happy baking xx

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Recipe share of a scrumptious Golden Syrup cake

So it's Sunday and not wanting to break with tradition too much (I made lasagne for dinner instead of a full roast) I like to make a proper pudding.

I love Nigella's self saucing toffee pudding and her chocolate pudding which also features in Nigel Slater's Real Food. But this day I was thinking something sticky with treacle or syrup maybe... 

I came across this recipe for Golden Syrup cake on the Caked Crusader's blog and having only just opened a new pouring bottle I knew what I was going to do...

Don't be alarmed that this recipe uses a whole bottle of syrup. The taste isn't overly syrupy and not as sweet as you might think, but the last drizzle of syrup over the warm cake straight from the oven just finishes it off for me... perfection!

We enjoyed about a quarter of the cake between four of us and drowned it in homemade custard.... Which means I still have some left and have had a piece tonight, but alas, will finish it tomorrow.

Recipe taken from The Caked Crusader


225g unsalted butter
225g light muscovado sugar
450g golden syrup, plus additional 4 tablespoons for pouring
450g self raising flour
2 eggs
300ml milk


Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
Line a 30cm springform round tin with baking paper.  

Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until all the ingredients are melted and combined.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so.

In a large bowl, beat together the flour, eggs and milk.  It will look pale, lumpy and desperately unappetising at this point!

Pour the syrup mix in and beat until lump free and smooth.

Pour the batter (it will be runny) into the prepared baking tin and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack – still in the tin – for 5 minutes, then drizzle the extra syrup over the top.

Leave to cool completely.

Serve on its own or with thick cream, or like me, with homemade custard for pudding.

Happy baking xx