Baking for fun at Bakewell Baking Festival with Sheffield CCC

Thanks to all the Sheffield bakers who baked to a theme  of Cakes for a Bakewell Picnic . We were honoured to be asked to do a cake demo & cake club . Look we are on the list !

bakewell 2016


5 bakers plus at least 3 guests baked for us .


Here are our cakes: Anne baked a Bakewell Thumbprint cake, based on a biscuit recipe with extra egg, 50% ground almond plus lots of lemon juice. Make holes with your thumb & pour in melted jam.
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Jane made a traditional Victoria sponge with a twist. Bramble jelly filling & adding a little icing sugar & gelatin to set the cream to cope with a warm Bakewell day. One sank & one sindged ..but you would never guess it from the picture ..we are clever amateur bakers !!

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Lemon, lime & orange drizzle cake from Karen, again designed to be heatproof for a hot picnic day ! Lots of juice squeezed on before icing.

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Becky used fresh organic raspberries in her Raspberry Bakewell sponge & the taste was well worth it !

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Amy travelled from Barnsley to join us with her Lemon meringue cake with Italian style meringue… sugar syrup & icing sugar, put on with a palette knife , finished off with a blow torch #eek ..delicious !!

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Join us on 17th Sept via baking Cakes on a theme of Tea
Oct 22nd Animal Crackers cakes . Contact Karen Perkins with any questions via or via @fabcoach on twitter
See you there ! Best wishes Karen

Baking down on Whirlow Farm #Sheffield

With Sheffield Clandestine cake Club ! Join us for our monthly events .

Thanks to Whirlow Farm Trust & Schani , plus the volunteers who made us so welcome. We baked cakes to the theme of Down on the Farm .


Farmhouse Apple & Sultana Cake . Anns cake had ginger , coriander,cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and granulated sugar sprinked on top to crisp.DSC06472


Farmhouse Cake & Cherry Cake with @poptasticdave DSC06473

The l.h. cake was from Mary Berry age 40 Honey & Cherry cake made with half ground almonds & half pain flour to make it light.

Daves second cake was a Yorkshire TV 70’s farmhouse fruit cake, where ingredients are warmed in a pan first then combined. Massive quantities in the recipe hence he only brought half the cake !


Pigs in the Mud cake by Michelle.  Home made pink fondant piggies plus chocolate frosting and a choccy sponge cake . The fondant is a #GBBO special with marshmallows & icing sugar .DSC06474


Sugar free Carrot cake by Becky . Brilliant sugar free with spice, cream cheese & orange frosting, lots of grated carrot & almonds instead of sugar , plus lots of egg .. light as a feather .



Cow Pat cake   Chocolate sponge cake with ground almond & organic cocoa from Karen. Hot weather & ganache are tricky, so the topping had to be put back on the cake as it set & slid off !! DSC06476


Whirlow Farm Trust provides farm holidays & experiences for kids & teens from all over Sheffield & N Derbyshire , and young people with a learning disability. They need £300,000 a year to keep providing this amazing service. They teach animal husbandry, viticulture, fruit growing & farming skills. They also host events , weddings, training, and meetings. They have a cafe & farm shop, plus a training center you can hire rooms in . They are always looking for more volunteers !


Two lovely volunteers sampling the cakes !!


Our next event is BakeWell Baking Festival Sun 14th Aug. Book on the CCC website, bring a reciept for your entry ticket to the event & get a refund of a day ticket if you bake / come as a guest. Sheffield CCC are doing a baking demo, then we are having a Cake Club to the theme of bakewell cakes . See you there !

Karen Perkins

Sheffield Cakes from famous novels

Baking to relax in Sheffield . Join me at the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club. A great way to meet new people & talk cake !! Oh and eat it too.


Massive thanks to Sarah Boyce & Walkley Library for inviting us to hold our Cakes from the Novels, Clandestine Cake club, as part of the Walkley Festival. We had lots of guests & members of the public inspecting the cakes .

Sarahs cake was the story of Il castello incantato from Edgar Allan Poe. A man is lured into the cellar by his freind & bricked up there. Sherry is invoved & the cake was well laced with amontillado . The brick effect was achieved with a 70p brick & wood effect tool from amazon.

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My cake was a model of  a well thumbed novel ( not read by me though) 50 shades of Gray. The sponge was pink, with orange juice & zest. Buttercream filling & blackcurrant jam.

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Annes Hobbit cake from page 9 of the novel featured caraway seeds & was light & bouncy.

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Cherrys cake was a gluten free Lemon, lime & Almond Cake , from the novel Shelter Me by Juliette Fay. The ground almonds replaced some of the plain flour. The topping was Morrisons frosting plus lemon curd. She used a cake comb to make the even lined effect.


Dannis cake was a Mohito cake adapted from a Primrose bakery cupcake recipe with mint, lime zest , rum & sugar drizzled frosting made from rum, milk, castor sugar plus chopped mint on top.

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Ness made another delicious version of the seed cake from P 9 of the Hobbit. She made a Madeira cake & whisked the egg whites first to add fluffiness.



Vicky made a Greek sesame & tahini based cake, from the Captain Corellis Mandolin novel. It was topped with lemon drizzle icing. No eggs, butter or oil were used but tahini & orange juice replaced these.

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Our next event is Sat July 16th Down on the Farm theme !

Sunday Aug 14th we will be having our club at Bakewell Bakefest  Come & watch our demo & bring your Bakewell themed cakes. Bring your day reciept for a refund !! 2.30 ish for demo ,then cake club afterwards.

Join up via Clandestine Cake Club  website

or phone Karen Perkins on 07971881251



Enter the Women in Innovation awards

Launching the infocus Awards for Women In Innovation

Innovate UK wants to identify and nurture the next generation of brilliant innovators. Women are under-represented in the field of innovation, and that needs to change.

It means as a nation we’re failing to harness, capitalise on and celebrate the entrepreneurial talent of female innovators to the detriment of our economy. Boosting female entrepreneurship could deliver approximately £60bn extra to the UK economy.

So theyprima  1’re launching a special award for women working in innovation, and that’s where you come in.

What are the infocus Awards?

The infocus Awards will celebrate and reward women working across 4 key sectors – Materials & Manufacturing, Health & Life Sciences, Infrastructure Systems, Emerging & Enabling Technologies.

Twelve women will benefit from a valuable tailor-made package of support and four of these will each receive a £50,000 grant to get her brilliant idea up and running.

Could it be you? Could it be someone you work with? Who do you know who could fly the flag for women in innovation?

Help us spread the word

Women in innovation – the UK economy needs you! Are you who we’re looking for? Do you work with someone who’s just right for this award? Please spread the word, and let’s get more women in.
Follow the conversation on twitter #infocus

Kind regards,

Innovate UK
North Star House, North Star Avenue,
Swindon SN2  1UE

Find out more about the infocus Awards >

Baking for Relaxation Blossom Cakes

Massive thanks to The Mugen Tea House in Sheffield for hosting our Blossom cakes Cake Club. We had 7 cakes, plus bakers and 2.5 guests with a cake loving junior baker !
Mugen told us about the 40 different leaf teas they blend & stock . We enjoyed House blend with our cakes plus tasters of chocolate tea, honey blossom tea & fruit teas.
Honey & Orange Cake with Edible flowers
Lemon drizzle Almond & Polenta Cake in a Sunflower Bundt

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White Chocolate & Rose flower cake with whipped egg white, cream toppingDSC06227
Raspberry baked Cheesecake with Elderflower Cordial & buttery Biscuit base DSC06231
Pistachio, Elderflower syrup, Gluten Free Polenta & ground Almond cake DSC06235
Rose Chiffon Bundt Cake Rosepetal infused milk gives delicate flavour.

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Mugens owners set it up having run a successful tea club at Sheffield Uni, turned it into a successful business. Over 40 teas now . They also hire out a stylish vintage venue The Hide …it was decked up for a wedding reception due after our cake Club. DSC06241 DSC06242

For our next dates Join Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club at 

Next event Sat 25 June 2016 10.30 til 12.30

My art holiday in Sheffield

Lots of ideas on how to make a start in art, in the run up to retirement or just to relax as you have to work till 67.


This year I had an unexpectedly brilliant 2 weekends on Art Holiday in Sheffield with @arpzen . We followed the Open Up Sheffield festival brochure , and discovered that the biannual  Art Sheffield event coincided. This is the pictorial story & highlights of my art discovery over 5 days and 17 miles of walking across Sheffield & the Peak District. The most interesting facts I discovered were

  • Sheffield has the highest number of artists per Km sq in the UK, outside of London
  • You can rent studio share space from as little as £57 a month incl heating
  • Its easy to just start up as an artist or creative in small steps
  • Sheffield artists open up their studios with tea & cake & arty insights
  • I can still throw a pot after 25 years !!

kristen baggeley open up sea pic Kristen Baggeley Cornwall

open up  lyn littlewood Outseats hathersage Lynn Littlewood Outseats Hathersage


Fenella Nobles chicken wire creatures

open up sue lancaster Sue Lancaster Stitchedup…

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@fabcoach Fresh Veg Challenge Pt 1

Retire Disgarcefully with @fabcoach

This year my healthy eating campaign is based around tomatoes, courgettes & Cavalo Nero. Here are my tips for the tomato section. I had lots of help from Ferndale Garden Centre & some new low tech.  Watering is not my strength but I found a wicking watering device to drop my growbag onto .Hopefully my veggie tips will inspire you ! Please add your tips in the comments box below.

Tomato project 1
The green wicks pull water up into the growbag, and it has 14 days supply so no fear of forgetting to water .


Tomato project 3 ready to plant


Now there are 3 varieties planted Moneymaker, Shirley and Gardeners Delight. One has smaller cherry tomatoes, the others are tried & tested hopefully.

Once small tomatoes appear I am allowed to add tomato food to the bag as well as water.
The plants have already grown about 7 cm since Tuesday ! Canes at the ready to tame them as they grow !

Its been easy so far.. watch out for updates in Part 2 .

Karen Perkins is a Life , Career & Business Coach working in Sheffield & globally by Skype. Work life balance & ‘enjoying life now ‘ whilst planning for a great later life is key to her approach . Book a free taster