3 Tier cakes with Sheffield Underground Cake Club on Zoom

Because Sheffield went into Tier 3 we moved our October Cake Club onto Zoom .

Annes cakes are Gooseberry and Elderflower cupcakes …normal sponge with elderflower cordial, full of goose berry jam & with butter cream with Elderflower cordial. They looked fab on zoom …we were all licking our lips !!
Carolynn made some sponge with Orange juice mixed in plus orange juice in the icing. The baking time was 20 mins because they were cooked in ramekins… 1 egg between 4 ramekins.

My cakes were coffee and walnut buns , made with decaff coffee. I took them on my first tier 3 walk near Redmires reservoir.

Vicky made an Apple and plum cake . We talked about how to help the fruit not sink ? Cook the cake partially, add fruit as you go along . Or add extra flour to the mix like you might with a cherry madeira recipe. It has extra flour in it . Ann has ordered a Halloween cake treat box . We talked about treat boxes and where to buy the best & supporting local shops .
We talked about Walking books … Anne told us about a walk with history book that included Higger Tor which is in Sheffield.
We talked about what we’d love to do after lockdown. Anne fancies running a coffee truck & wants to be their first employee !! Sheffield Underground Coffee Van is born.
Afternoon tea in a Cafe by the boating lake in Southwold …recommended by Anne.

For the next meeting 21st November the theme is Colours. Pick an ingredient that gives your cake colour … then ask us to guess the colour & the ingredient.
Everyone welcome at our future meetings … we will be on Zoom till its safe & dry enough to meet up in real life again !!

Join our Facebook group & page https://www.facebook.com/Undergroundcakeclub

Any questions please do contact me
Karen Perkins @fabcoach


Join Sheffield Underground Cake Club … more details from @fabcoach

Cakes from our Childhood Memories

Sheffield Underground Cake Club met socially distanced on Saturday in a sunny , windy garden in Walkley with fabulous views ( Thanks to Clare for hosting & everyone for keeping their distance & to our very careful covid free guidelines. ) Our previous meetings over lockdown were all by Zoom, so you could see the other cakes , but only eat your own. We made up for it this time chomping our way through slices of all the cakes. All collected safely from a distanced table, pre cut ! It was heaven to be able to try all the cake in real life again.

I made a coffee & walnut cake. It had 2 shots of real espresso coffee in the sponge plus walnuts from The Nut Bar in the Moor Market Sheffield. My mum made 3 types of cakes for Sunday high tea, on a rotation. I loved this one best.

Anne made a Cappuccino Brioche Bread & Butter Cake. She sliced and buttered brioche, layered it with dark chocolate. She made a custard of 10 eggs, 3.5 oz sugar, 100ml coffee & 600ml cream. She poured this into the springform tin. She gave us a tip… line the tin or check it wont leak when you pour ( and repour lol ) the custard in. Topped with melted chocolate it was delicious. 

Clare made a Pineapple Upside Down sandwich cake with cherry jam. She said read the recipe as after she’d baked it, she read ” melt the butter ” Yummy !

Carolynn made a cake from her childhood. Her mum used to make a mint chocolate pudding and served it with #gasp Mint Custard. She made a yummy chocolate cake with peppermint and mint aero on the mint buttercream topping. Clare said that at her primary school the school cooks used to add a colour to the custard each day that matched the headmasters tie !!

Raheel told us all about his exploits on Masterchef , we are so proud he only just missed out on the 1/4 finals . He has set up cookalongs instead with dtr Isla every Saturday evening . https://www.feedthelion.co.uk/rogan-josh-masterchef-raheel-mirza/ His cake was a coconut cake from his family, with fillings of creamed coconut, coconut milk & cornflower and topped with desiccated coconut cream. #allgone

Sian made a cake with all ingredients from her house. Like a store cupboard challenge. It was a raspberry & hazlenut dark chocolate sponge ..very dark and chocolaty with the raspberry from the chocolate coming through. A cocoa and white chocolate topping too . More yumminess !

Join us at our next socially distanced cake club in October. Venue and attendees all subject to the latest Covid regulations in force & the weather. Sat 24th Oct 3-5 Venue to be announced … Zoom link provided in case of rain etc .
Join our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2122224674725289 ,

Like our FB page https://www.facebook.com/Undergroundcakeclub
or follow me on Twitter @fabcoach

Happy Baking …. please suggest any safe venues and themes, or host us
Best Wishes

Summer Fruits Glut cakes

We had our first very socially distanced outdoor cake club . With Parkland views we noshed our way through real cake . I believe it was the shortest ever time between saying hello, introducing our cakes and actually eating them. What a change from Zoom cakes where you cannot taste them …but you can see them.

My cake was a Victoria Plum and fresh plus powdered ginger cake with lemon drizzle icing on top. The plums were from Knab Farm shop as was the ginger. Local Victoria plums.

Ann’s cake was an Elderflower and mixed berry cake, you can use mixed berries instead of gooseberries. Use Elderflower cordial to soak the fruit which sinks into the cake & makes it deliciously moist.

Dave’s cake was a gooseberry courgette and elderflower cake. An  award winning recipe made with rice flour so gluten free. Lots of eggs and little flax seed were used to make the sponge layers. There were 2 types of filling plus layers of Gooseberry compote made with veg agar, and coconut Chantilly cream. Plus elderflower butter cream on top. #yummy

Next event to follow …. Sat 19th September …. theme to follow all socially distanced outside. Zooming if its raining or Covid arrangements change .

Ginger Cakes Virtually in Sheffield

Sheffield Underground Cake Club meets every month to bake to a theme in a secret location. For the last 4 months we have met virtually by Zoom to be safe. This weekend we were very excited to be able to meet socially distanced in a large garden. Sadly we had to fall back on Zoom as it was chucking it down. Ah well , we had a fab time but everyone missed being able to taste all the cakes. Hopefully we will finally meet again in real life on Sat 22nd August with a new theme …watch out for updates .

Ginger Cakes was the theme because our host Clare has 2 lovely ginger cats. They joined us on Zoom. Here are our cakes !

cake club zoom ginger

My cake was a ginger & lemon sponge. Made with fresh chopped ginger, powdered ginger & lemon zest in the sponge, filled with homemade rhubarb & ginger jam. Topped with lemon icing & organic redcurrants from my @regather fruit box. Chopped ginger makes for a very moist sponge … chop it fine !!

Vicky made a Lemon and ginger cake with crystallised ginger, ginger pwder and mixed spice Topped with lemon water icing.

Carolynn made a ginger sponge with treacle , ginger powder , stem ginger topped with lemon water icing. That’s icing made with icing sugar & fresh lemon juice.

Sian made a cake with any ingredients she had in the house. A sort of ginger tres leches cake . Ginger powder, crystallised ginger , evaporated milk and vanilla cream topping.

Clare made a Mary Berry Sticky Ginger Cake. As usual with MB cakes it was #ginormous and made for sharing. Warm & stodgy made from butter ,treacle, syrup,milk & eggs & 8oz of flour. By the time the Zoom had started she had already given chunks away to a volunteer delivery person & a neighbour…socially distanced of course.

We talked about baking in lock down & how we were finding it, who’s returning to work when. Its been a brilliant support through lockdown & we cant wait to meet up again.

Join our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Undergroundcakeclub/

Best wishes Karen …


karen ginger cake

Cheesecakes in Lockdown Sheffield Underground Cake Club

We met online for a lovely Saturday afternoon virtual cake club. 5 bakers plus one baking via whatsapp ( that was Anne !) met up on zoom, baking to the theme of Cheese cakes … dairy or vegan.  Here are the descriptions of our cakes … all eaten at safe social distancing . Our next meeting will be in real life , actually socially distancing in Clares garden on Sat 18th July on a theme of  “A little bit Ginger ”

Anne made a lemon & raspberry baked cheesecake . #atotalsuccess and kept it at home to eat with her family !!

anne Cheesecake 27.6.20

Dave made a tomato, basil, olive & mozarella cake. Made with his own wholemeal home ground flour. It looked delicious. With cream cheese & olive toppings , its from allrecipes.co.uk by Giles. Dave replaced the 2 tomatos with half a can of chopped tomatoes for ease. Everyone thought it looked delicious , look at the smiling faces … we are all missing our live tastings !!

cake club dave and faces Cheesecake

dave mozarella basil tomato olive cake 27 6 20

Carolynn made a No Base Baked Lemon cheesecake, half quantities & in a baking dish , served by the spoonful with fruit coulis on the top . Very virtuous , sour cream, cream cheese, lemon & poppy seeds . There were no poppy seeds in the shop so it was just lemon this time !! Sorry no photo today.

I made chocolate baked individual cheescakes , I meant to do Vanilla lemon ones but had no cornflour in the house so added cocoa as a replacement to thicken. Chocolate & Yorkshire cream cheese is delicious. The base was bashed ginger chocolate rounds with butter . I baked the mix of cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, cocoa, whisked egg white for 35 minutes and left to cool in the oven. Then overnight to cool in the fridge . We all agreed cheesecakes were best made the day before . I used a recipe from the 80’s in the Katie Stewart Times Calendar cookbook… i find it good to cook sustainably as it suggests recipes to use seasonal ingredients.

choc cheesecake 27 6 20

Vicky made a Gloucester Pear & Cheddar cake, with grated cheddar, ground almonds and cooking pears ( hard pears ?). It was from NotQuiteNigella.com and was sweet even though it had cheese in. I missed the photo many apologies.

Clare made a baked Luscious lemon cheesecake , with raspberries from the garden on top. Very unhealthy but great for your mental health & yummy. Clare recommends you bake the night before so the cheesecake is cool & set . Leave it in the oven to cool before popping in the fridge .

clare cake club 27.6.20

Join our next event 18th July 3-5 , bring your own mug, plate, chair … and pop your cake , presliced in a sealed container so we can safely share them distanced from a central table. No pressure to eat anything but your own . Address will come via the Group to to your private messenger !!

We had a fabulous famous baker like out tweets !!
cherish liked cake club

August 22nd at Daves house …theme to be agreed 3-5
Then Oct 17th, Nov 21st, Dec 12th themes & venues TBC and subject to #stayingsafe & how lockdown progresses. We always have zoom to fall back on !!

Please contact me if you want to join us on our FB group 

Best wishes   Karen    www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk

Self Care cakes with Sheffield Underground Cake Club

Our second virtual cake club today …still weird in lockdown but people are keen to bake . Here we are with our cakes. Our next meeting is at Zoom on Sat 27th June 3-4 … Lary Dairy Savoury Cakes .

My cake was a cacao sponge with Creme fraiche Oatly, glucose instead of sugar . Cacao is not cocoa but from the Amazon. Chocolate makes me happy. The organic blueberries from my REGather veg box made it healthy !

Carolynn made a giant butterfly bun to make you happy . It had buttercream and jam in the middle .

Clare made use of her condensed milk to make millionaires short bread . The recipe was from Cadburys Simply Chocolate cook book . Trad recipe … Big treat. Eddie made the caramel . Some had already disappeared by the time we started .

Vicky made dark Choc and raspberry cake made for coffee time , frozen raspberries and chopped chocolates and flaked almonds, dense sunk to bottom . US site Sally’s baking addiction. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/raspberry-chocolate-coffee-cake/

Ann made her Uplifting Pear and Yoghurt cake … A pot of natural yoghurt …. Put pot of yoghurt in a bowl and use the pot to measure other ingredients , wholemeal flour, sunflower oil, lots of baking powder , chopped pear ..serve with runny honey. From the French blog Paloma.com

Sian has made lots of cakes and chocolate log … We saw the last vestiges of it … It looked delicious. She gave us some tips on Zoom backgrounds.

Dave would have made Mary Berrys sultana and orange cake …..Clare found the recipe in her book with icing on top.

We then had a lovely chat about how we were finding lockdown. 

1 Where can you get flour ?  Lots of tips

Corner shops and one stop shops have flour. Down to Earth have flour SharrowVale Vale Road plus Saturday morning the Unwrapped shop , plus Just Natural on Crookes . Ranmoor deli selling fresh yeast. Dave made sourdough starter, then froze it . Vickys friend sent her 9 kg of bread flour.Tesco selling bagged up strong flour.Another place M and S have stuff. Loads of choice .

2 Where does Google maps say your most visited place is in the lockdown. Clare’s said Sainsburys !!

3 Where are people doing their shopping ? Dave recommends a Milkman from Manchester …. Splosh sell eco friendly detergents … , they recycle the packaging https://www.splosh.com/

4 Can you claim expenses back from work if you work at home ? You should be able to claim additional expenses back. Be careful if home

Use Martyn Lewis … Moneysaving Expert .

Line rental saver. Plusnet.

5 When do I Hoover the house ….

Where do you work ?

6 How do we move forward after lockdown ?

7 What do universities do with their money ? Universities spend most of the money on the course and staff. They are self funding from about 5 years ago when Gvt reduced central funding .

What will happen to students …. Bursaries for students .

What do we actually need to buy in future ?

8 Make a plan for your future food stock cupboard

Our next meeting is at Zoom on Sat 27th June 3-4 … Lary Dairy Savoury Cakes . Contact me Karen Perkins for your Zoom Log in

Virtual Bake Off with Sheffield Underground Cake Club

We might be locked down and staying at home ( between going to NHS & other key roles) but you can’t stop the baking spirit. So at 3pm on Sat 18th April we all met up on Zoom with our cakes . The theme was Cakes in a Mug … hopefully using minimum ingredients and giving us ideas for new quick cakey snacks.

Here are all the members !! Ready with their cakes hidden below the screen !!Zoom cake club 18.4.20

Clare can be seen making her cake live . It was so popular she had to make 2 more for her son & husband !! She used choc chips & fudge , that’s what happens when you only visit a supermarket very infrequently, plus cocoa, sugar,egg, milk & oil. She recommends a large mug, to allow for expansion plus cover with cling film with a little hole pierced in it.

I made 3 types , as I used a mix of 1 egg, 2 oz vegan marge, 2 oz sugar & self raising flour. It was from 30 year old Sharp Microwave Cookery book . Plus baking powder & vanilla essence. Plus a tablespoon of milk or soya milk as microwave cakes tend to need more moisture. I divided the mix between 3 mugs. The first one was chopped banana, pistachios & honey . The second my partners homemade Rhubarb and Ginger compote . The third was chocolate chunks with chopped bananas.

The finished cakes didn’t look particularly aesthetic but tasted delicious . I ate the banana & chocolate one the next day , warmed up with hot custard poured on top.

cake club finished mug cakes karen perkins life coach uk

Bernie made a Dalek cake with berry and white chocolate drops in it. She turned it out of the mug and coated it with melted chocolate. She recommended a small silicon Lakeland chocolate melter for small quantities . The cake too 2 mins 30 secs in the microwave.

Carolynn made a Gingerbread cake from Biggerbolderbaking . No eggs required and all mixing & prep done in the mug. She converted the US measures into UK ones. The blog has a mix of sweet & savoury cakes. It took 1 min 20 secs to cook…but like some of the other mug cakes it shrank but tasted delicious. This is the website I used and her variety of recipes – I made the ‘Gingerbread mug cake’ –https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/gemmas-mug-meals/

Vicky made a few trial cakes from BBC Good Food website. Dividing one egg into 2 and made a cinnamon cake, then a snickerdoodle , she tried buttermilk instead of egg. Then she made a chocolate cake from Table for 2 blog. It only took 1 min 10 seconds to cook. The higher the sugar content the quicker it cooks . https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/the-moistest-chocolate…/
That’s the recipe I used – probably the best out of the 3 I tried!

Dave cake was made after lots of different experiments   Check them out on Sheffield Underground Cake Club FB page 

His final version was a lime and carob …using half quantities it was still massive , really for 2 !! The issues with the previous ones were over expanding cake filling the microwave !! Plus a spice cake that came out like a bullet even the birds wouldn’t touch it !! Dave has also gone all You Tube and cooked up an online cookery lesson. https://youtu.be/MH_jLef888o  He said ” My first attempt at an online baking lesson. It’s the Sheffield Sustainable Gooseberry Cake I did for the Sustainable Cakes at Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens in Jan 2020. I don’t think Delia Smith needs to worry about competition just yet!!!!  ”

Anne sent her apologies and a photo of her cake anyway !! ” this is my sticky date and toffee cake in a cup. Not made the toffee sauce yet!x ”
ann S cake

We had a long discussion about getting through the Lockdown and tips to cope…here are some useful ones 🙂

  • Don’t dump the local shop who has been helping you through this crisis
  •  People felt that they were not clock watching & they were trying out lots of creative things & connecting with friends and family more.
  •  Eating more healthily
  •  Working from home brought different anxieties and pressures.
  •  Being confined to home made people think about accesibilty for all events and locations for people with disablities.
  •  Make a list of things you have learned and want to take forward so you dont backtrack
  •  People said they wanted to go for a curry or a meal again & do hugging !!
  •  Masks will be important we all felt.
  •  Sticking to the new social distancing …and finding out how events etc may change in the early days . #staysafestayhome
  •  Thanks ( & decent recognition and pay ) going forwards to all the key workers. There will be a need to secure proper jobs for those who lost them, took up delivery etc …and then face being sidelined again as people go back to supermarket shopping.

Join our next VIRTUAL CAKE CLUB Sat 23rd May   #Selfcare Cakes …make the cake that makes you and your cake scoffers feel really uplifted and happy !! 3 till 4   Ask me to send the Zoom login via Facebook 

Best wishes  Karen
www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk     Follow me @fabcoach on Insta or Twitter



5 Ways to Stay Positive on a Furlough

5 ways to stay positive on a Furlough

1 Remember it’s NOT your fault, and its great that your employer wants to keep you for the future.

2 Be kind to yourself…take a mini break at home initially to get your head round the idea, tidy your home & pamper yourself. Plan some fake holiday breaks over the next few months when you can really relax and do nothing #guiltfree . Exercise.

spring david hockney

Thanks to David Hockney

3 Start a Furlough Journal …on one side write down tour thoughts & feelings day by day as you go along. Its great to be able to look back over the months & see your journey & how well you coped despite everything. On the other a to do list as you go along, plus big ticks .

4 Make a list of the skills & training you
– must do to improve your current job performance ( #behonest )
– could do to get you to the next grade or promotion
– might do just for fun eg plan a new business or learn to code or do watercolours … #supermotivating
– get your CV & LinkedIn updated with all your furlough skills !!
– Volunteer ….

5 Get a weekly & daily routine … weekends off but exercise & purpose, maybe a Thursday Jim Jams morning . A daily routine plus a menu plan improves mental health. Limit your social media…save the links for work issues…then work on them away from temptation.

6 Make a plan of how you are going to gracefully re-enter the workplace. List any positive feedback for your employer, thank them, have a plan of how you can ask for an appraisal shortly after return so you can showcase all your new skills & ideas … ready for an enhanced role …or to nimbly step into your dream role if exciting new ones emerge or you face any restructuring #beprepared

If you need a chat or any support through this difficult time I offer free sessions & CoachNowPayLater too #justask

Karen Perkins is a Career Business & Life Coach in Sheffield coaching globally online . www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk

She’s often found walking on White Edge or talking on Radio Sheffield between coaching & helping Cavendish Cancer Care on the Sheffield Cancer Information Hub … ( re-opening when the Moor Market returns) & currently a virtual service .

Boots white edge 1.12.19

Sustainable cakes with Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens

We had a lovely Sheffield Underground Cake Club hosted by Zoe & Rob of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens . They gave a us a talk about the history of the business & the materials they use.  Recycled plastic worktops in a range of colours, recycled glass worktops & even leather style compressed paper surfaces …fabulous. Many thanks . We tried to be mindful of the carbon footprint of our cakes & baking processes. Really interesting ! Plus lots of tips shared .

Anne made a  Tender Blueberry Alpro recipe … cheesecake base … Mandarin and blueberry .Sponge with Alpro plain soya yoghurt , sunflower oil & egg yolks …then fold in whisked egg whites . It came out with a delicious baked cheesecake style top.


Dave  baked a Sheffield sustainable Gooseberry cake. He used local products Whirlow farm eggs & butter , Sheffield Honey Company honey. Sheffield grown wheat milled into flour in the Kenwood Food processor . Nothing has come further than 5 miles. Gooseberries from the back garden , frozen for use over winter. He used his grans cake tin.

Vicky made a light Chocolate & sour cream sponge cake with coconut & choclate frosting & raspberry jam filling.  She googled Low Energy use cakes & found this Ainsley Harriot low energy cake … 12p energy costs … to make !

DSC00083 Chocolate, raspberry sustainable cakes underground cake club karen perkins life coach uk club

Clare tried to use locally sourced ingredients & fridge leftovers plus some marzipan from Xmas . She bought no new ingredients except Beanies ( a local wholefood shop in Walkley) near her house, where she bought Suma glacé cherries and almonds. Flour from her existing  storecupboard. Cooked by solar panel , as they have solar panels on their house, which generate electricity.

Google how much it costs for different ovens to cook a cake. Most sites say Electric ovens and cookers use fewer units of energy than gas, however, gas models will still be cheaper to run, as they cost less per unit of energy than electric models. Cook other food at the same time as your cakes , make best use of the oven.

I made a vegan, gluten free Passion fruit & Chocolate cake .
All ingredients were from my home fridge or store cupboard. I replaced eggs with 300ml of unsweetened soya milk with a tablespoon of cider vinegar stirred in . The flour was Dove Farm GF …but next time I will add more moisture to the mix as GF flour tend to make a crumbly drier cake.

Zoe from Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens baked a Yorkshire Tea fruit cake using up cupboard items. To reduce the carbon footprint she used butter and eggs from her milkman , baked in her  grans cake tin.

Clare suggests dishes & cakes cooked at same time in 1 oven saves energy. Dave cooks breakfast in the oven, beans in the actual opened tin … . We talked about how difficult it is to work out the footprint …but being mindful when you start looking for a recipe , can help . If you want vegan foods … a good site is the Accidental vegan .

Join us for our next event Sat 22nd Feb Antipodean Cakes … venue & time to follow

Best wishes    Karen
Follow me on Twitter & Insta @fabcoach 

Follow Sheffield Underground Cake Club on our Facebook page & group.

Sweet Shop Favourites become delicious cakes in Sheffield

We had a festive meeting hosted by Poptastic Dave & Hilda the cat. Choc a block with festive decorations Dave made us very welcome. Our Sheffield Underground Cake Club theme for December was Sweet Shop favourites. Have a cakey Christmas .

Anne cooked a Chocolate Lime Cake. She used 10 limes between 4 in the cake sponge, 2 for the buttercream filling & 3 for the chocolate ganache topping, plus one for grating on top.  . It was deeply chocolatey and very limey !! The recipe is from the BBC Good Food website #recommended. To make the chocolate topping she heated cream gently with dark chocolate plus Lime juice & lime zest & 2.5 tablespoons of lime marmalade .

DSC00018 Chocolate lime cake Karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

Dave made a Revels cake . It was a rich chocolate cake with hidden secrets . The chocolate cake was a BeRo recipe weigh 3 eggs and add the same weight of flour, sugar, cocoa & butter .

He made 4 holes in the sponge with a cutter. He hade a sultana muffin, an orange rind muffin, a strong coffee muffin & finally a cinder toffee muffin. He dropped them into the holes & covered the whole lot with chocolate ganache.

DSC00017 Revels cake Karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

I made a Sherbet Fountain Cake. The fountains sadly no longer come in paper containers, but are sherbet & Liquorice in a plastic pot that looks like the old one.  I made a swiss roll from BBC Good food website . Follow the instructions carefully & it’s easy. When the roll had cooked, I removed the baking paper then put the sponge back on it, plus a sheet on the top. I rolled the warm roll up with a clean tea towel & left rolled up to cool ready for filling. The filling was lemon curd to give the sherbet taste … plus whipped cream. On the top I sprinkled a dusting of actual sherbet. The liquorice stick finished it off.

DSC00016 Sherbet fountain cake Karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

Here are the insides !!

Our next dates are

Sat 25th Jan       Sustainable Cakes   cakes with the lowest Carbon Footprint
Sat 22nd Feb
Sat 18th April
Sat 23rd May
Follow us on Facebook @undergroundcakeclub
For more info please contact me Karen Perkins via my website www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk 

Happy New Year & see you in 2020 !!