I’ve been co-organiser of Bolton and Wigan Clandestine Cake Club for a year now, and it has taken this long for me to write up any of our meetings. Very remiss, but I am making it up now to tell you about our last meet up at John Whaite’s Kitchen.
When Great British Bake Off winner John announced he was opening a cookery school here in Wigan, I was straight on the email, asking him if we could hold a cake club there. 12 months later with the school finally open, a merry band of bakers spent a very hot and sunny afternoon in this amazing venue.
Before we get to the cakes, let me tell you about John Whaite’s Kitchen. Based in Wrightington on the rural outskirts of Wigan John has put a heck of a lot of work into converting a cow barn on the family farm. It’s spectacular – all perfect tiles and shiny KitchenAids. Yes, we all sighed when we walked it and dreamed of having a stylish kitchen like this to call our own.
But on to the cake. Knowing our venue, I set the theme as Sunday Showstoppers. A chance to show off a cake full of flavours that would make a Bake Off judge swoon.
Our youngest baker is my niece Molly. At just 13, she is already a pretty good baker and when she said she didn’t know what to make, I sneakily suggested a John Whaite recipe. This ginger and blackberry mouse cake was brilliant.
Mol wasn’t the only one to make one of John’s recipes. Claire W had an inkling of our venue and so made his secret ingredient chocolate cake. From John’s latest book in which everything has just five ingredients, it was an immense chocolate cake…and the secret ingredient had us guessing for ages!
I made a lemon cake which I filled with a mix of rhubarb from the garden, and rhubarb and blueberry jam swirled into vanilla cream.
The jam was made by Barbara (check out her new business Gribbin and Bear) and she made a beautiful hummingbird cake.
My fellow organiser Clare (we have many Claires and Clares!) made white chocolate cake with lavender berries and white chocolate ganache.
Rachel, with a hand from beautiful baby Dotty, made a massive lemon meringue roll, and her sister in law Caroline made an equally delicious lemon cake (of which I have no pics, sorry ladies 🙁 )
Newcomer Lisa made a rich and creamy Baileys chocolate cheesecake.
Jenni made a classic Victoria sponge. These things are classics for a reason you know!
What else is there to say: great company, great venue. This is what Clandestine Cake Club is all about!
Thank you to John for letting us have the meeting there and thanks to Jane to was a wonderful host- telling us all about the courses on offer and keeping us hydrated out in the sun! as we were leaving, the group were already asking when we could visit again so watch this space cakers – I am sure it will be sooner rather than later!
Our next meet up is scheduled to be on the 25th June and you are all more than welcome to join us. Register on the Clandestine Cake Club site (it’s all free) and then join Bolton and Wigan. My cohort Clare is organising our next meeting and the deets will appear very soon. Equally, if you have a cafe, pub, bar or restaurant and would like to host a club in Wigan, Leigh, Bolton, Horwich and the surrounding areas, drop me a line!