6 April 2021

Slow Release Cocktails and Salty Kumquats

Posted by the Cake Shop

We’ve been doing take-away now for two weeks, and we’re preparing to open our doors more fully! From 12 April, when the Bookshop reopens, you’ll be able to come and sit in our courtyard in Pied Bull Yard. We’ve been planting new plants in anticipation – bergamot, mint, strawberries – and we’ve bought new benches. There will be quiche and salad on the menu, red lentil dahl and picklecarrot top and bottom houmous, and a pair of bright, restorative drinks that we’ve been perfecting: kombucha, turmeric and fresh lemon, and hibiscus and rose.

Terry says:

I’ve been drawn to the colour orange recently. It’s not a new tendency – those who know me know I love an orange lipstick. But particularly in this sharp weather, when we’re still waiting for a little break from the interminable grey, I feel like I’m in need of some eye-vitamins. Orange foods are often full of vitamin C, and I’m convinced that the colour infusion is also nourishing. It’s about the entire sensory experience. You’ll notice the flood of orange in our current menu, which is bright with carrots, turmeric, and citrus fruit.

I’m aware that I have a citrus addiction, and so are the boys from Feeling Foods, who’ve been deliberately feeding it. Every time I pass by, they tempt me with blood oranges, boxes of bergamots, or Amalfi lemons, big and sweet as a baby’s head. Recently they confessed that they’d ordered in kumquats just for me – they know I can’t resist.

The truth is, kumquats just cheer me up.

I love the feeling of biting through the bitter rind to that explosion of sweetness at the heart. I love the power of that sweet-sour combo, the nutritional potency packed into one tiny grape-sized bite. I love how versatile they are – you can make them into jams and marmalades, preserve them with salt like lemons, or use them in savoury dishes – they go really well with pork. Plus, I love to say the word. 

Kumquats are originally from China, but they grow really well in Australia – growing up, Melbourne was full of big old kumquat trees. Here, they’re a little harder to find but well worth a trip to Loon Fung supermarket in Chinatown.

I’ve been using them in cakes for years, but when I was handed this perfect box, ordered especially for me, I was inspired to experiment with a new recipe: a vegan, gluten-free kumquat and saffron loaf, with a citrus tang glaze. It’s a beautiful slice, rich with the earthy flavour of saffron, studded with sweet-and-sour kumquat shards – and the exact golden orange colour I’ve been craving.

You’ll be seeing Terry’s kumquat and saffron loaf on the Cake Shop counter soon. Enjoy it in the courtyard, or to take away, from 12 April – plus we’ll be diving straight back in with some Boozy Saturday sessions, starting on 17 April. Expect blood orange shrubs with hibiscusbergamot and gin cocktails, and an entire afternoon of our capricious music choices. We hope to see you there.