Today my diary finally came together and I was able to attend my first ever cake club. I’m signed up to a fair few mailing lists and this one came from the lovely Clandestine Cake Club. They have branches around the country, most meeting about once a month, the idea being nothing more simple than to bake, eat, and enjoy cake with new and local friends.
This one was held by the Derby group, and as it was their first birthday they decided on a Round the World Extravaganza, asking attendees to bake cakes from around the globe.
Although sachertorte was recently popularised by its appearance on the Great British Bakeoff, I actually chose this cake for its Austrian heritage (and excessive use of chocolate!). My recipe is adapted from Delia’s, which you can find here. As I’m not a fan of using cream in cooking, I adapted together a variety of recipes for a cream-free, shiny glaze icing.
175g dark chocolate (the best quality you can manage – it makes a difference)
110g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110g plain flour
3 tablespoons apricot jam
125g dark chocolate
100g icing sugar
100ml hot water
1/2 teaspoon glycerine
extra chocolate, to decorate
– melt the chocolate and set to one side to cool
– beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– keep beating and add in the chocolate and vanilla essence, then the egg yolks, one at a time, until well mixed
– sieve in the flour and baking powder; fold in with a wooden spoon
– set the chocolate mixture to one side, and in a clean bowl, with clean beaters, whip up the egg whites. You want them to be good and stiff – so they will hold their shape well and not move when the bowl is upturned
– add the egg whites, about 1/3 at a time, to the chocolate mixture, again folding in with a metal spoon
– once the mixture is smooth and mousse-y, spoon gently into an 8 inch springform pan (lightly greased), flattening the top
– bake at 150 degrees C for about an hour until firm, check it’s cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre (it should come out clean if it’s done)
– leave to cool – I took mine out of the pan and put it on my turntable ready for icing
– once cool, use a sharp bread knife to carefully the top so it’s completely flat
– warm the jam until it’s liquid and spoon generously all over the cake, using a pastry brush to cover the sides
– set the cake to one side and make the icing:
– melt the chocolate and set aside
– in a large saucepan, add the hot water and icing sugar, and heat until just boiling
– remove from the heat, have your whisk ready, add the chocolate and quickly whisk before the chocolate has time to seize
– beat with the whisk for a minute until the mixture is fully combined and smooth
– add the glycerine, stir to mix and then leave for 5 or so minutes to cool slightly
– cover the cake in icing! The easiest way I found was to pour a large amount onto the top, then use a spatula to spread around the sides, ensuring it goes all the way to the bottom. Do this on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet so it’s easy to clean up the drips.
– leave in a cool place until the drips have stopped, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours
– finally melt the extra chocolate and use to pipe decorations. Traditionally this Sacher name (after the creator of the cake, Franz Sacher) and I added a few ribbons as well
Finally it was time for cake club! Held at the newly opened Grandpa Lew’s in Derby (thanks to Lewis for being a lovely host) there was no shortage of round the world inspiration. This picture only shows about half the cakes and I came away rather rounded (and with a plateful of cake to take home!) having spent a great couple of hours enjoying sweet treats and meeting some lovely new people.
This certainly won’t be my last Clandestine Cake Club – and I would heartily encourage you to check it out. It’s a great excuse to try out some new ideas in the kitchen, meet new people, and of course eat cake!