Exactly one year ago I attended my first ever meeting of Cake Eaters Anonymous in Nottingham. Scheduled cake eating with other cake lovers? Yes, I was pretty keen, and have been a committed Cake Club member ever since. The idea behind the group is simple – once a month we get together in a chosen venue, bring a cake to share and raise money for a worthy local charity.
Today was the October meeting, which took place at the beautiful Fothergills Pub in the centre of Nottingham, opposite Nottingham Castle and the photo opportunity that is the Robin Hood statue (see my profile pic for a demonstation of ‘Robin-Hooding’).
Given the timing, this month had a Halloween theme, and the room was awash with an excess of orange food colouring, bats, spiderwebs, skeletons, and even a graveyard.
I decided to try this Nigella recipe for chocolate and cherry cupcakes, topped with gory bloody eyeballs. Steps on how to try this at home to follow in another blog post soon.
The cake spread was seriously impressive this month – the majority of people had gone to town on the Halloween theme, and those that hadn’t instead chose to showcase seasonal flavours such as pumpkin, cinnamon, apple, almond and hazelnut in their cakes.
For the ticket price, we’re entitled to three cakes/pieces of cake. The monthly decision of which cakes to have is probably the toughest I face in my life. Yes, I know, I have quite an easy life and it’s a very nice problem to have!
I decided to go for a piece of Laura’s chocolate orange fudge cake (which was voted the best cake of the day), a cinnamon swirl cupcake by talented Liana of Star Bakery (whose son had helped with the decorations) and a piece of gorgeous hazelnut and apple cake.
What a treat!
I always look forward to the last Sunday of the month – such a top way to spend the afternoon, chatting with lovely people, sharing homemade cake and sipping tea in a beautiful venue.
I’d also like to take the chance to dispel a few cake club myths…
1. Cake Club isn’t a euphemism for ‘greedy overeaters’. We’re all there because we love baking and sharing what we’ve made with fellow bakers, and I’m pretty sure we all limit our cake bingeing to once a month. Although that said, it is a pretty dangerous club to attend if you’re on a diet.
2. Cake Club isn’t just for ladies. Most people assume Cake Club is some sort of extension of the Women’s Institute, but we actually have quite a few male bakers every month, and often they make the best cakes (see the three finalists from this year’s Great British Bake Off if you still need convincing boys can bake).
3. Cake Club isn’t just for professional bakers. We have people of every age and ability attending, from people who bake professionally, to those who are just starting out and use it as a chance to try new recipes and techniques. Everyone is welcome.
The next meeting of Cake Club is taking place on Sunday 25 November. Join the Facebook page to be kept up to date on tickets. You can also see a list of other cake clubs around the UK on the notes of the Facebook page if you’d like to find one near you. Or start your own! As well as raising money for charity through ticket price, there is also a raffle and donation box on the day.