The Secret “Vegetable” Garden CCC Meeting

Frances Hodgson Burnett described “the secret garden [that] bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” A true tribute to the Autumnal theme of Brighton’s October meeting. The theme was a secret vegetable garden with attendees encouraged to try and bake a secret vegetable ingredient into each cake. It was a small number of attendees with just the three of us turning up at Mange Tout on a Wednesday teatime but I’m not so sure there would have been space for much more cake as we all tucked into hefty slices of three delicious cakes!! I myself ran out of preparation time and so went for the trustworthy carrot cake. Having said that I ventured a little outside of the norm taking a recipe from the new British Bake Off cook book to cook a “healthy” carrot cake containing no sugar (agave syrup used as a substitute) and no butter (sunflower oil used as a substitute). However, i wasnt too keen on their healthy version of a cream cheese frosting so I substituted this with my incredibly unhealthy, incredibly icing sugar heavy mascarpone cinnamon icing which was divine!

Sally made a gorgeous apple, parnsip and rosemary cake, yes you heard me right, rosemary cake. It was a four layered spectacle with a cream cheese frosting also with a hint of cinnamon. To infuse the rosemary flavour she created a rosemary sugar which worked really well!

It was Ana’s first meeting with the Brighton Clandestine Cake Club (Welcome Ana!!) and she made a luscious butternut squash cake filled with luxury dried fruit again with a cream cheese frosting.

Fortunately for me and my work colleagues all the leftovers came with me to work the day – and were gratefully received!! Real thanks to our hosts for the evening Mange Tout in Trafalgar Street. They are open during the day and some evenings – if I wasn’t eating all the amazing cake I would have been sorely tempted by their menu but had to settle for a drink! May have to go back one day to try some classic French dishes!

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