As summer comes to a close, I find myself longing for the fruits and herbs most reminiscent of the height of summer..i.e basil and strawberries.
I decided to embark on crafting this unique cake after watching an episode of The Great British Bake Off (one of the best shows on Netflix, in my humble opinion)
This cake is an amazing mix of sweet, bitter, bright and tart. The sweetness derived from the icing perfectly complements the bright taste of the basil and I could not have been happier with the flavor profiles.
I modified this recipe, though, to add more jam to the center layer, since I believed it needed more of the strawberry flavoring to even out the basil frosting.
Strawberry jam filling:
2 cups of strawberries
1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 cup of cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup boiling water
15 Basil leaves, chopped and shredded
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
8 oz of mascarpone
3 cups of powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get the basil emulsifying with a bit of water in a sauce pan and add the butter. Let simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Once they are combined, separate the basil leaves from the butter mixture with a colander. Put the butter mixture in the fridge in a small bowl and wait 10 minutes for it to become smooth and creamy. Next, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients except for the boiling water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and add in the boiling water once the two are combined. Grease a cake pan and pour in the cake mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. With the butter cream mixture, add the mascarpone, powdered sugar and salt. While this is mixed and waiting in the fridge, combine the strawberry and sugar with some lemon juice and lemon zest over a sauce pan and let simmer until the mixture is gelatinous and ready to spread in the middle of the two cake layers.
Wait to frost until cake is cooled.