Saturday 26 January 2013

Bolton Clandestine Cake Club -There's No Place Like Home

Bolton Clandestine Cake Club
Friday morning was a little chilly here in Bolton. The weather forecast had been wrong all week. On Monday it was supposed to be heavy snow, but we got a mere dusting. We had an amber weather warning for snow from 3pm on Friday, but few of us took it seriously. I went to work wearing my Cath Kidston pumps and we joked about getting stuck at work in Snowageddon. 

Karma got us back. Whist we jested about the white stuff, the bellies of the clouds over Bolton were swelling. As I travelled home at about 4.30pm, the snow had just started to get cranky. By the time I got to Horwich (which is famous for having its own crackers eco system) it was sticking... I wasn't too concerned about cake club, as the main roads seemed well gritted.

By 7pm it was about three inches thick. By 9pm, probably five inches, and by the time my husband and I decided to go out for a snowy walk at midnight it was pushing a foot in some places. Trees were falling over under the weight of the snow on their leaves, cars couldn't get out of Horwich, and cake club was very much off.
Bolton Clandestine Cake Club - Snow
Snow in Horwich Friday 25th January 2013
I had been plotting 'Plan B' all night... just in case. Many of us make our cakes the night before, so I knew members would want to come, but it just wasn't safe. After seeing cars sliding all over the show I just couldn't risk it. Most had already admitted defeat and cancelled their place, fearing the icy roads. 

I virtualised our meeting! Our venue was in a remote place, so was totally out of the question. I asked our friend Amanda at Thyme Deli in Horwich whether a handful of us could congregate there. As always, the helping hand was extended! Adam, Phil, Clare, Lucie, Kev, April and I met at Thyme as we live nearby. Huge thank you to Amanda and her little crew!
Bolton Clandestine Cake Club - Gathering at Thyme
Clockwise: Clare's Ginger Carrot Cake, My BL3 Honey Nut Bundt, Lucie's Apple Cake, Phil's Chocolate Mint Cake and our cake table.
Even though there were only seven of us at Thyme (one being a baby...) we still ate lots of cake and managed to take big wedges of each home in our 'troughs'. Adam was a huge fan of the honey bundt, so took a massive wedge! Haha! Busted...
Bolton Clandestine Cake Club - Gathering at Thyme
Over the other side of Bolton, Little Mo, Corinne and Michelle held their own meet up and Bev, Jenny and Matt sent pictures of the cakes they had made. All day we have tweeted, Facebooked, texted and spoken on the phone when we have been unable to meet in person! 
Bolton Clandestine Cake Club - Gathering at Little Mo's
Clockwise: Corinne feeding her face, Little Mo with her Chocolate and Lime Cake, Michelle with her Carrot Cake, Corinne with her Cherry Bakewell Cake and their lovely spread.
Bolton Clandestine Cake Club - Cake via text and email!
Clockwise: Bev with her Death by Chocolate Cake, Matt's Bury Black Pudding Cake and Jenny's Carrot Cake
Despite the fact today's meeting was 'cancelled', we still managed to get people baking, eating and talking about cake, just not all in the same place! We are a club who will be not be beaten! The show must go on, even if it is a little unconventionally... Our cakes rose to the challenge, and celebrated our local producers and traders. We made:
  • Carrot and Walnut Cake - made with carrots and walnuts from Preston Market
  • BL3 Honey Nut Bundt - made with honey from BL3 area of Bolton purchased from Thyme Deli, Horwich.
  • Spiced Apple Cake - served with Horwich Allotment Society Spiced Apple Butter.
  • Ginger Cream Cake - made with eggs laid in Blackrod purchased from the Salad Bowl in Horwich.
  • Chocolate Mint Cake - this must have the award for 'Most Local' cake! Eggs from the Fruit Shop, Chocolate, Cocoa and Flour all from Thyme Deli, double cream from Greeley's Butchers, butter and mint from the Salad Bowl and mints from Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe - all Horwich.
  • Cherry Bakewell Cake - made with eggs bought from one of Corinne's neighbours who has chickens and ducks!
  • Chocolate and Lime cake - made with fresh limes bought from Bolton Market
  • Carrot Cake - made with eggs and carrots from Hulton's Estate Farm in Westhoughton
  • Bury Black Pudding Cake - don't worry... it was ginger... made with eggs from Bury Market
  • Death by Chocolate Cake - made with Pennine Hills eggs from Bolton Market

Not bad for a cancelled cake club... Dedication eh?

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