The First Rule about Cake Club….

Last Thursday marked my second trip to the Leeds Clandestine Cake Club, and what a treat it was! This time the event was held in the 4th floor cafe in Harvey Nichols. Again, another wonderful venue.

The theme for this month was “Vivaciously Victorian” and if I’m honest, I did struggle somewhat with deciding on a cake to make. So, in the vein of Heston Blumenthal, I decided to look to literary influences for inspiration, specifically Alice in Wonderland and the “Drink me Potion” which is said to have tasted of  a


“Mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast”


So for me, I definitely wanted to create a cake incorporating the combination of cherries and custard! I settled on the recipe, one where custard is baked into the middle of the cake. I was all set to bring a magnificent cake of gold and cherry red hues, wibbling and wobbling with with thick set custard… Only, I couldn’t find any cherries. None, nada. I searched high and low, supermarkets, farm shops to no avail.

So I went for apple instead. Hey ho…but when I do get me some cherries I WILL make this cake again!!

There was an amazing plethora of cake, ranging from Helen’s sandcastle cake (a feart of engineering!), Jini’s Empire Cake, Charlotte’s Battenberg, ginger cakes and a number of variations on the Victoria sponge – all delicious! Needless to say it took me a few days to get over the sugar high! Again, eveyone who I got chatting to at the event were lovely, and I can’t wait until the May event, which has a fruity, sweet or savoury theme.

The CCC also featured in an article in the Times the very same day, detailing how underground baking clubs and baking in general are gaining momentum in the UK. I have to say Lynn does an amazing job at organising these events and finding great venues to host them in!

I think my only quibble with the article was how it kind of pitched bake clubs as “anti cupcake” – yes, the CCC is all about “proper” cakes, but as someone who also loves cupcakes and attends Ironcupcake Leeds, I just think that there is a place for all types of baked goodies!! Let’s just share the love for home baking!

Apple and Custard Cake
Ingredients
For the custard
280ml milk
3 large egg yolks
55g caster sugar
30g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:
200g soft butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
225g self raising flour, sifted
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used Braeburn as I wanted the apples to keep their shape)

To top
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

For the custard

In a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer to a simmer over medium heat. Take off the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until thick, add the flour and whisk until smooth.

Pour hot milk onto egg yolk mixture and stir until smooth. Return the contents to saucepan and stir over low heat until mixture comes to the boil.

Stir for 1-2 minutes until it becomes thick then remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and then cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge.

For the cake
Pre-heat the oven oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in flour.

Spread half the mixture into a springform 20cm greased and base-lined cake tin, be patient with this, the batter is very thick – it needs to be to encase the custard. It will take some effort to spread it evenly over the base of the tin.

Then add the cooled custard and smooth out evenly. Be sure to leave a of centimetre around the circumference of the cake uncovered by custard, as you want to seal the custard into the middle of the cake.

Add spoonfuls of remaining cake mix and spread carefully with a spatula to cover custard

Arrange apples on top of cake mixture and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle over the caster sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for about 60mins until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in pan before turning out.

Eat with extra cream if you like, but I think the custard adds enough moisture!

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3 thoughts on “The First Rule about Cake Club….

  1. >Yay Recipe! That cake was one of the highlights of what was a very good evening and I didn't get a chance to ask you for it! The quality of cakes was excellent. Thank you 🙂

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