Win Exeter Chiefs’ Cookie Club Cookbook

Here’s proof that you really can have your cake and eat it, because many of the successful Exeter team have contributed to a cookbook as part of Phil Dollman’s testimonial season.

The Cookie Club comprises Chiefs players who meet throughout the season to surprise fellow members with (hopefully delicious) bakes. They’ve pulled out the stops here, providing 14 tempting recipes for The Cookie Club Cookbook.

Two worthy charities, the Exeter Foundation and Devon Air Ambulance, will benefit from sales of the book.

Phill Dollman with his cookbook

You know it makes sense: it’s just one project in a busy year for Chiefs veteran Phil Dollman (Pinnacle)

Dollman, a Welshman once described by Exeter boss Rob Baxter as his best signing, is celebrating ten years’ service at the club having been let go by the Dragons.

Only Gareth Steenson and Ben Moon have played more Premiership matches for the Chiefs than the 33-year-old full-back, who faces the stiffest possible competition for a place next season when Stuart Hogg arrives from Glasgow.

Whether Hogg joins the Cookie Club remains to be seen but if he wants an insight into their culinary thinking, he need only glance at some of the calorie-laden treats presented here.

Gareth Steenson with his Malt Ball Squares

Dab hand: Gareth Steenson made Malt Ball Squares

“It seemed the general order of the day was to empty a sweet shop into a bowl and find something to stick it together!” writes Debbie Vanstone from Mad Cakes Exeter, who checked and edited the recipes.

Enticing offerings include a carrot cake cheesecake from Dave Ewers, a stout cake from Moray Low, a banana cake from Ollie Devoto and a gin & tonic cake from Dollman himself, in which instruction six is: “Make yourself a large G ‘n’ T with ice.”

Ben Moon and Luke Cowan-Dickie square off with rival scone recipes, with Moon advising that you put the cream on before the jam (the Devon way), and Cowan-Dickie arguing the opposite (the Cornwall way).

Rugby World took the trouble to make Ben’s Devonshire Fruity Scones – we wanted the sultanas – but then spread the jam first. So there!

Thomas Waldrom, a founding member of the Cookie Club, provides two recipes, another former Chief, Geoff Parling, chips in with Eton Mess, and Jack Nowell sneaks in a savoury option from the rival Sandwich Club, using beef from the Baxter family farm.

The book includes some Q&As and we learn that Matt Kvesic has eaten crickets, Tomas Francis has tried pigs’ brains, and Don Armand and Low have chomped testicles.

Ben Moon and Luke Cowan-Dickie

Loggerheads: cream or jam first? Ben Moon and Luke Cowan-Dickie take opposite views (Pinnacle)

There’s also a report on a bake-off against Exeter FC players, a challenge that was reprised at the end of November. The Cookie Club was able to avenge its earlier defeat.

Dollman said: “Taking on the boys from Exeter City was great fun, but I can assure you we were both there to win. Seeing Dave Ewers at work was something special; he’s not the chair of the cookie club for no reason and I’m sure we will do battle again soon.”

He added: “To be able to launch the Cookie Club Cookbook to support my testimonial year and raise money for Devon Air Ambulance and the Exeter Foundation is fantastic.

Cookie Club Cookbook

“The interest in it has been huge and a big thank you to all the players who contributed. The support of RGB, The Room Works, Mad Cakes, F&W Media UK and Phil Mingo of Pinnacle Photo Agency has been immense. I hope everyone who buys a copy enjoys their Chiefs-inspired baking.”

The Cookie Club Cookbook, paperback RRP £9.99, is for a great cause and caters for even the most unsophisticated of cooks. You can buy it here.

The publishers have kindly provided us with six copies to give away in a competition. For a chance to win one, look at the photo below and answer the question beneath it, filling in your details. The competition closes on Thursday 17 January.
Exeter's Phil Dollman

Making a break: Phil Dollman in a Champions Cup tie this season – but who is the opposition? (Getty)

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Terms and conditions

The competition closes at 23.59pm on Thursday 17 January 2019.

Six winners will be selected at random, each winning a paperback copy of The Cookie Club Cookbook.

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