This week has been somewhat eventful in Hungry Hinny land – a bit of a car crash on Wednesday has left me vehicle-less, a leg injury has stopped me being able to do any exercise which makes both grumpy and fat, and the pony has been working away all week so I’ve had to struggle through all on my own – cue a tiny violin, playing a sad song just for me…
Before it all started to go wrong however, there was cake – and lots of it!
On Tuesday, I headed to the Lanhydrock Estate, near Bodmin in Cornwall, for what was the most well-attended meeting of the Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club to date.
It was an especially fun meeting, as we were treated to a talk on the not so gentle art of afternoon tea by historian Sue Bamford (who, by the way, has the most ladylike hands which made me thoroughly ashamed of my own chubby sausage fingers).
Even as a non-tea drinker it was fascinating to hear about the history of both the beverage and the tradition of sitting down to a good old cuppa at around 4pm. We were told about the grisly fate of tea-smuggling informants, why adding milk before or after tea comes down to class (and how being ‘miffed’ orginated from Milk In First) and how it’s perfectly acceptable to entertain men who aren’t your husband in your underwear, as long as it’s for afternoon tea.
There were of course lots of delicious traditional cakes on offer, and I tried as many as I could on the day. Unfortunately I was so busy nattering with Choclette towards the end of the event that most of the cakes had disappeared and I only got to take a couple of slices home, but with the pony away and me not exercising I guess that’s probably for the best!
You can see more of the fab cakes and a write up from organiser Ellie Michell here, below are a few of my snaps…
My contribution was a Bakewell tart-cake, inspired by the classic with a light almond sponge, raspberry jam and almond cream filling, white glace icing and cherries to complete the look.
It seemed to go down pretty well – it was all gone by the end so I’m hoping that means people liked it! I only had a little tiny slice, but it came out how I hoped – I was especially pleased with how the cakes rose with flat tops that didn’t need trimming, thanks to my new ‘lower for longer’ strategy which I will be using for all layer cakes from now on.
Bakewell tart-cake (loosely adapted from a Nigella recipe for coffee and walnut cake, which I blogged here)
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g light brown suggar
- 175g caster sugar
- 225g butter
- 4 eggs
- 3 tsp almond essence
- 225g plain flour
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
For filling and icing
- 50g raspberries
- 100g raspberry jam
- 100ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 175g icing sugar
- glace cherries to decorate
Using a food processor, mix the almonds and both sugars, then add the rest of the ingredients in order, blitzing and scraping down the sides with each addition. Divide the mixture between two 7″ round cake tins and bake at 165 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cakes are cooling, heat the raspberries and jam in a saucepan until the raspberries have broken down and the mixture is bubbling and thick. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. In another bowl, whip the cream and almond essence into stiff peaks, and in a third bowl add water to the icing sugar a spoonful at a time until its thick and smooth.
To assemble, spread the raspberry jam onto the bottom layer, then spread the whipped cream on top of that. Sandwich with the second layer and then spread the glace icing on top – take it right to the edge so it just starts to dribble down the sides. Slice the cherries into halves and use to decorate.