Do you remember me telling you that I had joined something exciting a while ago? Well today was the day I finally went to my first meeting of the Ribble Valley Clandestine Cake Club! What better thing to do on a Saturday afternoon but eat and discuss cake?!
The meeting was held at Holden Clough Nursery which was a beautiful place to visit. It was lovely to have a look at all the plants they have there and the tea room looked amazing. The lovely ladies who kept us well supplied with tea couldn’t have been friendlier either – I’ll definitely make a return visit!
The theme for the CCC meeting was “Guess the ingredient” so we had to produce unusual cakes and then try and guess each others. It being my first meeting I didn’t want to go too wild and so went with a cake that contains rosemary and lemon thyme. Other members however didn’t hold back and I ate cakes that contained mashed potatoes, aubergine, beetroot and coca cola and very nice they were too! I brought a slither of each home for the juniors and Mr. Bake (even though Mr. Bake kept asking if I’d joined the WI!) and so they also got to play the guess the ingredient game too.
I had a lovely afternoon and met some really nice people. Maybe you could join a Clandestine Cake Club near you?
Lemon, Rosemary & lemon Thyme Cake
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon zest
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon thyme (or plain thyme)
3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
and for the syrup…
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 170°C
Grease one 10″ round cake tin or 2 loaf pans.
In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar with your electric mixer until fluffy, or by hand until your arm gets tired.
Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time.
Add 1/3 cup lemon zest, 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary, and 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh lemon thyme.
In another bowl, sift together 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 3/4 tsp salt.
In a third bowl (or your liquid measuring cup, if you’re very clever or lazy) combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup yogurt/milk mix, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Alternating between dry and wet ingredients, add the flour and liquids to the batter, starting and ending with flour. After each addition, mix just enough to blend the batter — overmixing will develop the gluten in the flour and make your cake tough and dense.
Put batter in cake tin (or 2 loaf tins) and bake at 170°C for 45 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup.
In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved (or microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, and repeat until the sugar is dissolved.)
Once the cake is done and has cooled off for 10-15 minutes, drizzle the lemon syrup over the top and down the sides. It will soak in and make it extra moist and delicious.