Spruce Tips Tinselfruit

A less fancy cake than normal. But sometimes, when everything else is buzzing, you just want simplicity. Simple. And the ease of accomplishing one more thing without taxing your overstrained creativity.

Not that anything with me is ever void of creative complications. Otherwise, well... it wouldn't get done. I'm of William Morris mind here. 

The art... the real reason I built this cake, was because for a *month* I had a vision needling me of a spruce tip-flavoured sponge layered with rhubarb curd. Needling, because in early spring, if you go anywhere near a spruce, and you see the very ends of its branches bursting out with bright green buds new enough that they still have their little brown birthing caps on, you can pinch off a few and have in your hand what some indigenous people ate for Vitamin C. Not surprisingly then, as a nutritional warder-off of scurvy, spruce tips have this wonderful lemony, hint of pine, beautifully subtle herbal taste. I thought they would make an unusual citrus-like cake. And pair brilliantly with a rhubarb curd filling. 

On my walks in late April, I plucked spruce tips off trees, stored them in my fridge, and *finally* got around to chopping and put them in a classic Brit sponge. The sort you'd find in what might be the eponymous Victoria Sponge. I whisked together an eggless rhubarb curd with coconut oil instead of butter (this totally worked as a complementary flavour), and because I'm uber ambitious, boiled a spruce-tip-infused syrup to use as a cake wash. 

I had a few little tips, like pine cones in soft pliable bright green miniature, left over (plus what I fished out of the syrup infusion) to garnish the cake with. And after I strategically place them on top, I stepped back to contemplate my next decorating move, and said to myself, "You know what, considering everything, I think that's enough."

If I were marketing the contents inside, I guess the outside advertises it right, because the feedback has been that it tastes is superbly delicious and tres tres "elegant." That later assessment aligns quite fittingly with the appearance - non?