Posted by the Cake Shop
As the year comes to a close, we reap the gifts of cyclic completion. It’s a good moment to sit and reflect on our learnings from the last 12 months, and our wishes for the next – around a big table with friends, or sitting alone under a tree.
2021 has seen the deepening of many practices for me, and one of those is my connection with trees. Lockdown rekindled my pleasure at basking at the base of a big tree trunk, gazing up at the leafy canopy and thinking about everything and nothing. Recently, one of my healers sent me on a quest to find a specific cedar tree in a London park and embrace it. Tree-hugging may be easy to mock, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it: there aren’t many ancient, beautiful things in this world that we’re allowed to touch without permission.
Coming into contact with the cedar sparked a chain of association and inspiration in me, sending me on a tree bender that is present even in my recipes. That aroma, the spicy scent of pine needles, has something strengthening about it – a top-note of well-being that gives fortitude and warmth in the winter cold. When I was developing our forthcoming winter pamphlet, I knew I wanted to get those comforting arboreal notes into our recipes. A subtle sprinkle of pine needles in our pumpkin ceviche; melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies with pistachio and pine; the bittersweet flavour of bramble in our walnut and blackberry frangipani.
There’s also a touch of pine in our Christmas cakes this year – I’m using a new recipe that I developed for one of Lena Dunham’s wedding cakes. I baked [seven] different cakes in total, each one a combination of different flavours, aesthetics and personal symbols. The process was a wild ride through mutual inspirations, bouncing and rebounding off each other’s ideas – from pickled cherries and sugar skulls to preserved figs and raccoons, via kumquats, the Kama Sutra and Bojack Seahorseman. ‘[Terry] is a maniac,’ Lena commented to Vogue magazine; truly the highest of compliments.
To order a Christmas cake, email firstname.lastname@example.org. This year we have two sizes: a 6” at £36 and a 4” at £26.