27 October 2021

Swan Song

Posted by the Cake Shop

Change is afoot – in the seasons as we move from autumn to winter, and in the Cake Shop as our old crew fly off to pastures new and opportunities golden.

Terry says:

You know I love a seasonal change, and these last flutters of autumn are a particularly potent moment. I’ve been dreaming of big dramatic protests full of choral singing and folks dressed in autumn colours, shaking bone rattles and wearing bones. I love the handsome oranges and romantic shadows, the beauty in the melancholy of things coming to an end.

Our old crew are leaving: Jess is off to culinary school and Marica to a coffee roastery. These were the goals they discovered over the years we worked together. During their time here, we joined forces to explore their ambitions and train them for their next step. Our collaboration shaped the Cake Shop culture and changed us forever.

I feel loss and love. I’m a little teary at times, but my sights are set on the future. I’m waiting to see who will blow through our door to open us up to new ideas: new foods for the menu, new tunes to play in the morning while we’re getting ready to open the shop. Each person who forms part of the team adds something special to the Cake Shop mix, a touch of personal spice.

Speaking of which, we’ve been recipe testing for our next pamphlet. It’s inspired by winter flavours and ingredients: the silky Italian pumpkins which are in season right now, the earthy elegance of the mushroom, the bittersweet blackberry. As my seasonal almanac reminds me, there’s so much deliciousness to be found in this swan song of a month – we can’t wait to share it with you.

In store we are baking a gluten- and dairy-free pumpkin mac ’n’ cheese served with sweet pickled butternut squash salad, and a dairy-free pumpkin and miso caramel pie, just for kicks. We are deeply engrossed in writer and food journalist Dan Saladino’s book Eating To Extinction – listen to him talk about it with Cerys Matthews here.

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Mac ’n’ Cheese

Cook 500g pasta – you want it just under-cooked, so it still has a toothsome chew to it.

In a food processor, blitz until smooth:
400g cooked pumpkin
100g silken tofu
250ml Oatly Whippable Creamy Oat
1½ tsp smoked onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp porcini powder
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

In a big bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the blitzed sauce, and mix in 150g non-dairy mozzarella and 150g grated non-dairy chedddar. Butter a big, warmed baking dish with 50g non-dairy butter, and pour in the mixture. Scatter 75g non-dairy mozzarella over the top.

If you want to add a crumble topping, combine:
75g buckwheat (or other gluten-free) flour
3 tsp linseed
¼ tsp smoked paprika
A good pinch of salt
Rub the mixture into 4 tbsp non-dairy butter until it resembles a coarse gravel texture, and sprinkle in over the cheesy mass.

Bake for 45 minutes at 170º.

Books mentioned in this blog post