Blood (Oranges), Sweat & Tears: Two Years Of Bolton Clandestine Cake Club

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I don’t often blog about cake club any more – our club leader Rachel does it so beautifully over on her blog Dolly Bakes that there is nothing else to add. But we reached a milestone this week so I have been compelled to write.

Happy Birthday Bolton Cake Club

Yey us! A right motley crew celebrates in style!

Yesterday saw Bolton’s Clandestine Cake Club celebrate it’s second birthday. It seems like yesterday I nervously turned up for the very first meeting at Thyme Deli in Horwich in 2012. I knew nobody. I was worried my cake (a chocolate hazelnut if I remember correctly) wouldn’t be up to scratch. Now, many meetings later, I turn up to a room full of people I know and consider friends and rather than fret we laugh about our cakey misdemeanors! Ok, ok, so I do still fret. Every time in fact. But I know that no matter what happens with the cake the welcome will be warm and enthusiastic. Had a wreck? No worries, someone will always help you patch it up  and laugh it off.

Rachel does a brilliant job organising a venue and bonkers theme for each month. And not just any old venue- she always makes sure there is a table cloth and thematic props if required. And not just any old theme, you’re always left wondering where in her crazy brain these bonkers ideas come from! Thanks Rachel xx

I am by no means the worlds best baker, but I love to bake and cake club has definitely helped me practice and make cakes I would normally never do. This month, as always with me, there was mishap!

The plan was chocolate and blood orange cake in three layers with blood orange curd and boozy chocolate ganache fillings with a salt caramel glaze. So I started Friday night by making the cake. A Mary Berry recipe so that was flawless and a light and very tasty sponge was made. Next up, the curd. It took an age to thicken but I popped it in the jar and went to bed.

Saturday – party day! I got up ready to make my ganache and assemble the cake. I looked at my jar of curd and it had separated! So, as happens most months, my husband was send packing on an emergency supermarket trip for supplies!

I have never made a three layer cake before and this is the reason that I totally forgot that something so big needs support. I of course, didn’t give it any! So the layers slipped. By the time I had got it to cake club I had curd oozing out of the bottom layer and had to be helped to get it out of the carrier and onto the stand. Where it carried on slipping! Oh well, it tasted great even if it looked iffy, and chocolate orange was a bit of a theme yesterday- three or four of us had done the same flavours.

Bolton collage

Just some of the cakes from Bolton’s 2nd birthday party.

If you’ve never been to Clandestine Cake Club for fear of having your skills judged or having no one to go with, please don’t be put off. Cake brings out the best in people, and the best people! Bolton is a little (well, quite big now) family and like all families we’re totally bonkers, a wee bit dysfunctional but lots of fun!

I’ve said enough, I’m off to hit the leftovers from yesterday…

Find a Clandestine Cake Club near you by vising the website.

Read something I wrote about Clandestine Cake Club for Wigan Food and Drink Festival recently.




Posted by Claire

She eats. She drinks. She cooks. She travels. She learns. She tastes. She bakes. A foodie with exceptional taste! Always looking for the best food and drink producers from far and wide. Chocolate brownie queen. Judge: International Cheese Awards. Cheese fiend! Travel lover. What better way to discover new food, than to travel to it. Massive fan of The Archers. Crazy cat lady and proud. NW England / Manchester / UK Twitter & Insta: She_Eats_Blog Facebook: SheEatsBlog


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