Clandestine Cake-a-long Spiced Ale Cake & Meet the Author


We’re doing a slightly different cake this fortnight. We’ve not had a loaf cake so far and this is definitely a welcome change from the very sweet cakes (but yummy) cakes that we have been trying.

As I said in the introductory post, I’ve actually eaten a slice of this cake at one of our St Helens Clandestine Cake club nights. And very delicious it is too. I will admit to being a slight bit nervous about doing it justice when I baked it myself.

The cake does not contain any butter or eggs which seemed really unusual. I loved how it came together as a type of dough before putting in the loaf tin. Once again, I mentally thanked the Lakeland for their fabulous loaf tin liners! I didn’t have any light ale but had a tantalising can of Guinness in the fridge – the recipe calls for 350ml out of the 440ml tin. Dermot kindly finished the rest of the tin off as his contribution to the bake.

I’m lucky enough to know Deb. I met her early in 2012 at our WI meetings and have discovered since what a joy she is to know. What you might not know is that Deb recently won our Traybake competition at our WI Show. She is also a friend to the stars, having bullied persuaded Ross Noble to appear at the very same show.

So let’s get to know Deb some more…

1. How did you get into baking?
Helping Mum when I was little. I had my own little rolling pin & pastry cutters!

2. What is your favourite cake?
That’s a difficult one- depends what mood I’m in! Right now… Carrot cake would go down a treat! But I do love a banana cake! Oh & a chocolate cake! & things wouldn’t be the same without fruit cake now would they?

3. What is the last cake that you made?
I made my own recipe lavender & Banana Cake

4. You have friends coming round for the evening, which cake would you bake them?
Depends on the friends! I have a number of Vegan friends so would do a vegan cake if they were coming. For friends that need gluten free I’d do my port, cranberry, orange & olive oil cake. As a climber if they were climbing friends I”d make something big & hearty for the end of a hard day’s climbing- like my chilli chocolate cake. Severed in huge slices of course!

5. What famous person (past or present) would you like to bake a cake for?
I recently made a traybake for comedian Ross Noble and he liked it! I’d like to bake a cake for Tang dynasty ancient Chinese physician Sun Si Miao.

6. How many CCC events have you attended?
Only ever made it to one actual event, but frequently in touch with/ meet up with other CCC members by various means!

7. What recipe out of the CCC book do you fancy baking the most?
The Japanese Green Tea & Orange Cake

8. What would your baking tip be?
Just have a go… Practice makes perfect & experimentation can lead to get results! (We won’t mention the disasters!)

9. Do you have any baking ‘rituals’?
I like to play 80’s music while I bake- & yes there is always some dancing round the kitchen!

10. Do you have a favourite cake related saying?
Coined by my lovely husband Neil Peck when eating a large piece of cake for breakfast… “Cake is the food of athletes”!

11. Any baking disasters you wish to admit to?
I once made a courgette cake, following a bumper harvest from my veg patch. I obviously didn’t put the squeeze on them quite enough and finished up with a VERY soggy sloppy mess, thanks to the excess water. My husband politely tried some -apparently it was horrible (what? you didn’t think I tried it did you?) I put it out for the birds but even they & a skinny stray cat had more sense than to try it. Adding insult to the injury of this disaster was that 2 days later I slipped over in the soggy mess that was my courgette cake whilst hanging my washing out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Deb has also kindly supplied us with some tips for getting the most out of our Spiced Ale Cake:

Tips for the Spiced Ale Cake:

  • Using a flavoured Ale- such as a Raisin or Bluberry ale adds a little something to the taste.
  • If you want a vegan cake then use Avgar Nectar rather than honey.
  • I’ve made this cake using corriander & gram masla spices rather than those listed- not for the faint hearted but if you dare give it a go!! (the original name for the cake was Curried Beer Cake- but that did put a few people off trying it!!)
  • The cake tastes best if kept in an airtight container for a couple of days before eating- yummy!
  • Nice with a bit of butter on it (or Vegan spread!)

Thanks very much, Deb.

Just two entries for last time’s Cakealong bake – I had a feeling the Giant Fondant Fancy would only get a small number.

Victoria Murray had the genius idea of including a paper wrapper for her Fondant Fancy – My Kipling would be so proud!


Source: Uploaded by user on Pinterest

Katy Hough gave us this very neat version of the Fondant Fancy. Well done ladies!


Our next bake is on page 32 The Soured Cream Coffee Cake – I have a new bundt tin and I’m desperate to try it. I’m sure the cake would work just as well in other shaped tins. Lets be creative!

For anyone who is slightly tempted to join in … Please Do! Baking our way through the Clandestine Cake Book is so much more fun baking along with friends. Disasters are most welcome – believe me, I’ve had plenty!

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets — Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *