I can’t quite believe that my 3rd Bake Club has been and gone already. I’ve had such fun organising them and meeting lots of new people who have a passion for baking just like me. We always end up chattering away and losing track of the time.
This month the theme was ‘Queen’s Jubilee’, which is rather helpful of course as this links in very nicely with the Jubilee Competition that I am running on my blog at the moment. So I’m hoping that a round up of all the cakes might help to give you a little bit of inspiration to get baking. After all a bank holiday is the perfect time to get into the kitchen with the additional day off. As usual my guests completely exceeded my expectations with their creations. All fabulous and suitably regal. So if you are ready, lets indulge.
First up was Christina’s fruit decorated chocolate fudge cake. Christina tells me that she got the recipe from this months Good Housekeeping. She halved the quantities because it said the cake would serve 40!!! As you can see it was still pretty sizable, but a much more manageable. It was chocoholics dream with the rich chocolate sponge and white chocolate buttercream and it tasted amazing.
Then came Abi’s orange flavoured crown cake with fresh fruit, white chocolate and raspberry coulis. Abi explained that she had combined a number of recipes to make the various parts to this cake. The orange taste was incredible. You could really taste fresh orange with every bite. I love the idea of using sponge fingers around the cake too.
Then Vicky brought a Almond and rhubarb loaf cake made with rhubarb from her own garden. Now you can’t get more British than that! The flavours were gorgeous. I could really taste the almond and cinnamon that had been added.
Lastly, there was my white chocolate and elderflower victoria sponge cake. I used a Nigella victoria sponge cake recipe, (which can be found on pg 26 of her cookbook, How to Eat) and added 2 tbsp of elderflower cordial to the cake batter and 3 tbsp of cordial to the fresh cream that I whipped up to fill and top the cake with. I also drizzled melted white chocolate on the cream in the middle of the cake and again in the top. Don’t hold back with the white chocolate, just go for it. The little white chocolate crowns were an idea I got from talented Sew White. You can see a little video on how to make them here. They were great fun to do and I was very pleased with the final cake.
As June is the perfect time to hunt for fresh elderflower you could always make your own cordial. I will be doing this for sure. Karen from Lavender and Loveage has a great recipe over on her blog.
Next Bake Club and New Ideas
I’m feeling more experienced now having run 3 Bake Clubs and it’s been great getting a feel for what people want and how they run. I’ve had a few ideas which I hope will make my Bake Club even better than before. Let me know what you think.
- Running a charity Bake Club twice a year, starting next month. On the 13th June the theme is ‘bake it pink‘ and all entrance fees will be going to a Breast Cancer Care. My very good friend Anna will be coming along to support the evening. Anna found out late 2010 that she had breast cancer and endured an incredibly hard year battling the disease. Her strength and courage has been an ongoing inspiration to me and I tell her on a regular basis that I think she is amazing. She has even signed up to do the London Marathon next year! There will be some time allocated to allow Anna to share her experience and talk about breast cancer awareness on the night.
- Organising a number of talks/presentations for the next few Bake Clubs, as I really think there is room for everyone to learn more from each other and from any special guests that I might get in. I’m not talking anything that will take away too much time, just 20 mins focusing on a particular baking related subject. For example at either the July or August Bake Club one guest has already offered to share her macaroon tips.
- Investigating avenues to donate any left over cake to a local old people’s home if guests do not wish to take all the cake home with them.
How to book for the June charity Bake Club:
Here are all the details you need, but essentially all you need to do is drop me a line at: email@example.com
Bake Club dates for your diary:
- 18th July 2012
- 29th Aug 2012
Both based in Sevenoaks
Finally, the great thing about my white chocolate and elderflower victoria sponge cake is that I can also enter it into two blog challenges this month. Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked has gone all floral this month so the elderflower in my cake certainly counts there. Also, the Forever Nigella blog challenge created by Maison Cupcake and hosted this month by Nelly’s Cupcakes has a Jubilee theme. So thank you to Nigella for the fantastic and extremely easy sponge recipe which made a fab base to my cake and qualified me to enter Forever Nigella this month.
This week was very exciting for one main reason. I hosted my first ‘Homemade By You’ Bake Club, (round of applause). I had been thinking about doing this for a few months, so to see the idea become reality was fantastic. The concept is that members bring along a homemade ‘bake’ of their choice which fits with a monthly theme, (this month was chocolate and spring time) then they share the recipe and any tips with the other members all over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
My thinking was that people would enjoy a reason to bake. As I mentioned in my previous cake therapy post, this is something I actually look for and I was sure I would not be the only one. I also hoped that by bringing people together who share the same passion there would be lots of happy cake chatter, and hopefully some new friendships too. I know my husband gets very bored of me talking about baking and all the ideas I have, so he for one was very keen on the idea of a bake club.
The night itself was everything I hoped it would be. My guests went all out and brought an amazing selection of cakes and bakes with them. They had clearly gone to a lot of trouble which was fantastic. Here’s what was on the table:
French style chocolate gateaux cooked in the microwave. A revelation to most of us and it was so moist as no chance of drying out in the oven.
Lemon, white chocolate and black pepper muffins. A new and gorgeous flavour combination.
Mini chocolate cheesecakes cut out from a big cheesecake by using a round cookie cutter.
Chocolate Easter fridge cake which had all manor of delightful ingredients including crushed mini eggs in the cake…superb!
Chocolate Guinness cake with marmalade and cream cheese frosting. This cake looked and tasted amazing, and being Irish myself I fully approved of the addition of Guinness.
I loved being able to cut a little slice of them all and try each one. Such treat to have a cake to try and the person who made it to ask questions about it. Thanks to everyone who came along and helped to make my first Bake Club such a success. 🙂
This brings me onto the next ‘Homemade By You’ Bake Club. In fact I enjoyed it so much I’ve set dates for the next two. If you would like to come along here are the details:
Next Bake Club
Date: 29th March 2012
Time: 8pm – 10pm
Cost: £5 per person
Location: Chipstead, Sevenoaks
Theme: Seasonal delights
To book: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget you can bring one non baking guest with you as well. Just let me know when booking
Be quick! Places are limited and will be booked on a first come first served basis.
Following Bake Club – *date for your diary*
Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012
Time: 8pm – 10pm
Cost: £5 per person
Location: Chipstead, Sevenoaks
Theme: Queen’s Jubilee
Booking: Please email me at email@example.com to register interest and further details will be sent to you nearer the time.
I have been thinking about doing a Bake Club for a while and have decided to go for it! I wanted to set one up because I thought it would be great fun to organise an event where like minded people who love to bake get the opportunity to bake, meet and share. If you live in the Sevenoaks area and are interested in joining my Bake Club then I would love to hear from you.
The bake club will be held monthly and each time there will be a something new to bake along with a theme for a bit of extra fun.
It’s a bit like a book club but with bakes that you bring rather than books that you read. We all get to share a bit of what everyone else has made and you will get to take any left over cake home. I will also collate everyone’s recipes and distribute on the night so if you feel inspired you can bake and recreate even more once you get home.
You don’t need to be an experienced baker to come along, all levels are very welcome.
The first meeting will be a bit experimental and I would love to spend some time (in between chatting) hearing your thoughts and ideas on how you would like to see the Bake Club progressing.
So if you, and up to one non baking guest fancy meeting a few new people to talk ‘bake and cake’ with for an evening whilst at the same time tasting lots of lovely treats, the details you need to book your place are below:
Date: Wednesday 29th Feb 2012
Time: 8pm – 10pm
Location: Sevenoaks (address will be given once you have booked via email)
Bake and theme: Chocolate cake and spring time. You make this beforehand at home and bring it along to the meeting with you.
Cost: £5 payable on the evening (includes tea/coffee and recipes)
To book email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Places are limited. I will allocate on a first come first served basis.