Thursday, November 24, 2011

Clandestine Cake Club at Red House Farm

Last week I went to my first Clandestine Cake Club at the lovely Red House Farm in Dunham Massey. The theme was Family Favourites and I was very excited as I had been looking forward to the event for ages plus I hadn't eaten much all day in preparation. So armed with a huge tupperware containing my Nan Gwen Morris' Crispy Lemon Cake Bailey and I set off on our merry way.

We were actually the first people to arrive (embarrassing) but were given a warm welcome by Jonny - our host for the evening. He was really nice and also very passionate about his business and was happy to tell us all about the stuff going on at the farm.

It wasn't long at all before loads of other people began to arrive and put their all the amazing-looking cakes out on the surface for us to eat.  I started to wonder exactly how I was going to do all the delicious cakes justice as there were just so many.

Before the eating began, there was a really nice introduction by Gwyn, who we had met for the first time just days earlier at her Secret Afternoon Tea Party. She told us all about her mum's gorgeous Chocolate Birthday Cake which looked lovely.

She explained that we were in the presence of a very special guest - the founder of Clandestine Cake Club herself - Lynn - who had traveled all the way over from Leeds to see how we were getting on. She had also brought with her an amazing Elderflower Cordial Cake which just looked lovely!

It was really nice to hear everyone speaking so fondly of the club and to hear Lynn's inspiration behind the whole fabulous idea. That wasn't to say I wasn't super excited when they said it was time to dig in!

Bailey and I decided that we really wanted to try at least a little bit of every single cake. We knew this would be a challenge seeing as there were literally about 15 cakes but we decided we would get a big plate, take a thin slice of each and share them.

This seemed to work quite well as we got a little taste of each cake but didn't fill ourselves up TOO much.

I can honestly say there wasn't one bad cake out of the whole selection and I enjoyed each one in different ways. Gwyn and Lynn's cakes tasted as good as they looked, we loved the jam in the middle of Gwyn's and particularly enjoyed the Smarties on top of  it because, after about 10 slices of cake, the texture of them took the edge off the "cakiness" of it if that makes any sense at all!

I really enjoyed Kelly's Carrot Cake as it was so lovely and moist and I also really loved the lovely nutty bits in Christine's Coffee and Walnut Cake.

Jessica's Spiced Apple Cake tasted great and we loved the dark, Guinnessy taste of Helen's Chocolate Guinness Cake.

Although all cakes were ace, I have to say our favourite was definitely Claire's German Chocolate Cake - we actually managed TWO slices of this bad boy as it was so delicious and rich and beautiful. I would definitely like to get my mitts on the recipe for this if possible.

As for my Crispy Lemon Cake, well I was quite worried about it as it had come out a bit funny due to my stupidity of not having enough self-raising flour and therefore substituting it with plain flour and baking powder. The middle had sunk and me putting it on a plate with a dip in the middle hadn't helped. However I was pleased that it tasted nice and a lovely lady came up to me at the end and said mine was her favourite! Woop!

After gorging on cake, we also managed to fill up our huge tupperware with yet another slice of each cake to take home, which meant we could enjoy them all again and Bailey took some into work the next day to share with his boss!

Apart from eating amazing cake, our trip to Red House Farm was made even better by the fact we got more than we bargained for. We bought loads of great stuff from the Farm Shop including some smoked garlic which has made everything we have put it in taste awesome, and we also managed to pick up a lovely letter / key rack from Gingham and Roses - the lovely shabby chic furniture place across the way!

We loved Clandestine Cake Club and will definitely be showing up for the next meeting, hopefully with a more aesthetically-pleasing cake this time. I think it is such a lovely thing to make time in our busy lives to have a lovely sit down for a cuppa, a good old slice of cake and a chat. I will also definitely be returning to Red House Farm as their breakfast and lunch menu looked great and I need to get me some more of that smoked garlic (and furniture).


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