Search

naramata-blend

Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.

Category

Berry farming

Legendary Naramata Sponge Cake

IMG_3286.jpg

This Naramata take on a classic Victoria sponge is two fluffy sponges lightly flavoured with vanilla and almond with a very special sandwiching layer…Legend Raspberry Jam and a healthy dollop of whipping cream.

Here is a Cole’s Notes version of what went into making that legendary jam:

  1. Grow the raspberries on our farm.
  2. Harvest the raspberries at their peak.
  3. Deliver to Legend Distilling.
  4. Legend makes Slowpoke Farm Berry Vodka with them. (Check out my post about how it’s made minus some secrets.)
  5. Make raspberry jam with some more of our farm fresh raspberries and some of Legend’s Slowpoke Farm Berry Vodka made from our raspberries. It’s like raspberries times three.

A limited supply of this special jam is for sale at Legend Distilling  during the Christmas season… You can of course substitute a high-quality raspberry jam but your cake will be slightly less legendary.

IMG_3247.jpg

Our recent snow fall has put paid to my fresh raspberry supply so it’s time to bring out the jam.

IMG_3240.jpg

CAKE

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (soft)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 extra-large or large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached self-rising flour

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8″ round cake pans. Cut a round of parchment and fit in the bottom of your pan and grease and flour.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined and smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  4. Add the extracts.
  5. Add the flour, beating gently just until well combined.
  6. Divide the stiff batter evenly between the cake pans; there’ll be 11 to 12 ounces of batter in each, depending on the size eggs you used.
  7. Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes, or until they start to pull away from the edges of the pans. Remove them from the oven, cool for a couple of minutes, and turn out of the pans onto a rack to cool completely.

IMG_3258.jpg

FILLING

  • about 3/4 cup Legend Raspberry Jam
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste

IMG_3264.jpgWhen the cakes are cool, place one layer on a plate. Spread with the Legend jam or a  jam of your choice.

IMG_3268.jpgWhip the cream — 2/3 cup cream makes a medium-thickness layer of filling; 3/4 cup cream, a thick layer. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste, as you whip the cream until it’s quite stiff. Stir in the vanilla at the end.

IMG_3253.jpgIMG_3259.jpgPipe the whipped cream over the jam. You could also spread the whipped cream if you prefer.

IMG_3273.jpgIMG_3277.jpgTop with the second layer of cake.

Sift icing sugar over the top of your cake.

IMG_3290.jpg

IMG_3295.jpg

Refrigerate the cake until you’re ready to serve it. It’ll be at its best within 12 hours; but is still quite good up to 2 or even 3 days later. The difference will be the whipped cream, which will gradually settle/compact. Yield: about 12 servings.

Steep well my friends…how our raspberries become distilled Legends

IMG_8632.jpg
Ingredient and end product pictured on our Naramata raspberry farm

Our raspberries are summer captured in juicy jewel bites. When they hang out with Legend Distilling‘s craft vodka along with some BC blueberry and cranberry pals summer is but a pour away, anytime of the year.

IMG_8485.jpgA good portion of our Naramata Carpe Diem berry farm’s raspberries end up at Legend Distilling, a short walk from us. They use them as a cocktail garnish and in their Slowpoke Farm Berry Vodka.

Distiller and Legend owner Doug Lennie was pressing off the fruit that had been infusing  into his craft vodka for a secret amount of time when I dropped off this morning’s harvest.

IMG_8558.jpg
Doug giving the batch a stir
IMG_8579.jpg
The spent fruit goes into a fruit press
IMG_8578.jpg
The raspberries have given up their lovely hue to the vodka.
IMG_8591.jpg
Fruit press in action
IMG_8610.jpg
The pressed juice goes back into the steel tank and the vodka will be bottled and labelled next week.

IMG_8609.jpg

IMG_8550.jpg
The whole operation is closely supervised by distillery dog Roxy

IMG_8510.jpg

IMG_8537.jpg
The vodka has a beautiful colour and Legend’s legendary view is the perfect backdrop. It tastes out of this world but for me the lovely fruity aroma is the best part.
IMG_8515.jpg
I can’t think of a better home for our organically-grown raspberries…

IMG_8512.jpg

Rentthechicken Black Friday sale – (is that a headline or what?) My Christmas present!

IMG_7416
I’m all in a flap over this year’s Christmas present from The Handyman.

Who doesn’t love a sale? But how many regrets stem from snapping up a bargain that maybe didn’t fit quite right, didn’t match your decor or really wasn’t needed at all? My rentthechickens will not fall into that category as the Black Friday bargain was an “item” already on this savvy shopper’s list and eggs never go out of style.

My two laying hens, 100 pounds of chicken feed and portable coop will arrive in May from Kamloops’ couple Ron and Marie McGivern’s farm and will be picked back up in October. These rentthechicken.com hens are a perfect way for us newbies to get our feet wet. If we chicken out, no harm, no fowl. Ron and Marie will come and pick them back up.

For about $500 including delivery and pick-up, the hens will lay the equivalent of eight to 14 golden eggs a week…somewhere around $2 an egg.  The point is not to save money but to give us the chance to test out a risky purchase before making a commitment to longer term chicken husbandry.

IMG_7406.JPG
Not as feather-brained an idea as it first appears… right?

Rentthechicken.com was started by an enterprising couple from Freeport Pennsylvania. “Your chickens will come from our affiliate homesteaders in Kamploops,” says Jenn Tompkins. “We started out thinking we could rent chickens to a few Pittsburgh hipsters and that would be it. We were dead wrong. We now have more than 35 affiliates all over the U.S. and Canada and are renting out more than 1,000 chickens. People are really interested in having their food closer to their tables without a longterm commitment.”

IMG_7081.JPG
Will they like me?

Jenn says the hens will quickly become my pals. It’s all a matter of who feeds them and who brings the yummy table scraps, she says.

What’s in a name?

Downtown Abbey characters like Lady Mary and Edith are trending chicken names, according to Jenn as are Laverne and Shirley with the older demographic. Younger renters are leaning toward characters from Friends or the Big Bang Theory. Charlotte and Mrs. Feathers have made the cut.

Our hens will be named Maria von Trapp and Baroness von Schrader, Maria and Ness for short.

IMG_7085.JPG
Roosters need not apply.

Rentthechicken does away with the four to six months rearing period until the hen is ready to lay and also the risk of ending up with a rooster chick – no eggs, lots of noise.

My farm neighbours will be incredulous at my rental hen scheme but I like the idea of an exit plan, no need to winter-over the girls or deal with “end of life issues”. My ladies will come in their egg-laying prime and Maria and Ness can be rented in following years if we bond or we can adopt them and give them a forever home if we get really brave.

IMG_7071.JPG
Ready to strut right into this new venture at Carpe Diem berry farm.

Jenn assures us that two hens won’t make a lot of noise and their portable coop will spread their fertilizer around to help our berry farm. She told a story of a couple of hens that were used as therapy birds for an autistic boy. We all need a little therapy right? Wonder if a therapy session should start with a why did the chicken cross the road joke or would it quickly devolve into the which came first chicken or egg existential question… I wonder if rentthechicken.com could include a sub-business…Rent a Cock to fertilize my hens should we choose to start a brood or How Would You Like Your Eggs incubating service…

Bring on May and Marie and Ness, future blog stars.

Bird’s eye look at Carpe Diem berry farm

img_3211
This is my hood for context. Preserved Light is an amazing photography company.

This is a part of our farm in our first year of production with some blueberry picking happening. Can’t wait until next year when our crop should triple. Thank you to our lovely customers at Legend Distilling where our raspberries are happily at home in their Farm Berry Vodka, Nummer’s Gourmet, where they are baked into nummy treats and the Bench Market that sold them fresh or incorporated in their fruit salads.

Bodacious red wine chocolate blackberry cake

IMG_1528.JPG
Juicy blackberries from our berry farm, red wine and chocolate give this cake a rich flavour punch.

The blackberries are the last of our berry crops and one of the most beautiful. Their size and juiciness is a marvel enjoyed by us and our bear visitors so picking as soon as they are ripe is important. This very Naramata cake recipe combines our berries with red wine and was a perfect late summer cake for my good pal Janet’s birthday.

img_1508
Succulent blackberries before picking.
IMG_1523.JPG
Mis en place for the red wine cake with my new antique cupboard from Arundel, England in the background.

Lips that touch wine will never touch mine. Come on, who wrote that nonsense. I suppose they don’t like cake or chocolate either.

I sent The Handyman off to the Naramata store for a bottle of red with a good price point for it’s cake ingredient fate and he came back with a $10 bottle which I was worried was too good to be true…even for a cake. Surprisingly, Bodacious was pretty darn good in the cake and in the chef’s glass.

This recipe makes one three-layer 6-inch cakes that served our party of 10 perfectly with no left-overs.

Red wine cake

  • 1  1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Droste, amazing chocolate…)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (never skip the room temperature step…if you don’t have time…put the butter in a bowl in a warm water bath in your sink to soften it up)
  • 1  1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6-inch cake pans and set aside. I did it the hard way and used my one and only 6-inch pan and made the cake in three batches.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the red wine, while taking sips from your wine glass in between, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds.

Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

IMG_1519.JPG
Blackberry ganache ingredients.

Blackberry ganache

  • 3 cups whole fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped good quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Place the blackberries and granulated sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high until the berries start to break down and expel their juices, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard the solids.

Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Reheat 6 tablespoons of the blackberry juice in the saucepan until it begins to simmer (reserve the remaining blackberry juice for finishing the cake). The simmering juice smells amazing p.s. Pour the hot juice over the chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until combined. Set aside until the ganache cools to room temperature but is still spreadable.

Once the ganache has cooled, whisk to loosen it and stir in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

IMG_1499.JPG
A Naramata evening walk while the cake cools. This view of the lake is on our regular walking route. Never gets old.

Some assembly required

Once the cakes have cooled completely, level them and choose which layer will at the bottom. Generously brush the layers with the remaining blackberry juice. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread about 1/3 cup of the blackberry ganache with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat with the ganache, finishing with the final layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with remaining ganache and top with the whole blackberries.

Review

This is an excellent cake from a few standpoints. It’s relatively easy to make as the filling between the layers and the icing is one recipe. It looks great with the blackberry topping and doesn’t involve mad piping skills. Verdict on the taste was a 10 at the party it was served at…”rich, moist, earthy and chocolatey”. I will make this one again.

This recipe comes from fellow Canadian’s Tessa Huff’s amazing book, Layered. Every cake I’ve made from this book has been stellar. Her easy to follow instructions will make you a better baker. As Tessa says, “layer cakes are the ideal vehicle for both creative expression and deliciousness…And let’s fact it — everyone loves a layer cake…It’s time to toss the cake mix and canned frosting and reach the height of your cake-baking potential!” Cheers to that.

Carpe Diem berry farm blueberry ginger lime sorbet I say

FullSizeRender.jpg
What to do with soooooo many blueberries? 

Adding fresh lime and ginger zings up the blueberries in this summer sorbet in the most amazing way. You need a bit of technology to make this one…a blender and an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker I highly recommend getting one. There are a million ice cream and sorbet recipes to choose from and it’s easier to make than you can imagine.

Makes 8 1/2 cup servings.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups fresh, washed and stemmed blueberries (I picked my own from our farm but it’s blueberry season and they are everywhere at the farmer’s markets and supermarkets.)
  • 1/4 cup honey (Penticton Farmer’s market purchase)
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender.jpg

Add all ingredients to a blender and liquefy about 2 minutes until the mixture reaches a deep purple colour. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until cool. Taste and add more sugar if you desire but I like it a bit tart so didn’t add any more sugar.

FullSizeRender.jpg
I store my ice cream maker vessel in the freezer so it’s ready when I am.

Follow the instructions of your ice cream maker. Run the ice cream maker for 20 to 25 minutes — until the sorbet thickens to soft serve consistency.

FullSizeRender.jpg
Loaf pans work great to freeze and store your sorbet in.

Transfer to a container and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Scoop and serve.

FullSizeRender.jpg
Summer!

I heart Carpe Diem berry farm blueberry heart tart

 

IMG_0522.JPG
It’s purple rain at our Naramata berry farm and throughout British Columbia as blueberries come into season. What better way to celebrate than with a blueberry tart recipe?

My first step was to pick. Your’s may be to pick up a couple of pints at a farmer’s market or the grocery store.

 

FullSizeRender.jpg
You can adorn the tart with icing sugar if you like but I was happy to celebrate purple and leave it as is. The blueberry heart tart is also known as Nicole’s wedding tart at our house or more recently, Gone in 60 Seconds.

This recipe involves three steps: The pastry, a gourmet crumble and the blueberries and cream filling.

For the pastry I elected to use a Pâte Brisée, which is a wonderful flaky pie dough that works well as a dough to line tart shells. Although there are many methods to make it either by hand, with a mixer or a food processor, I find the later is the easiest.

IMG_0537.JPG

Ingredients for pastry dough

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Combine salt and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter in cubes and pulse after each small batch. Add the water and mix only until the dough comes together. It is important not to over-mix. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or preferably overnight.

Roll out the dough, place into your tart pan, perforate the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork and blind bake. Preheat the oven to 325 F and top the pastry with parchment   and add rice or beans all the way to the edges. Bake with this faux filling for 15 minutes, the remove the rice or beans and return the shell to the oven for another 15 minutes until golden brown and evenly coloured. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling. Just before assembly, brush the tart shell with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) and bake for 5 minutes.

 

FullSizeRender.jpg
This crumble recipe is gourmet with the addition of Kirschwasser which gives it a lovely cherry flavour.

Crumble ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (sometimes called sugar in the raw)
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds or almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Kirschwasser

Preheat oven to 325F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the butter into pieces and place all the ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture between your hands. Spread on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely. Store left-overs in the freezer for future use on ice cream or muffins.

 

IMG_0541
One cow contains the cream and the other the milk.

Ingredients for blueberry filling

  • 2 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 plus 1 teaspoon egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 heavy cream

In a saucepan, combine the blueberries and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and boil for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, water and cornstarch in a bowl and gradually stir into the berries and simmer 1 minute until thickened. If the juice is still watery and another 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch in a tablespoon of the juice and stir in. Remove from heat when thickened.

Use a paring knife and split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a medium bowl. Add the egg yolk and remaining sugar and whisk together. Add the milk and cream and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the blueberries and take a moment to celebrate the colour.

Some assembly required

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of the crumble in an even layer over the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell. Spread the blueberry filling on top. Place on a sheet pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes until just set. If you shake the pan gently, the middle will jiggle a bit under the surface until it cools, when it will firm up. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Sift on some icing sugar if you like. We served our’s with whipped cream.

 

IMG_0512.JPG
Farm to table.

In hysterics…the ultimate raspberry

IMG_0220
Not considered the most beautiful plant for most of the year…for one brief month this ugly duckling is a swan.

Christmas excited, our first Carpe Diem berry farm raspberries are ready for picking. Not even exaggerating here…I get into things. Pyjama-clad I head into the patch with my coffee, weigh scale and pint baskets and am in an early morning heaven. It’s just me and the birds… Any marred berries I eat. (Stream of consciousness: “When the harvest really gets going will I be like the I Love Lucy chocolate assembly line scene and come in dripping in horror-movie red juice? Ah, maybe I’ll make jam…”)

FullSizeRender
Pints destined for The Bench Market.

Day two. Same excitement. Pyjamas, coffee, scale, baskets and RAIN. Now I know I’m a farmer. Rows of perfectly ripe berries and it’s pouring. Sure, you can pick in the rain but it doesn’t do the berries any favours. Their already short shelf life is shortened more by moisture.

IMG_0178
Dripping in rain.

While waiting for a dry spell to get back outside, I browse through MyNaramata, our communities top-notch, on-line, hyper-local source of news and read about the cherry growers and their real issues with rain while listening to the sound of an Apocalypse Now number of helicopters outside my window.

“In the last three weeks before cherry harvest, it is important to keep the cherries as dry as possible to prevent splitting,” the article says. “Rain collects in the well on the top of the cherry, is absorbed into the cherry causing it to swell and skin to split. Enter the helicopters which hover to blow the water off.”

As The Handyman and I share a similar quirky sense of humour he is immediately game for a photo session with our raspberries and his remote-controlled helicopter. I send the photos to MyNaramata as a Photo Friday submission.

IMG_0208
Blowing the rain off the raspberries.

 

IMG_0207Snickering and general joviality all round.

MyNaramata publishes my photo. The editor has a laugh.

Early Saturday morning the phone rings.

“Hi, my name is Mark and I have a question about the helicopter you used to dry your raspberries.”

“Sure, I’ll pass you on to the pilot…”

“The pilot is there? Great, that’s fantastic.”

(“Hey Maverick, the phone is for you. There is a guy who has a question about your helicopter…”)

“Hi, I want to know what helicopter you have there. I was looking at a double rotor one like that in New Zealand but it’s priced at over $200,000. What is the make of yours? Where did you get it? How much was it?”

“Mmmmm,” says Maverick politely but grinning madly. “Not sure if you’ve looked at that photo closely but it is a remote-controlled helicopter we were using there as kind of a joke.”

“(Big pause)…(laughter)….Oh my God (laughter), you’re right. Wow, you got me. (Laughter).”

In the meantime, I’m overhearing the discussion and am doubled over in hysterics…eyes streaming, the biggest uncontrolled yet stifled laughter of the year. I’m trying not to be audible as I don’t know if the guy is dying of embarrassment or not. Turns out it he is a good sport and enjoyed the joke himself. The photo was really small and he was fixated on the rotors without clueing in to the scale problems.

He owns a two-seater helicopter himself and has an interesting story I want to blog about… if he’ll let me…

 

 

Gwen Chiffani strawberry shortcake

FullSizeRender
Just like Gwen, this cake’s got a little twist

It’s strawberry time in the Valley and this cake is a celebration of just-picked, ripe, red berries smothered in a basil-infused whipped cream slathered between the lightest, fluffiest chiffon sponge cake you will ever baked. I don’t even feel like I’ve oversold it.

FullSizeRender
I’ve never used grapeseed oil in a cake before and was skeptical. Colour me wrong. I knew as soon as the batter started to come together that it would be super light and produce a wonderful sponge and it’s wine country here. What a perfect use for a by-product…

Chiffon cake ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 large egg whites (from my neighbour Lucy’s chickens)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar on medium speed for one minute. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time and mix for about three minutes. The mixture will increase in volume (I told you) and be pale in colour. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of dry ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into a large bowl and set aside.

Clean the mixer bowl and paddle and dry well. In the clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the remaining two tablespoons of sugar and the cream of tartar and whisk on high until stiff peaks form.

Stop the mixer and fold the egg whites into the cake better. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let them rest on a wire rack until cool before running a paring knife around the edges of the cakes and removing them from their pans.

FullSizeRender
The basil-infused whipping cream gives the cake an extra something. The basil flavour pairs beautifully with strawberries. The Handyman, whose heart is only really moved by chocolate, says he would have skipped this whole basil step but my other food critics disagreed. I feel Gwen Stefani would be cool with it too.

Basil-infused whipped cream ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Slowly heat 2 cups of the cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, gently muddle the basil leaves with mortar and pestle (or crush them up a bit with your hands if you are short of kitchen equipment.)

Once the cream begins to steam and simmer, remove the pan from the heat and add the basil leaves, cover and let them steep for 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate until cold.

FullSizeRender

Strain out the basil leaves, re-measure the cream and top it off with more cream if necessary so you have a total of 2 cups. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk the cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk on high until it forms medium peaks. For best results, store the whipped cream in the fridge and assemble the cake just before serving.

IMG_2420

 

Some assembly required

  • Four cups fresh strawberries

With the assistance of my son’s lovely fiancé, the cake was easy to assemble. Hull and slice the fresh strawberries 1/4 inch thick until you have about four cups of sliced berries. Reserve a few whole berries with their tops on for decoration.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, carefully halve them horizontally to create four even layers. Level the cakes and choose which layer will be the bottom. Place it on a cake plate and spread on one-quarter of the basil-infused whipped cream and one cup of the berries.

IMG_2421Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Place the reserved strawberries on top of the last layer to decorate.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender

FullSizeRender
Eat your Gwen Chiffani immediately or keep refrigerated for up to two days.

This recipe, with some re-branding, came from Layered by Tessa Huff, a fellow British Columbian. My new mission in life is to make every single cake in this amazing cook book.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑