Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spending an afternoon eating free's a hard life.

My name is Laura and I'm addicted to cake. Making cake, eating cake, talking about cake....I love it all. About two months ago I went to a Cake & Bake show in Manchester with a few friends and I discovered a lovely thing called the Clandestine Cake Club

The Clandestine Cake Club is a wonderful idea where people from the same city meet in a location and share cakes they've baked themselves. There is a theme that changes monthly and the location is only revealed a few days before the meeting. The location also changes monthly and often is held in independent bakeries/restaurants. This month the theme was 'leave it out', whereby we had to exchange an ingredient we usually use in our baking for something unusual. I made a lemon & almond polenta cake, which substituted flour for polenta. I've never used polenta in baking before so it was an experience! Thankfully it turned out okay, a little crumbly but incredibly flavorsome (well it did have four lemon's worth of juice in it!!). The location was a local bakery in the city centre which gives formerly homeless people a chance for work experience and to help them get back on their feet. 

I took the photo before all the cakes had arrived so this is just a taster! Everyone was so imaginative and baked such great cakes. My favourites were a vegan toffee apple cake & a vegan carrot be honest though they were all yummy. Well apart from one but that was simply because I'm not a fan of coconut. I met a lot of lovely, friendly ladies (it was my first meeting) and I got to eat a lot of amazing cake! The way it worked was we set up the cakes and then everyone could dig in! There were in total 15 cakes and I completed the marathon of trying every single one. It was hard but I did it!! haha. Then we just sat and chatted. In a way I was really pleased I attended, for a few reasons. One, I'm really shy and have to force myself to do social things so going to this meeting was a huge challenge but I did it and I was so proud of myself. Two, I am not the best baker and I was wary of exposing my baking to people because I'm so overly critical. However I realised that it's just a bit of fun and I was exposed to lots of new recipes... Oh and eating cake...yeah that was pretty amazing. I also discovered a new bakery that bakes really cool cupcakes AND helps homeless people re-start their lives. So overall I had a great time!