April 24, 2014

LOIRE VALLEY CCC

Having joined my local Clandestine Cake Club branch in Derbyshire last year, it occurred to me one day that it might be fun to create a club in France.  A lot of the people we have made friends with in our little corner of France are enthusiastic bakers so I asked a few of them if they would be interested.  Enough said “yes” so I decided to give it a go.

CCC3a

Yesterday we had our very first meeting and I am thrilled to say that it was a huge success.

Considering our actual membership is very small, we had sixteen people turn up and thirteen cakes – a baker’s dozen !!

CCC4The theme was “favourite cakes”.  In other words, the cake that each person liked best to eat or to bake.  Everyone embraced the spirit of the theme and a truly magnificent collection of cakes appeared on our table.

CCC5

There were lots of lovely old fashioned cakes such as ginger, date and walnut, coffee and walnut, banana and walnut, chocolate sponge and strawberry sponge.  There were several gluten free cakes, delicious adaptations of favourite old recipes, plus a variation of carrot cake and an upside down cake.

The number of cakes containing walnuts could be down to it being the nut that people are most fond of, or that we are in walnut country.  They fall off the trees in autumn and you simply help yourself to delicious fresh walnuts.CCC6 CCC7 CCC9 CCC10 Out of the thirteen cakes, four of them were made by men -  and for two of them it was their very first time – this was the first cake they had ever made.  Now that’s what I call real and brave enthusiasm !!

Several people had made a cake for the first time in their French oven – people who had come to France for the holidays and wouldn’t normally bake a cake on holiday.

I have to admit that on the afternoon before I had a little chuckle to myself when I thought of all those cakes being baked in the Loire at the same time – all those anxious faces peering into ovens they are not used to baking with, hoping it would turn out alright !!

CCC12 Of course the proof of the cake is in the eating so with formalities quickly out of the way we got down to the main business of the day – eating the cakes!  All washed down with proper English tea and later – naturally – a glass or two of Vouvray.  Conversation was without doubt rather different to meetings at home.  There the talk is of work, children, grandchildren, traffic jams and supermarket prices.  Here it was of brocantes, old cars, holidays, local wildlife, and renovation of ancient houses.

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and I hope that that everyone is looking forward to the next meeting!

http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. By the way, the photos are great! Was Nick the photographer? If so, did he use your new camera or his Nikon? I'm curious... ;)

      Delete
    2. Oh, wait. I think I just spied Nick in the background of the group photo after a closer look.

      Delete
    3. Hi Walt,
      Tim was the photographer for the group photo and he used my new Lumix camera, with a tripod.
      He did a great job, n'est-ce pas?
      I took the others, snapping away at random, with the Lumix. It's a good camera and I'm very pleased with it.

      Delete
  2. They were tasty! I was very impressed by the range of tastes and the presentation. I think between us Tim and I tried most of the cake, but you soon learn that in order to do this a fork full of each is the most that can be eaten.

    Well done, Jean. A very successful first event which I think will extend our range of baking and give us fresh ideas. It will also teach us to check the thermostat on our ovens!

    Merci beaucoup to Jean, Nick and Lulu for making us so welcome and organising this inaugural event, hopefully the first of many...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaynor, there is a knack to getting the most out of a cake club.
      That's to eat a few very small pieces of some of the cakes and to take large slabs of the others home for future enjoyment!
      We also quickly learned that it's not possible to eat a piece of everything on the day.

      Delete
  3. Mouth watering pictures :-)
    And what a lovely table under the cakes!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks like you all ought to open up a shop. All the cakes are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We were sorry to have missed it. The cakes and the company looks great! I'm glad it was a success and hope we can make the next one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a good idea for getting inspiration and making friends. And those cakes look divine!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am not clear. Is it with every meeting there is another theme about cakes (ex: bake a cake your mother was fond to make) or is it every meeting you move onto a different category of favorites (ex: bake your favorite muffin or bread etc.) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo, you're right, there's a new theme for every meeting, but only cakes are allowed. No muffins, bread or pastries. Not even cupcakes.

      The theme for next month will be "let's get fruity!"
      You could join the club if you like. Virtual cakes might be a nice idea, if you or Someone enjoy baking, that is!

      Delete
    2. There are no lack of fruitcakes at this end.

      Delete
  8. Only newly permanently resident and already starting a movement!. Good for you. I'm sitting here waiting for lunch ... and really hungry. Those cakes look SO good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great idea and it looks very successful. Presumably mostly English speaking people? We actually do not know a lot of English people, most of our friends seem to be French. N's French has improved no end, but now as he is always around mine has gone backwards!! Keep well Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, there are a lot of English people in the area and they all seem to enjoy any excuse to get together. And who can resist home made cake?!

      I don't think the French do cake the way we do, but if Mme André's enthusiasm for my baking is anything to go by, they're missing out! It would be great if we could attract a few French bakers to join the group but it might take some time I think!

      Delete
    2. Somehow it seems very British to me that the British want to teach everybody else how to be British.

      Delete
  10. I think you need to start a walking club as well if all that cake eating continues! Looks gorgeous though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, believe it or not, one of the group has already done just that!

      Delete