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Blog > March 2013 > Claudia Roden’s Orange & Almond Cake for the Clandestine Cake Club

Claudia Roden’s Orange & Almond Cake for the Clandestine Cake Club

Tonight I’m going to my first Clandestine Cake Club! For those of you who aren’t aware, the Clandestine Cake Club “movement” was set up by Lynn Hill, a retiree and lover of cakes.  From her Leeds home in 2009, Lynn set up a Secret Tea Room, much like the supper clubs popping up in people’s dining rooms across the country, but focused on cake and scones instead.  She enjoyed meeting people over cake and tea so much she decided to arrange an event where everyone brought their own cake.  This was, according to her, so “she didn’t have to do all the baking”.  The idea caught on and there are now well over 100 cake clubs in the UK and more in Canada, France, India, Australia…  It’s a revolution of cake.  A wonderful way to meet new people and enjoy home baked cake.
Typically, the only cost of entry is to bring a cake that serves 8-12 people.  It has to be a cake.  No cupcakes, cookies or muffins!  The clandestine part is only learning the actual venue a day or two before the meeting.
My first meeting is tonight, so yesterday I looked through the Great Cake Places London book to find a recipe to cook.  Quite a few of them I had to discount because they were not for full cakes (I don’t think the rules allow whoopee pies, either).  With a bag of oranges in the cupboard I decided to go for Claudia Roden’s Orange & Almond Cake, supplied by Rococo Chocolates who feature in the Chocolates and Sweets Chapter of the London book.  Cake Boy, Eric Lanlard, also supplied an Orange and Lavender Cake but I searched in my local Sainsbury’s but couldn’t get my hands on any.  If you’re fortunate enough to have some in your garden please do try the cake sometime and let me know!

Interestingly, this cake is both gluten and dairy free.  I'm not opposed to either so I don't often bake cakes without.  I'm looking forward to trying it!  The only ingredients for this cake are:

2 large oranges, washed (or 3 medium blood oranges)
250g caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
250g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Here’s the link to the recipe and here’s the making of it in pictures:Boiled oranges

Boiled oranges
Blending all the ingredients
Blending all the ingredients in my Blendtec (I took the spoon out first!)

Folding into the egg whites
Folding the batter into the egg whites

Cake after baking
The finished Orange & Almond cake in the tin

The final decoration will have to wait until just before I leave.  Unfortunately I can’t yet tell you how it tastes either! I suspect that the club organisers expect you to bring the cake to the club whole, rather than with a tester slice removed… 

I have to say even though the CCC website says it’s all fun and no judgement, I am quite nervous.  Fortunately I know this recipe is well tested and I don’t think I’ve ever followed a recipe so closely in my life!  Fingers crossed it will all be fine!

Posted: 11/03/2013 10:30:28

Great Cake Places Blog

Jennifer Earle

Welcome to the Great Cake Places blog. I'm Jennifer Earle, the Content Director for Allegra Publications. I love cake. All kinds of cake. Lemon drizzle, coffee & walnut, chocolate, ginger, carrot… I love trying new cakes and baking them too. I’'m particularly obsessed with chocolate and quite partial to cheese scones, straight from the oven, spread with real butter. This job makes me a very happy girl. Please do register for access to discounts we’'ll be adding and say hi in the comments of the blog!

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