Wednesday 10th April 2013
In the name of celebrating all things cake, we couldn’t think of a better person to chat to than Lynn Hill, founder of the nationwide (and now overseas) Clandestine Cake Club. Inspired by her love of baking and desire to bring cake lovers together socially, the club sees local groups meet monthly in a secret location with a fun theme to bake around.
With a firm rule of only cakes allowed, the clever ideas and varying skill level on show is seriously inspiring, and having recently launched The Clandestine Cake Club Cook Book – showcasing the most inspiring and exciting recipes from members around the country – we held a live interview on Twitter to allow you baking and cake decorating fans to ask about all things cake.
@JenB116 asked Lynn; ‘Top baking tips?’
@ClandestineCake: ‘My top tips are. Use quality ingredients, soften your butter. Clean your oven regularly. Put radio on and have fun baking.’
@Laura_J_Evans asked: ‘What’s the best way to stop icing dimpling when you’ve covered a cake and smoothed it?’
@ClandestineCake: ‘Have you tried adding a thin layer of marzipan to give you a completely flat surface before you add any icing/fondant? Renshaw have lots of icing products to help you get a good smooth service. ’
@RaRaWilky wanted to know; ‘How do you get sponge cake really light and fluffy? Mine can be quite moist and stodgy sometimes – Am I over mixing?’
@ClandestineCake ‘What ingredients are you using. Butter,eggs,flour sugar anything else. Butter sugar need to be light & fluffy bf adding eggs etc’
And, another great debate from @daviakoshka – ‘Do you use butter or marg? or does it depend on the recipe?’
@ClandestineCake ‘I do prefer butter. Mostly because it gives a better taste’
?We couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask her a few questions ourselves, so see what Lynn has to say on our all-time favourite topic:
Renshaw Baking: What do you think will the most popular cake baking and decorating trends in 2013?
One of the key cake trends our members have been talking about is the Bundt – made in a traditional Nordicware tin. It can be dressed up or down and made as simple or as intricate as you like. We’re also seeing a big focus on flavour, with the addition of veggie such as beetroot and courgette grated into the recipe along with continued popularity for fruity flavours too.
Renshaw Baking: What are your top three favourite baking themes from Clandestine Cake Club?
Cake Cornucopia is a favourite, the term means ‘abundance of flavours’ and that’s definitely something our members demonstrate with this particular theme. Seasonal is always popular and we’ve had some brilliant Easter themed cakes this year, including unusual marzipan topped takes on Bundt. ‘Favourite cake’ continues to be a great theme too, as members have the creative licence to make whatever they feel and that’s great to see.
Renshaw Baking: What was the most creative Clandestine Cake Club member response to a baking theme you have seen?
This is a difficult one as we see so many brilliant ideas across the different groups and I only get to see a handful being based in Leeds. At this weekend’s Cake and Bake Manchester we saw some brilliantly creative makes from members, including multi-layered and multi-flavoured cakes which were wonderfully creative.
Renshaw Baking: What are the main baking and cake decorating skills you have seen members develop meeting each new monthly challenge?
A lot of our members are getting very skilled at creating beautiful sugarpaste flower decorations and try their hands at modelling, especially around seasonal baking occasions such as chicks at Easter and pumpkins at Halloween.
Renshaw Baking: Through Clandestine Cake Club’s celebration of all things cake, what other great benefits have the local groups had on their members and the communities they live in?
I get so much lovely feedback from members across the UK about how the CCC has helped them meet new people and develop new friendships. One of the most heart-warming things I hear is that through CCC, people are baking more as a family and getting children involved in learning how to create great cakes.
From a wider community perspective, the CCC helps promote local businesses who want to be involved with the meetings and run demonstrations with the member and develop relationships with potential new customers.
For more information about Clandestine Cake Club and to find meetings in your area visit, www.clandestinecakeclub.co.uk