Spring in the London Review Cake Shop: Terry’s seasonal inspirations
Posted by the Cake Shop
Cake Shop Manager Terry Glover on seasonal inspiration, blackcurrant and hibiscus cake and rhubarb infused gin.
Sunday mornings are the calm beginning to my working week. Menu planning, preparation and baking commence with Cerys Matthews on BBC Radio 6 Music in the background, injecting her gorgeous blend of curiosity, celebration and musicality into the mix. Earlier this year, Cerys’ programme introduced me to Lea Leendertz, a food writer and the author of The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018. It hit a perfect note for me, as I was looking for inspiration for a Spring Equinox occasion some friends and I were planning.
Six copies of The Almanac later (because I just keep giving them away to new converts), the book has become my working book for the year.
The Almanac ‘revives the tradition of the rural almanac, connecting you with the months and seasons via moon-gazing, foraging, feast days, seasonal eating, meteor-spotting and gardening.’ The 'Glut of the Month' section features ingredients at their peak and those most abundantly available. Taking inspiration from March and April’s pages, I’m making an infused rhubarb gin, as well as pickles of all kinds, including a blood orange rhubarb pickle which we’re serving this month in the Cake Shop on rye toast with goat’s cheese.
If you’d like to sample some of our seasonally inspired menu in bite-size form, for the Bookshop’s April Late Shopping evening the Cake Shop will be providing pickled rhubarb, fresh wild garlic pesto and goat's cheese on crackers, and preserved leeks and new potatoes with smoked salt on rye bread, accompanied by crisp apple cider to sip whilst you browse the shelves. You can book your free place here.
Our Cake of the Moment is a hibiscus and blackcurrant cake; we baked loads of these at the end of last year due to an abundance of blackcurrant hibiscus tea, and an abandoned bottle of Parfait Amour violet liqueur that we decided to put to good use.
The Cake has flecks of blackcurrant through the sponge, a blackcurrant boozy soak brushed over the bottom layer before the violet cream is added, plus another layer of sponge, more cream and more syrup.
Visit us to try it for yourself!