Cake Deer ? Christmas Cakes with Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

Hosted by the lovely AwayWeGo Cafe Montrose Rd Sheffield s11  We baked to a theme of Deer at Christmas. 4 fab cakes , and selection of teas including Rhubarb supplied by Bird House Teas in Sheffield. We even had a secret Santa.


Lemon Snow Swiss Roll Yule Log by Karen. Mascarpone,butter & icing sugar plus lemon zest snow frosting, with milky bar snow . The swiss roll was from the first CCC book & worked a treat !

Cranberry & Cinnamon with homemade shortbread reindeer by Carolynn. Milk chocolate ganache & cinnamon shortbread.
Festive Black Forest gateau with cherries in Kirsch by Anne. Anthony Worral Thompson recipe , using pitted cherries soaked in kirsh , and the kirsch poured over the sponge to soak in. Icing sugar snow !
Super Sachertorte with Reindeer by Ruth. Mary Berry recipe involving separating eggs, heating cream & melting chocolate.
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Thanks to our welcoming hosts at Away We Go Cafe .


Our next event is Innovative cakes on Jan 21st … get googling fresh new trends in cake ingredients or decor… for the New Year !! Book via

Happy Holidays …best wishes Karen  …all suggestions for themes and venues welcomed for 2017

6 ways to reduce Stress at Christmas

How to have a stress-free Christmas, including avoiding family arguments and sharing the workload.

Christmas is a time for fun and family get-togethers, but can have its pressures too. The family is stuck in the house, the kids are overexcited, there’s the tree to decorate, presents to buy and wrap, and food to cook.


It’s no wonder the festive feeling can fizzle out. There is evidence that Christmas puts a strain on families. Statistics show that January is the busiest month for divorce lawyers.

Make sure this Christmas doesn’t become a day to remember for all the wrong reasons. Follow these tips from a Relate counsellor

  • If there have been any family rows during the year, resolve them. Tell the people you argued with that you’re looking forward to seeing them. Ask if you can get together before Christmas to talk about whatever problem you had.
  • Plan the day and share out the jobs that need to be done. Don’t slave away for hours on your own and feel like people have taken advantage of you.
  • Discuss your plans with others, including any children who will be there, so that you can listen to their ideas and wishes for the day. Then you can come up with a celebration which includes things that please everyone.
  • Have a timetable for Christmas Day so that you don’t all sit around for hours doing nothing. Try to make sure you won’t be spending a lot of time with a difficult person or someone you don’t get along with.
  • Don’t drink too much. Drinking excessively is never a good idea. Find out more on safer drinking.
  • Children can get overexcited, so plan a lovely long walk for a change of scene and some fresh air. Everybody will feel better and pleasantly tired instead of irritably tired. For more ideas, read Get active at Christmas.

Please share these tips with others & take 5 minutes to mindfully think about how you are going to look after yourself this year. Think about when you get that feeling of dread… what could you do differently this year or who could you delegate it to !


Keeping going, not asking for help & then getting frazzled is a typical dilemma people raise when they come to see me for Life Coaching. Its those domestic niggles & blockages that can undermine you moving forward with bigger changes like a career change , downsizing or redundancy . Olympic athletes all have coaches to help them be even better so I am happy to meet you for a free coaching session to see how I can help you. Please contact me on 07971 881251 , leave a message or text .You can see what clients say about my service. Click for Testimonials.

Merry Christmas …please share this post if it would help a friend or relative xx
Best wishes Karen



Walking my way to Relaxation

Fabulous walk today, fuelled by a Farmers breakfast from Hassop Station cafe. A full breakfast helps you walk, and keeps your hunger pangs away!

Breakfast Hassop
Breakfast Hassop

We then started our walk at Cromford Mill, parking is £4 all day. We headed up an old mill path, across the main road & climbed above the houses. We met loads of friendly animals today, thankfully all in fields , safely away from our footpaths.

Horses Cromford derbyshire
Horses Cromford Derbyshire
Bullocks Cromford Derbyshire
Bullocks Cromford Derbyshire


Bullocks 2 cromford derbyshire
Bullocks 2 Cromford Derbyshire

View of the Crich monument ,from our high level walk along the River Derwent Valley. We visited it later in the day!


Crich Quarry &  MERCIAN Regimental War Memorial - Crich
Crich Quarry & MERCIAN Regimental War Memorial – Crich



Tunnel BEST on Cromford Canal
Tunnel BEST on Cromford Canal


Ducks on log Cromford canal derbyshire
Ducks on log Cromford canal Derbyshire





The pump house ,staffed by volunteers, pumps water up from the river below, into the Cromford canal. It runs on coal & steam.



We saw the horsedrawn canal boat ride from Cromford,along the canal to High Peak Junction return. Pulled by Shirehorses, very eco friendly & quiet.


Ducks on log Cromford canal derbyshire
Ducks on one leg on a  log Cromford Canal Derbyshire

Fantastic 6 mile walk followed by tea at W cafe Cromford, then a drive to the top of the hill near Crich to see the memorial. We were so high up we could see the Humber Bridge far away in the distance.

Crich Quarry &  MERCIAN Regimental War Memorial - Crich
Crich Quarry & MERCIAN Regimental War Memorial – Crich

Here is the view from the top of the memorial hill, above .


All in all a brilliant day . Relaxed !! #result


Cakes made with Tea Sheffield Clandestine cake club

This months event nearly ended in disaster when I turned up at the venue 30 minutes before the event to find that the lovely Tea cafe & deli was shut up & the host had been rushed to hospital. Quick thinking … we nipped across the road to Bessies Cafe, & like you do, enquired if they could help us out with 15 minutes notice. Fantastic business nous …the chef said ‘ Yes’ so our bakers trooped in ! They do lovely latte too. Thanks to Chef Charly & to Tom who was looking after the cafe for Bessie who was on honeymoon.

Here are our cakes on a theme of Tea. As usual we had some stunning tastes, each one different !


Charly & Tom from Bessies cafe, 984 Abbeydale Road , Sheffield.


Cherrys Darjeeling Tea cake was gluten free with ground almonds & pear . Darjeeling syrup was infused into the cream filling.


Ruths Earl Grey & Lavender cake had a butter cream filling made with 2 egg whites made into a meringue & then added to butter. She researched Lavender & found that all varieties are edible .


My Bara Brith, was from a recipe a the Hairy Bikers mum. It was deep brown, but not burnt. No fat , just fruit soaked overnight in tea & demarera sugar, added to self raising flour & egg , with mixed spice powder.


Annes Chocolate Chai cake , was made with Vanilla Chai tea, ground almonds & cardamom.


Danni brought her granni Mary , who had a fabulous time & went home laden with cakey treats ! Danni made a London Fog cake based on a Canadian recipe using Earl Gray Latte. It used earl grey, ground to a powder in the cake. She drizzled an earl grey syrup onto the sponge cake which made it very moist. The filling was lemon curd & fresh cream.


Ness made a Masala Chai & Earl grey cake from Fiona Cairns book. Fiona made Will & Kates wedding cake. Earl grey teabags infused with spices, cardamom,ginger & milk made a moist sponge. She used fresh root ginger in the tea infusion, ground ginger in the sponge & chopped stem ginger plus its syrup, in the topping.


Sarah with min helper Violet, made Masala Chai cake from Chetnas book from last years Bakeoff. Ground cloves & chai with whipped cream topping.


Michelle made deep moist Black Tea cake with Honey Buttercream frosting.


Stan made a patisserie standard Assam Tea cake , from an American website. He used buttermilk & 7/8ths flour , a mixture of plain flour & 1/8 cornflour, with a creme custard filling. He lightly sprayed the top with edible gold spray.


Suzy D made a rosewater cake, using melted butter technology & Pollards rose tea, with added edible rose oil for flavour.


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Here are some pictures of the interiors of our cakes !

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Once again massive thanks to Bessies Cafe

Our next Sheffield CCC meeting is Animal crackers Sat 22nd Oct …then 19th Nov & 10th December .

Please contact Karen Perkins with any enquiries

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 !

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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