IT was my cake club debut so, to quote the Great British Bake-off, it had to be a showstopper.
I'd been enticed into joining with the promise of camaraderie and sweet treats. It was only weeks later that the penny dropped - after the baking comes the feedback. Or the chance of humiliation in front of my colleagues.
So, bracing myself for the worst, I looked for inspiration for something that would impress relatively easily.
Blueberry cake chosen, new cake tins purchased, and with more than a little help from my husband , I got stuck in.
The sponge was simple enough to make, with the added ingredients of sour cream, lemon curd yoghurt, blueberries and lemon zest worked into the mix. See, that's the thing I like about baking. Follow a recipe to the letter and in theory - yes, in theory - something delicious develops.
Although perhaps I won't aim as high as three tiers the next time. The baked sponges were far from the uniform trio I'd hoped for and some creative decorating with the buttercream icing was needed to disguise the lopsided look.
"At least they'll know you didn't buy it out of a shop", pitched in my husband, helpfully.
Well, they certainly knew that. In fact, one of my fellow cake club members, on seeing the finished product, simply declared: "It looks like an old lady's hat."
It wasn't exactly the feedback I had been aiming for. But a few hours later, they'd polished it off. I hope it means I've got my membership.
• 225g (7 1/2oz) butter, softened
• 225g (7 1/2oz) caster sugar
• 4 eggs
• 50ml (2oz) half-fat sour cream
• 50g (2oz) lemon curd yogurt
• 225g (7 1/2oz) self raising flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• zest of 1 lemon
• 150g (5oz) blueberries
• For the buttercream
• 600g (20oz) icing sugar
• 300g (1oz) butter, softened
• 3tbsp natural fat free greek yogurt
• 150g (5oz) lemon curd
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm (8in) sandwich tins with non-stick baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs and combine. Fold through the sour cream and yogurt. Sift and fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarb. Fold in the lemon zest and berries. Pour the mix into the tins and bake for 25 mins. Allow to cool.
Make the buttercream by beating together the icing sugar, butter and yogurt; set half of it aside. Spread lemon curd then buttercream on top of two of the cakes. Sandwich the three cakes together, then cover with the remaining buttercream. Decorate with berries and zest.
*Recipe from Tesco magazine