Tipsy Tart and Rooibos Fresh
The Tipsy Tart ($2.50) is a date tart soaked in brandy syrup that’s warmed up and topped with fresh whipped cream. It’s presented here with a Rooibos Fresh ($3.95), made with two shots of rooibos pulled through an espresso machine, plus apple juice. The rooibos adds an earthy, grassy quality to the cold juice.
Malva Pudding ($3.00) is like a sponge cake, albeit caramelized. It contains apricot jam, with additional sweetness from a pour of syrup made from butter, fresh cream, sugar, and vanilla. A fork pierce makes the syrup start to seep out, just as it’s starting to do in the photo. Malva pudding is usually made in a large pan or sheet tray and cut into slices, but like other desserts at Cederberg, it’s individually sized.
Hertzog ($2.50) is named for a 20th century leader of South Africa. These very sweet koekies (cookies), made in a muffin tin, start with a soft and airy shortbread crust, add apricot jam filling, and finish with a coconut meringue topping.
Melktert ($3.75) is "milk tart" in Afrikaans, and is made with a shortbread crust that is a little harder than the Hertzog crust. The creamy filling resembles egg custard, but has less egg and more milk. On top is a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. South Africans in Seattle are excited to see this available at the tea house.
Like the Rooibos Fresh, the Rooibos Latte ($3.95) is made with rooibos tea that’s ground (not too fine) and pulled through an espresso machine. It has layers of honey and cinnamon (the honey complements the natural sweetness of the rooibos), and, like all of the beverages served at Cederberg, comes with a shortbread cookie.
Natasha calls the Koeksister ($1.95) “a mission to make.” This braided doughnut is fried in oil, and while still hot, immediately dunked in cold, sweet syrup that sits in an ice bath. The syrup soaks through to the middle of the koeksister so that each bite oozes juiciness. Some like to eat it almost frozen.
The Romany Cream ($0.65) is the Oreo of South Africa. Children grow up with this ubiquitous, dunkable cookie, elevated from the boxed version. With coconut-chocolate cookies on the outside and milk chocolate wedged in between, it’s dry and gritty and begging for milk—or a rooibos latte.
It’s not all sweets at Cederberg. The Sausage Roll ($2.95) is puff pastry filled with beef and pork sausage, drawing not only South African fans, but Aussies and Brits who crave this treat from home. Other savories include a variety of quiches as well as tea sandwiches (such as curry chicken, cucumber cream cheese, and egg salad) with the ends cut off, naturally.
Stepping Inside Cederberg Tea House
Here’s a peek inside Cederberg Tea House, named for the region in South Africa that’s the original source of rooibos.