berry & thyme cream cake

Another straightforwards chiffon and whipped cream cake, based on the same formula as this black forest cake. Sprinkling everything with minute pink thyme flowers is essentially as close to fairy dust as you can get.

berry and thyme cake

thyme and vanilla chiffon cake

Adapted from Make Fabulous Cakes. Makes enough for four 7″/18-cm diametre cakes but I made three rather tall ones instead. It’s a lot of cake!! So next time I would do a half recipe to make two 7″ diameter layers. Alternatively, you could also make a batch of cupcakes with the excess batter.

180 g a.p. flour

100 g whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

200 g sugar, divided

1/4 c picked fresh thyme leaves and flowers

8 egg yolks

1 tbsp vanilla extract

seeds scraped from 1/5 of a vanilla bean

3/4 c milk

3/4 c neutral oil

8 egg whites

a few pinches cream of tartar

Line the bottom of 3 7″/18-cm diametre cake pans with parchment paper. Butter the sides and lightly flour. Preheat the oven to 325F.

Sift the flours, baking powder and salt together. Take 100g of the sugar and rub in the thyme leaves and flowers (alternatively, a quick blitz in the food processor). Whisk into the flour and set aside.

Whisk together the egg yolks and the vanilla bean seeds, then add the extract, oil and milk.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until frothy. Mix in the cream of tartar and then gradually add the remaining 100g sugar while the egg whites continue to whip. Whip until stiff peaks form.

While the egg whites whirl away in the stand mixer, make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the egg yolk mixture. Once the egg whites are done, use a rubber spatula to fold in one large scoop of egg whites, then fold in the remainder in two additions.

Distribute amongst the three pans and one or two muffin liners as well, if desired.

Bake for around 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer is removed clean.

 

assembly

earl grey tea bag

few spoonfuls sugar

heavy cream

yoghurt

berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries and saskatoon berries, etc

thyme flowers

If you’re like me and overbaked your cakes, you can make a bit of a syrup to dab on. Boil half a cup of water and steep with earl grey tea, dissolve in a few spoonfuls of sugar and then let cool.

Whip a generous amount of heavy cream (1 cup +) and whisk in a spoonful or so of yoghurt at the end. I prefer my cream unsweetened, but add in a bit of sugar if desired.

Cut however many cake layers as you would like–I cut two of the cakes in half and brushed each cut side with some of the tea syrup. Stack the layers with cream and berries in between. Finish with more cream, berries, and a sprinkle of thyme flowers. A bit of a chill will help the cream set and make the cake a bit more sturdy, but honestly, it’s nicest served right away.

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