Friday, 29 May 2015

Busy in the kitchen..

**Apologies for the font size, line adjustment and spacing caused by the problems with Windows Live Writer and Blogger. The problems aren't visible on the edit too and I've spent too long fiddling now to waste any more timel!**

The theme for the May meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club was ‘vintage cakes’. The venue varies, and this month was to be held at the beautiful home of David and Jane who were very generous hosts. 

The Loire Valley branch, set up by Jean Lacey, is going from strength to strength. This time there were seventeen delicious cakes, many reminding me of my childhood.

Tim chose to make a Battenburg cake; mainly for the architectural and engineering nature of the construction and because it would be a challenge even for the most accomplished baker. It is fair to say that Tim is a novice baker, but nevertheless he remained undaunted by the task ahead.

His recipe was from the BBC Good Food website which he followed almost to the letter! The only exception was that we didn’t have the Squires rose food paste so used about 100 drops of pink food colouring – thank you, Jean. He also omitted the almond essence from the pink cake adding rose flavouring instead.

He cut some pieces of wood to the correct size so he could cut his cake perfectly to size and shape for stacking…

We forgot to take the photograph of the assembled stack, sandwiched with apricot jam with added rosewater and covered with berry jam – the apricot having run out!!

Rolling the marzipan…

Covering the cake…

The recipe was enough for three cakes, which were all of identical size, but with different levels of ‘finish’.

The finished cake ready for eating…


My offering was Sachertorte, the original recipe is locked away in a vault somewhere in Austria, but Mary Berry was kind enough to lend me hers. You can find it on the BBC FOOD website. The only changes I made were to increase the quantities by half again, used gluten free flour and chocolate and added a couple of tablespoons of strong black coffee dissolved in warm water, which I’d read about in a different recipe and I thought would be a good addition.

Just some of the very impressive array of cakes on offer…

Thanks to Jane and David, Jean and to our fellow bakers and tasters for a wonderful afternoon.


  1. Your cakes look terrific - I'm most impressed. I do love a good Battenburg but have never made one. It looks tricky. The addition of coffee into yours sounds like a good idea.

    1. I thought the coffee made it slightly less sweet and sickly!!

  2. Well done t'OtherTim....
    that is a work of art...
    bet it tasted good, too!

  3. Just amazing...such talent .... Mary Berry, eat your heart out. Jx

  4. Ah... that's how he did it. I rather liked the absence of almond essence but I wouldn't have known that without reading your post.
    I don't think I have the patience to make one BUT maybe I might try especially if I get some helpers in the Summer! I admit I have never eaten a Sachertorte before. To me it was HEAVEN. Excellent cake presentation. Tim is an example to all those who say they cannot bake a cake! Competition for Mary?

  5. It was a very professional looking cake - and it would have given those on the "bake off" a run for their money!
    It tasted yummy too.

  6. Wow Tim I am more than impressed, well done. Sound like the Cake Club is doing very well. . All look good enough to eat :-) Have a good Sunday Diane xx

  7. Amazing cakes from you both. If there's any leftovers, would love to have a taste :) x

  8. Exactly like Diane !! Wow Tim did well. Never seen wood used like that in the kitchen before. :-) Well done to you both.