Get into the Bake Off spirit: Stowmarket cake club on the look out for new members
PUBLISHED: 17:17 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:22 29 August 2017
With series 8 of the Great British Bake Off now getting underway, there’s no better time to find inspiration and get into baking. This is where Stowmarket’s Clandestine Cake Club comes in: we speak to club organiser Lavinia Heeroma to find out more.
It’s that time of year again when the British public becomes utterly encapsulated by the baking triumphs and mishaps of 12 amateur cooks. Over the past seven years each cake-themed controversy has sparked an interest in home baking across the country and now Suffolk has a new club to help novices get started.
Set up in April 2016, the Stowmarket branch of the Clandestine Cake Club – there are 163 CCCs around the globe from America to Japan – had an attendance of just three for its first meeting but has since grown to 19 registered members.
Lavinia Heeroma was a founding member of the Stowmarket club and she chats to us about baking, the GBBO and what new members can expect from the CCC.
Q: Talk us through a typical meeting of the Stowmarket CCC.
A: Once the day of the meeting arrives, we bring along to the venue our home baked cakes and lay them out for everyone to see. We all like to take a few pictures and then get on ordering our teas and coffees whilst we politely wait for someone to cut the first slice of cake! Finally we dive in over a good catch up, lots of laughs and slices of cake. But please don’t think you have to eat 10 slices. Members eat as little or as much as they like and take whatever cakes are left home to share with friends and family.
Q: How often does the club meet?
A: Our meetings run every 6-7 weeks and are on weekends only. I arrange a date, time, venue and theme and post this onto the Stowmarket CCC website for members to view. Our venues are normally based in Stowmarket, however this can change sometimes due to special events like Christmas. The venue remains top secret (this is the clandestine bit of the club) up until the week before the event. I then e-mail all the members who have booked their place with the details needed to attend.
Q: What benefits will new members enjoy when becoming part of the club?
A: Not only is the Cake Club great for meeting new people, but it’s also great for getting creative, learning new skills and recipes and the bonus: eating all that delicious cake! Our Cake Club is open to all. We do not judge or hold any competitions here. So whether you’re a novice or a star baker, all are welcome to share in our love of baking.
Q: What themes are on the cards for upcoming meetings?
A: Every Cake Club meeting has a different theme. We have had in the past Halloween, Easter, Christmas, vegetables, Free Form and are now due to have our biscuit themed meeting! I have some great themes already lined up for next year. I’m thinking 80s, beach theme and cakes based on your favourite book or film.
Q: What’s the trick to baking?
A: There is no secret to baking. It’s all about the love and effort you put into your bake. If you have made that cake with your own hands, love and passion, what could be any better? Just follow the recipe carefully and have all of your ingredients at the ready. If you are trying to get into baking my advice would be to never give up. You are bound to have disasters (this happens to us all), but the key is try and try again. Experiment with your baking and try new things, do not be afraid of it!
Q: And finally, do any of your members have what it takes to make it onto next year’s edition of the Bake Off?
A: We all love The Great British Bake off here at The Stowmarket CCC. I think every member has the potential to make it onto the show. It all comes down to whether we would want our faces in full HD!
The club have three meetings left this year so visit their website to sign up for free and share your love for all things cake.