Passion Cake x 12 with Sheffield Underground Cake Club


To celebrate St Valentine , we practiced the art of #selfcare by treating ourselves & others to delicious cakes baked on a theme of Passion. Every cake was different … and we were hosted in Vintage style by Dave, who set out his dining room with vintage cake stands ready for our cakes. At our meetings everyone bakes to a theme, and we take it in turns to introduce ourselves, and our cakes including why we chose them, ingredients, baking tips, disasters & triumphs … then we all tried each others cakes, with lashings of tea, supplied by Dave . Here are our cakes !!


Raheel baked a Carrot Halwa cake, with petal décor suggested by his kids ! It had pistachios, carrots,  sultanas, cashews & almonds plus ground cardamom, cinnamon powder. It was sunflower oil based too.

DSC09855 Halva cake Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Dave , our host, used vintage recipes from the 1985 Family Circle recipe book, he first learned to cook from, age 18. He explained that Passion Cake was usually made around Easter … hence the Passion, it originally was a mixed spice cake with chopped walnuts & no fruit, made with oil. He made 2 versions , one with less bicarbe which didn’t sink as much !! #yummy

DSC09856 Daves vintage Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Hilarys naked Passion cake was a #Delicious Mag recipe & her first go at decorating a naked cake. Delicious with all spice, cinnamon, walnuts & a lemon cheesecake icing with toasted coconut recipe. She fessed up to having left the coconut out of the cake mix but remembered & stirred it in just before baking !! Tasted great & no effect on the cake !

DSC09857 Hilarys Naked Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Dani’s Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing, she bravely used the red food gel, but was worried about such a large amount … the cake looked & tasted lovely with Indigos help !!

DSC09859 Passion cake with heart Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Tims Chocolate & Whisky cake with chocolate ganache , chocolate chips supplied extra choccyness.

DSC09860 Chocolate & whisky Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Karen W’s Chocolate & Stout cake inspired by her cooking a beef & ale stew !!

DSC09861DSC09854 Chocolate & Guinness Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Karen W’s Passion fruit meringue cake with fresh cream & passion fruit sauce . Make a normal 442 sponge, then make a meringue & bake on top of the sponge at the same time !! Passion fruit puree is £1.40 a packet in Shhhhh  Waitrose equivalent to 3 fruit , ready pressed & fresh … in the fresh fruit salad chilled section .

DSC09862 Passion fruit meringue cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Carolyns Vanilla sponge with passion fruit syrup, mixed into & drizzled over the buttercream frosting.

DSC09863 Carolyns Passion fruit syrup cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Bernies, Annie Bells Victoria Passion Cake , with walnuts from Sainsburys cookbook. It had carrot , banana, with cream cheese & butter frosting.


Vicky’s red velvet cake had mashed Beetroot colouring to make the red sponge. We all discussed the need to sieve icing sugar when making frosting, to avoid lumps as this had annoyed several bakers…but NOT affected yumminess.

DSC09867 Vickys Red velvet beetroot Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Passion cakes ..front one is Clares, and rear is Annes …both are from BBC Good food and include bananas, pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, and carrots !! ( Apologies for camera malfunction which missed the whole photo of Annes & Karen P’s cakes … I was so excited by the volume of cakes ) . They said it was like a tropical carrot cake ! Cream Cheese filling & topping optional, one chose a passion fruit glaze & syrup , the other sieved passion fruit filling & cream cheese .

DSC09868 Passion cake Claire Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Karen P’s strawberry & cranberry heart cake with dairy free chocolate ganache. It was made with glucose instead of sugar & was dairy free, using sunflower Pure in the cake , vegan chocolate & soy cream to make the ganache. The filling was mashed strawberry & glucose syrup , plus sliced strawberries. The red sponge was veggie red gel food colouring.

DSC09871 chocolate heart Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

Pictures of the cakes mid tasting .. follow … so you can see the interior deliciousness


We all want to congratulate Dani & Tim on the safe arrival of baby Indigo our youngest new member !!

DSC09869 Danni Junior baker Passion cake Sheffield Underground cake club Karen Perkins Life Coach

If you would like to attend our monthly Underground Cake Club ..please email me or like our Facebook Page @Undergroundcakeclub

Next meeting European Cakes  Sat 23rd March 2.30 til 4.30

Happy Baking
Karen Perkins @fabcoach on Twitter & Insta


Baking for Stannington Carnival with Sheffield Underground Cake Club

Fabulous day today as Sheffield Underground Cake club members were invited by Stannington Carnival, to hold a cake club … and to judge the Carnival Baking Competition. Thanks to Anna & Danny for inviting us & setting up our cool gazebo.DSC09303.JPG

Here are the entries. The winner of the Best Tasting for Under 16’s was Jacob with his Strawberry Gateau ( left ) with highly commended Jam Tarts traffic lights by Ash.

Winner of the Best Tasting for over 16’s was Rod whose daughter , a Stannington local had persuaded him to submit his Almond & Apple cake. ( Front left ), closely followed by Annes Gooseberry & Elderflower cake

Winner of best Pun cake ( tho’ it was very difficult to separate them ) was the Chocolate Brown E .  We also had a Carrot Southcake a Les Miser-marbles Cake, Cha Millionaires Shortbread , Pineuptial Upside Down Cake, Jam Tart traffic lights.

Our Undergreound cake club cakes were baked to a Carnivale Theme.


Karens cake was a lemon & homegrown fruit cake. Full or gooseberries, blackcurrants and blueberries , with lemon icing & blueberry topping.
Annes Lemonade cake had lemon zest in the sponge plus a syrup of lemonade & lemon juice. Icing was delicious with lemon juice , butter & lemon sherbet.
Dannis Pimms cake was Victoria Sponge with orange zest & Pimms syrup with orange juice. The filling was fresh strawberries & mascarpone cream with a bit of fresh orange juice.

We had quite a few people say they were interested in joining Sheffield Underground Cake club. We meet every month to bake to a theme, in a mystery location. Contact me to join via @fabcoach on Twitter or Insta or Follow us on Undergroundcakeclub Facebook page

We are always looking for cafes or venues to host our cakes …let me know if you would like to get involved ! Next event will be in September …date to follow

Best wishes Karen Perkins

Here are more photos from the Carnival Competition.


5 Ways to spot a Puffin

We had an amazing trip to Bridlington, to see the Hockney May flowers … however they were late blooming so we went in search of seabirds, especially the feisty #puffin. We cruised on the Yorkshire Belle , along the coast to Flamborough Head & Bempton Cliffs.


Here are some photos of the trip. We also visited the top of the cliffs the next day, and paddled in Thornwick Bay…where we accidentally spotted a pair of puffins !!  You can

1 see their bright orangey/red legs and feet.

2 see their triangular beaks

3 watch them splashing their red legs as they paddle the water on take off

4 spot them sneaking into a hole in the cliffs & peeking out

5 listen for their growly call


Getting out in nature really relaxes you , I recommend it. Book a coaching walk with me in the Peak District or straight from my office in leafy Sheffield. #freetaster

Treasured Times How I set up my business at 50 + #guestblog

treasured time logo pic debbie mansfield

This month my Guest Blog is by Debbie Mansfield, of Treasured Time, who after a successful career at senior level , made a proactive choice to find a career choice that suited her , offered a lifestyle change & allowed her to pursue her dream of setting up her own business. She offers much needed support & companionship services in South Yorkshire, to help older people maintain their independence & to help their relatives enjoy being sons or daughters not just ‘carers’. ” I wanted to be able to provide people with a better quality of life by being a friendly face and providing genuine support, giving much needed respite from feelings of loneliness and isolation “. Debbie is an inspiration for those changing career at 50 plus.


Debbie says “I had worked in a Fertility Clinic in a successful position for 15 years when I made the decision to change the course of my career. A brave move some would say and others would say ‘madness’.

What made me decide to change career?

What led me to make such a decision was two-fold. The first was recovering from back surgery that left me in a lot of pain for over 3 years. I had a highly responsible job and coping with the demands of this, coupled with the aftermath of surgery was extremely challenging, and exhausting. Although I did my level best to meet all my commitments, it left me with little energy for life outside of work. Also being tied to my desk in a static position was doing me no favours, and I knew I needed a lifestyle change.

I took a 3 month break during the first year following surgery and this gave me time to consider if there was a different option to the pathway I was on. I started to do some voluntary work in the community befriending the elderly. I had worked as a nurse in my earlier career mainly in the elderly sector and I felt like a light had switched on somewhere. It was the beginning of my idea to set up a companionship business. I knew working with the elderly was what I wanted to be involved in. It took me another 18 months of trying to commit to my current job before I realised that I had to make the change happen.

I gave 6 months’ notice at the beginning of January 2017 – part to help the clinic work towards an inspection at the end of June, and part to give me time to get organized and not have to rush into developing my ideas.

How did I go about it ?

I made a list of everything I needed to research or do, and slowly began to tick things off. These included:

  • Writing up a business plan
  • Working out the hours and amount of income I would receive
  • Working out costs for business and personal needs
  • Setting out the service/s I would offer including terms and conditions
  • Building a website and maintaining it
  • Designing a flyer/and adverts
  • Drafting client information, contracts and enquiry information
  • Obtaining insurance and doing a DBS check
  • Advertising in local magazines and doing leaflet drops in select areas
  • Setting up a Facebook page
  • Sourcing an accountant
  • Making a list of networking opportunities and then following them
  • Setting up an email address for the business
  • Finally after beginning the business – registering with the HMRC

The business: Treasured Time   

treasured time logo pic debbie mansfield                                                 

I founded Treasured Time at the beginning of May 2017, because I understood the need in our communities to offer a companionship service to those who find themselves living alone without the support of a family and friends network. I wanted to be able to provide people with a better quality of life by being a friendly face and providing genuine support, giving much needed respite from feelings of loneliness and isolation.

My aim is to offer;

  • Companionship to individuals that live alone, helping them to find time for enjoyment and to enhance their daily living.
  • To work with people who need a little extra support to maintain their independence at home – even if this is on a short-term basis such as recovering from illness or hospitalization until you are back on your feet.
  • Support and help in managing some of the day-to-day issues that arise running a home, which need sorting out – paying bills, sorting out repairs and maintenance etc
  • To offer support to relatives who have a busy working life, so that they know someone is there for their loved one when they can’t be due to work or holiday commitments.

Therefore, I offer a range of services to support people in their own environment, from spending quality time with them on a one to one basis, assisting with light household duties, shopping and accompanying them to an appointment.

I am happy to say things are moving forward and I do have some clients that I help, but it has taken longer than I first expected to get going. After networking and talking to people, I now feel on the brink of making things happen. Fingers crossed all goes well.”

If you or a relative would like to talk about her service or book one of Debbies free half hour visits please call her on 07890 134656 . Her website details are below, with testimonials.

Website –

Email –

treasured time logo pic debbie mansfield

Volunteer For 2017 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in #Sheffield

Legends Currie & Hurst Kick-off Volunteer Search For 2017 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games

image005Sheffield football legends Tony Currie & David Hirst, together with The Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield, have officially launched the ‘Volunteers Programme’ for Special Olympics GB’s National Games. The Games will be held in Sheffield in August 2017.

Currie, Hirst and the Sheffield Mayors became the first of the National Games Volunteers to sign up and get involved – something available to all members of the public!

In the region of 750 volunteers are required to ensure the successful running of the Games and Special Olympics GB is hoping this launch will encourage individuals, businesses and their employees to come forward and get involved.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games or you would like to complete the online registration, please visit our website

Special Olympics GB is thrilled to have long-term supporter, Coca-Cola Enterprises, backing the Volunteers Programme at the 2017 National Games.

Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.

The National Summer Games will open on Monday 7th August, with an opening ceremony the following day and competition will continue until Friday 11th August 2017‏. In the region of 2,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities will take part in 19 sports events.

It is the showpiece event every four years for the organisation and its athletes. Almost 1.5 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability.

Special Olympics GB Games Volunteer Ambassador and Sheffield United legend Tony Currie, said: “Being so associated with Sheffield, I am delighted to support the 2017 National Summer Games being held in the city.”

Sheffield Wednesday hero and one of the first volunteers to sign up, David Hirst, commented: “Special Olympics GB athletes are heading to these Games with great dreams and I am thrilled to play a small part in supporting this great event.”

Posted by Sheffield Chamber today

Julian Hunt, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) GB, commented: “This really is an event where everyone can get involved and at CCE we are thrilled to be supporting Special Olympics GB’s National Summer Games of 2017. This is the largest disability sports event of 2017, entry to the sports is free to the public and will provide great memories for athletes, families and volunteers alike.”

Karen Wallin, Special Olympics GB’s CEO, said: “Volunteers will create a backdrop of energy and enthusiasm to fuel the National Games in Sheffield from start to finish.

“I am sure our 2017 Volunteers will create a spirit and atmosphere that will encourage all of our athletes to compete and achieve their potential and personal best.

“The Special Olympics GB 2017 National Summer Games will be the largest multi-sport event in the country in the year with over 2,500 athletes with an intellectual disability travelling to the City of Sheffield to compete in 19 different sports. They will be supported by around 800 coaches and assistants.

“It will be a very special games and another opportunity for volunteers to come together as one team with one goal.

“This is a unique sporting event where volunteers play an integral role in the planning, preparation, staging and success of the Games.

“To achieve this goal, Special Olympics GB needs volunteers for catering, accommodation, administration, transport, logistics, photography, hospitality, athlete entertainment, stewarding, information, merchandising, volunteer liaison and communication.

“Of course, volunteers will also be required for the field of play to support our competition managers and officials.

“From today we will be actively recruiting a team of 750 volunteers for the five day period of the Games and are very excited at the prospect of welcoming new volunteers to Special Olympics GB from all sections of the community.”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games or you would like to complete the online registration, please visit our website

Archer Project Fundraising Supper

On Thursday evening Hydra creative & friends hosted a Homelessness  awareness raising  fundraising supper & cookery demo in aid of the Archer Project in Sheffield .

Amy Dixon wrote to everyone who had attended to say a big THANK YOU to all attendees. She said   “Firstly we had a HUGE pile of donations on the table, ranging from sleeping bags to clothing to food!! It’s great to know that these will be given out to homeless people, and they will feel a little less cold this weekend, all because of your kindness and generosity.

Secondly we managed to raise £1850 in cash for the Archer Project which is a fantastic result for everyone involved and I’m so over the moon with how much that will help the Archer Project achieve!

Lastly, we have raised a fantastic amount of awareness! There were many people in the room last night (including myself) who just didn’t realise how important it is to have somewhere for homeless people to go to have a hot meal, a hot shower and a hot drink – all of the things that we take for granted. By raising awareness like we did last night, over social media, in the press and by word of mouth, we can all work together to make this project stronger!

With the help of Vinny, Nando’s are kindly donating their leftover food to the project for the next two years!! ”

Vinny spoke about his experiences as a young adult of how it was & how it  felt to be homeless . Thanks to Vinny.

We had some amazing food created & served by Sheffield College catering students in the Sparkes College restaurant . We had a demo of how to make the chocolate mousse cake before supper.  Here are some pictures of the food. The CEO of the Archer project welcomed diners some of whom had used & subsequently found employment at the project. He urged everyone to enjoy the event & celebrate everyones aspiration & right to enjoy dignity & some nice things in life whatever their current circumstances .


The menu.

Yummy !

The Archer Project need your donations & they post updates regularly on what they need so drop them in when you are in town, just behind the Cathedral .