There’s a buzz in the air at the moment about ‘secret supper clubs’ so it goes without saying that sooner or later a ‘secret CAKE club’ would be born. Hats off to Lynn Hill who founded the Clandestine Cake Club in Leeds and who brought herself, The Gent, and 30 Edinburgh Cake-o-philes together at the Frederick Street Coffee House a couple of weeks ago.
Imagine, 20+cakes (large cakes only, no cupcakes, muffins, small cakes allowed!), 30 people (mostly ladies it has to be said), 2 hours and a very large tea pot, what more could you ask for?! Nothing in my opinion! The event was fantastic, a good opportunity to meet like-minded cakey folk and fellow twitterati (@bakersbunny, @edin_eats, @smithlh, @sunbrunchclub, @edinburghfoody, @harbourhussy, @2edinburgh to name but a few…..), to talk baking, and quite literally to stuff one’s face without feeling guilty!
Dinner was definitely not on the agenda that evening, it was all about the cake. Myself and my fellow cake-o-holic managed 4 slices each, not bad going we thought until Lynn announced the Cake Club record stood at 11 slices…..mmmm, ok, I love cake but even my elasticated waist band won’t stretch to much above 4 slices in one sitting. We did take cake home though which was a result for Mr Predictable particularly as I had baked his favourite Apple and Olive Oil cake.
‘The first rule of CAKE CLUB should be not to talk about it‘ as since the meeting all manner of tweeting, face-booking and emailing has been going on and now literally hundreds of us Edinburgh cake lovers are hoping to meet up in July to re-live the event. Fabulous.
While I’m on thought I’d share the recipe I baked for this momentous occasion, Ottolenghi’s quite marvellous Apple and Olive Cake with maple icing. Do try it, the combination of flavours is awesome, almost festive and extremely moreish, enjoy 🙂
4 tbsp water
280g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinammon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
120ml olive oil
160g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm dice
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 free-range egg whites
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
100g unsalted butter at room temp
100g light muscovado sugar
85ml maple syrup
220g cream cheese at room temp
1. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Place the sultanas and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over a low heat until all of the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C, Gas Mark 3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
3. Put the oil and sugar in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a whisk if you don’t have a mixer). Slit the vanilla pod lengthways in half and, using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out into the bowl. Beat the oil, sugar and vanilla together, then gradually add the eggs. The mix should be smooth and thick at this stage. Mix in the diced apples, sultanas and lemon zest, then lightly fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
4. Whis the egg whites in a clean bowl, either by hand or with a mixer until they have a soft meringue consistency. Fold them into the batter in 2 additions, trying to lose as little air as possible.
5. Pour the batter into the lined tin, level it with a palette knife and place in the oven. Bake for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
6. Once the cake is completely cold, you can assemble it. Remove from the tin and use a large serrated knife to cut it horizontally in half. You should end up with 2 similar discs. If the cake is very domed, you might need to shave a bit off the top half to level it.
7. To make the icing, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar and maple syrup until light and airy. You can do this by hand, or, preferably, in a mixer using a paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is totally smooth.
8. Using a palette knife, spread a 1cm thick layer over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the top half on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on top and use the palette knife to create a wave-like or any other pattern. Dust it with icing sugar if you like.