Clandestine Cake Club

As with all great foodie secrets, whilst on I was on twitter I found out about the clandestine cake club. The club is for people that essentially love to Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake.

Seeing I meet all of the criteria I went on the website and booked a place on their next event which was in Harrogate. The theme for this event was cakes from around the world, seeing that Black Forrest Gateaux was on my ‘To cook’ list I thought that I would kill two birds with one stone and attempt to make one.

I followed a simple sponge recipe and just added a cocoa paste (made of cocoa powder and hot water in equal measures) I think that I was a little over ambitious by having four layers but there was method to my madness, as I had four different fillings they were:

  • Chocolate Ganache
  • Stewed cherries
  • Fresh cherries
  • Cream

In the end added some of the cream to both of the cherry layers to give the cake some more volume. Directions safely in the Sav Nav the other half and I sent off, en-route the cake did fall a bit but this was easily repairable when we got to the venue.

There were nine cakes and 17 of us in the end. I only wish I could spend every Saturday afternoon eating homemade cakes, talking and drinking coffee with like minded people. There was even some cake to take home, (tucking into a bit of @BakingAitch‘s cheesecake as I type). I can’t wait for the next event.

For more information about Clandestine Cake Club:

Black Forrest Gateaux
Sponge base:
3tbsp Cocoa powder
250g Soft unsalted butter
250g Caster sugar
250g Self-raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
5 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Prepare your cake tins (I used two sandwich tins)
Make a cocoa powder paste by mixing the coca powder with about the same amount of boiling water.
Place the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat well with an electric whisk until its light and airy.
Add the cocoa paste.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder, mix gently until all the flour is incorporated.
Place in tins and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave to cool and cut each in half horizontally so that you have 4 bases.


Chocolate Ganache
200g Dark chocolate
200ml Double cream
15g butter

Break the chocolate into pieces.
Put the double cream in a saucepan and bring to boil Pour on top on the broken chocolate and stir.
When all of the chocolate is melted add the butter.
Leave to cool until it has thicken (but is still soft).

Stewed cherries
500g of cherries
100g Caster sugar
1tsp Cornflour

Stone the cherries and place in a saucepan.
Add enough water to cover the cherries.
Add the sugar and leave to simmer on a low heat until the cherries are soft.
Leave to cool in the juices (overnight if possible).
Strain the cherries and pour the juice back into a saucepan.
Bring to the boil and add the cornflour with a bit of water to thicken.

Fresh Cherries 500g (keep eight or so on the side for decorating the top)
100g Milk chocolate finely grated
500 ml double cream beaten until it reaches the soft peaks

Cover each sponge with a layer of the cherry sauce
First layer: Place the stewed cherries in the centre of the cake and some of the cream
Second layer: Add the ganache, leaving some to top the cake
Third Layer: mix the fresh cherries with some of the cream
Fourth layer: add the cream and some of the chocolate ganache (depending on how much you have left)

With a spatula cover the sides of the cake with the remainder of the cream.
Apply the grated chocolate.
Smooth a layer of the ganche on the top of the cake.
Decorate with the remaining cherries.

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