Our wonderful columnist Anne Falgate of Cupcake & Co in Norwich shares her favourite things about springtime, as well as a wonderful seasonal rhubarb recipe.
The first thing I love about spring are the lighter evenings and warmer temperatures. After a long shift baking, there are few things as enjoyable as a potter about in the garden and it is something I miss in the winter. Leaving for work on dark mornings only to return after dark in the afternoon does nothing for my sun worshipping soul!
Spring for me also means Easter baking. Whether hot cross buns or simnel cake, the tradition and ritual of this spring festival run deep here at Cupcake & Co.
This time of year also marks the start of wedding season and finally being able to bring our couples’ wedding cake ideas and dreams to life. After months of planning and chatting, being a part of this most special of days never gets old. The cautious drive to deliver and set up the cake is still exciting. We are blessed with some beautiful venues here in Norfolk and getting to visit them is always a joy. Needless to say, the drive home, cakeless and relieved we got there intact, is a lot less cautious!
Rhubarb. It’s as simple as that. Spring marks the arrival of rhubarb, from the delicately flavoured watermelon pink stems of the early forced variety through to the tartness of the more robust maincrop variety, nothing beats it for me.
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is used mainly as a fruit here and it lends itself to all kinds of applications in dessert making. At home, crumble was the go-to recipe. My mum could make a mean one and even now buying rhubarb always evokes happy childhood memories of watching my dad drown his portion in what seemed like pints of custard before devouring it methodically.
These days, we use rhubarb in several ways in our bakes and the generosity of our customers who gift us the fruits of their labours affords us room to experiment. We make tangy rhubarb curd and individual vegan pies, and we always cut and freeze some to use throughout the year.
By far my favourite recipe though is this rhubarb buckwheat cake. Gluten free and indulgent but without the sweetness of many cakes, this dense loaf is super easy to make. Don’t forget to share your photos with us @eatnourishdrink #eatnourishdrink
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