Via my fellow bloggers on Twitter I recently became aware of a brilliant phenomenon called the Clandestine Cake Club. The CCC was created two years ago by cake lover Lynn Hill in Leeds, UK with the aim to be able to get people together in a relaxed social environment so they could “Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake”.
The concept was to strictly only include cakes; no cupcakes, brownies, pies or tarts are allowed and since its inception it has grown to over 133 groups around the world including Switzerland, Spain, France and Finland.
There is currently only one group in Australia and luckily for us it’s here in Perth! The Perth branch is coordinated by Carolanne from Carolanne’s Kitchen and Jackie from Where the wind blows me. Recent awareness of this group has surged thanks to some awesome publicity in Scoop magazine, on Great about Perth and Agenda City.
I was so excited to hear that the theme for the July meet was to be gluten free and signed up to come along. As I am by no means a talented baker by anyones stretch of the imagination I began madly flipping through a number of my food stained cookbooks. I eventually decided to make a Coffee Bundt cake adapted from one of Sue Shepherd’s books.
For those who don’t know who Dr Sue Shepherd is; she is one of Australia’s leading clinical nutritionists specialising in patients with gluten intolerance and fructose malabsorption. Being a sufferer of both these conditions myself, I have all her cookbooks on my shelf every single one is worn and well used. (For the recipe for my Coffee cake please click here.)
Knowing what a sweet tooth my bestie is, I wasn’t surprised when she agreed to join me as my guest and off we headed to our first Cake Club meet! We were greeted with a warm welcome and were both blown away by the wonderful collection of cakes that had been made for the occasion. Everyone had experimented with a wide range different types of flours and ingredients to create a decadent selection that would make any gluten eater jealous.
Carolanne made a scrumptious coconut and berry cake using coconut flour. She taught me something new; apparently coconut flour has such a high fibre content that it expands dramatically once you add your wet ingredients meaning you only need to use a third of what you would use with normal flours. I have a bag of coconut flour sitting unused in my pantry, I am best to remember this expansion effect when I first use it!
My favourite cake of the day was Red Hot Spatula’s Kuihs – little Asian style cakes made from rice flour, green bean flour and tapioca flour. It was interesting to find out that traditionally in Asian cultures they do not usually bake large cakes like what we are accustomed in Western society. Instead they tend to make small single serve cute little cakes. These cakes were steamed not baked and I loved them so much that I ordered some more from her to be delivered to my work the following fortnight! She was kind enough to share the recipe with us all as a guest post on Where the Wind Blow Me.
My bestie’s favourite cake for the day was the white chocolate, macadamia nut and honeycomb cake. This cake was subtle flavoured with all three elements and had a very moist, almost syrupy texture without being too gooey.
As well as being the welcoming hostess, Liv from Col Panna baked the “Best Cake full stop”; which was a hazelnut cake with Frangelico ganache. This deliciousness was nothing sort of incredible and was made even more spectacular in that the outer layer of the cake was the best part, not the centre like many standard cakes. My bride diet went completely out the window with this one. She was also kind enough to share her recipe for us all to try for ourselves.
A final cake of note was the raw chocolate avocado cake made by Bri from East Meets West. Unfortunately I didn’t try this one as it contained dates which are chock full of fructose. I figured after the sugar and dairy overload, I didn’t need to add a fructose blow out to deal with as well. It looked almost succulent and I watched enviously as the rest of the group devoured it.
One of the great things about these cake meets is that once we are all finished at the end, we all get to fill our own plates with slices of everyone else cakes to take home to share and enjoy. As much as I dreamed of eating cake for breakfast, the Boy tucked into the container as soon as I got home and there were only slim pickings by the following morning! I guess this is a good sign on how good the cakes were as he isn’t really a sweet tooth.
The next meet’s theme is Scandinavian style cakes and is on the 4th of August from 3-5 pm. If you are interested in joining this brilliant phenomenon click the link for details how to register.
Perth Clandestine Cake Club: http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/perth-australia/