Tonight was my second Clandestine Cake Club and the theme was chocolate! Could it get any better?
You're right, I don't think so either.
The biggest challenge of the evening was choosing a recipe - I mean Google Chocolate Cake Recipe and you'll get about 72,900,000 results! Who knew there were so many ways to make chocolate cake?
Actually, I like to think of myself as a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to chocolate cake though. I can spot a drinking chocolate based cake a mile off and that cheap, waxy frosting just destroys your taste buds. If you're going to do something, then do it right.
When I bake a chocolate cake, I love using proper melted chocolate in it, you just get a much deeper, fuller flavour and I think the cake is moister too. I've tried lots of recipes over the years and in truth it didn't feel exciting enough to do for the cake club.
I wanted to do something a little different and that's why I chose this recipe...
I had a similar cake when I was on holiday and loved it, so decided to search for a suitable recipe. I also wanted something a bit different that would stand out against the richer chocolate cakes.
This one did not disappoint. It took forever to bake; but I got lots of work done while I was sitting waiting.
I followed the recipe mainly - I used dark chocolate chips in it; but it was a little too dark for my taste, I think a sweeter milk chocolate would have been yummy. I also used brazil nuts instead of almonds on top and omitted the cocoa powder all together, choosing to decorate with these pretty chocolate stars I bought, to help bring the chocolate theme to life! There may even have been a little sprinkle of edible glitter, because life's just better with some sparkle!
The evening was held at Looses Cook Shop and Mum and I had fun wandering around the store. We've been wanting to go for ages so this was the perfect excuse and yes I was tempted to buy some bits and pieces - including a flower rolling pin that actually makes little indents on the rolled out icing. As well as some colouring for chocolate and a sheet of edible transfer that I have wanted to try for ages. I'll let you know how I get on. If you have any tips on using them, do let me know.
I thought that lots of people would do the really dark, gooey cakes and there were; but it was great because we got to try them all! Including a caramel and chocolate cake I'd seen on the BBC site that looked amazing, with four different layers of cake! It really was good; but all the cakes were so rich I couldn't manage much. We ended up brining a box home and I got to sample a little more while sitting in comfort watching The Newsroom. Like I said, it was the perfect night.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.