Extract taken from the Clandestine Cake Club Cook Book *‘A Year of Cake’
Text Copyright © 2015 Lynn Hill
Photography © 2015 Kris Kirkham
The Clandestine Cake Club was founded in Leeds in December 2010. Eleven curious cake lovers attended our first event, for which the theme was ‘cornucopia’, baking and eating their way through an abundant array of different cakes and flavours. In homage to that first event, here is a bountiful celebratory cake piled with a medley of fruits and flavours that can be adapted for any time of year using seasonal produce and your favourite complementary liqueur. Break open the bubbly and enjoy a glass of cheer as you celebrate what thousands of members and their friends now consider a rather wonderful excuse for copious amounts of cake. Cheers!
For the cake
- 225 g unsalted butter softened
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs lightly beaten
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 1 tbs milk
- 3 tbs caster sugar
- 4 tbs Chambord liqueur
- 250 g full-fat cream cheese
- 40 g icing sugar sifted
- 300 ml double cream
- 4 tbs Chambord liqueur
Topping and Decoration
- 4 x 70g packets of white chocolate Mikado sticks uncovered ends sliced off
- 125 g blueberries
- seeds of 1 pomegranate
- 7 physalis
- 3 satsumas peeled, separated into segments, all pith removed
- Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Grease and line two 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins.
- Beat the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and adding a tablespoon of flour with the final egg to prevent curdling.
- Fold in the flour, then add the milk and mix until well combined. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave in the tins to cool for 5–10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the syrup. Heat the sugar and liqueur in a pan until all the sugar has melted, simmer for a few moments, then take off the heat and leave to cool a little. Drizzle two thirds of the syrup over the sponges and leave the cakes to cool completely. Set the remaining syrup aside for later.
- Make the frosting by mixing the cream cheese and icing sugar together until just combined. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Add the liqueur and mix until well combined.
- To assemble, spread a third of the frosting over one layer of cake. Scatter over some pomegranate seeds and top with the second cake. Cover the whole cake with a very thin layer of frosting – a ‘crumb coat’. Set aside for 20–30 minutes, then cover with a full layer, smoothing the top and sides.
- Decorate the sides of the cake by sticking the Mikado sticks vertically all the way round the cake.
- Toss the blueberries and pomegranate seeds in the remaining syrup, then carefully arrange on top of the cake. Sit the physalis and satsuma segments among the berries.25