The Clandestine Cake Club is not a competition, it’s an opportunity to meet at a “secret” location to eat and discuss cake. Cake being the word – it’s not about cupcakes, whoopies, muffins or macarons, it’s all about the good old fashioned cake! Think of it as an extension of social networking…most of the people in attendance are on Twitter or write their own blogs, so it was good to meet in person and chat about cake! I met some really lovely people and am really looking forward to the next event.
This month it was held at Primos in the Leeds Corn Exchange. The theme for this event was “Saucy Sweet or Sensual Savoury” In total I think there were 20 cakes, all of the ones I managed to try I thought were delicious. There was a good split between savoury and sweet cakes. I have to say the savoury ones were delicious! In particular I liked the pistachio and chorizo, the savoury semolina cake and also the pesto and courgette loaf. A couple of these recipes can be found on the CCC Site.
I decided to go down the sweet route, but use a savoury ingredient – butternut squash. I find that vegetables in cakes tend to give a really moist crumb and this one didn’t disappoint! The butternut squash can be substituted for the more traditional carrot, but I also think that it would be really good using courgette and a lime frosting to give it some zing. (Must give this a try…)
I received some really lovely comments about my cake and I think it turned out really well, because there was so much cake, there was enough to take back home and share the people at work (along with slices of some of the other cakes I didn’t get to try!)
The recipe is based on a Jamie Oliver Squash muffin recipe, but I have tweaked it slightly, adding extra spices and using my method for cream cheese frosting.
Spiced Butternut Squash Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake
400g butternut squash, skin on, deseeded
350g light soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
300g plain flour, unsifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg, grated
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
175ml extra virgin olive oil (I didn’t have much EV left, so just used standard olive oil)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
500g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
125g soft unsalted butter
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to to Gas Mark 4 / 160C (fan) / 180C. Line and grease 2 x 20cm cake tins.
Either grate or whizz up the butternut squash in a food processor – set to one side.
Beat the sugar and oil until light and frothy, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each one in before the next. Then add the vanilla, the squash, walnuts and the orange zest. Beat gently
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold into the Butternut squash mix.
Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for approx 25 – 30 mins, but do check after 20 mins as it will depend on your oven. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold.
The quantities above actually made the 2 layers for the cake but I also got 24 mini cupcakes out of it too.
To make the frosting, combine all the ingredients in a mixer until smooth.
To decorate, sandwich a few spoonfuls of the frosting between the layers, and then using a pallate knife, spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. If you find that the frosting is getting a bit runny, then place the cake / frosting in the fridge for ten minutes or so and then continue.
I decorated the cake with a few walnuts.
Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a chat!
I’m really looking forward to the next meet up, the theme is Vivaciously Victorian…lets get the thinking cap on then!