The hearty n’ refreshing aroma of handpicked mint, or the strong and distinct flavours of rosemary and basil are a few reasons to grow your own herbs. And growing these wonderful plants on the little patch on my balcony is even more rewarding. Mint is growing wild, rosemary is a slow starter but catching up, and the basil is already spreading its earthy vibes. I love stepping out to snip off those tiny twigs and add it fresh into my recipes.
This cake tastes great on it’s own with its flavor-packed ingredients, but even bettered with a twist of mascarpone cheese and fresh berries toppings (black berries in this instance). Especially if you are an ardent fan of basil (like me), you will love this cake.
Recipe from here
You need –
- Olive oil – 3/4 cup
- Fresh sweet basil leaves – 8-10 plus extra to serve
- Eggs – 4, separated, plus 1 extra yolk
- Caster sugar – 150 grams
- Finely grated of 1, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- All purpose flour – 1 1/4 cups
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
- Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoons
- Lemon rinds – ½ teaspoon
- Cream of tartar – ½ teaspoons
- Blackberries to garnish.
How to –
In sauce pan, heat the oil, lemon rinds and basil leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and turn off the heat. Set aside to infuse for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the leaves and rinds and let the oil cool completely.
Pre –heat the oven to 180 C. Grease an 8 inch cake tin. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat the yolks and ¼ cup of sugar till pale and thick. Now add the cooled oil, lemon juice and continue to beat till well combined. Gently with a spatula fold in the flour till just combined.
In a clean and dry mixing bowl whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar till soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar; one tablespoon at a time and beat till stiff peaks and glossy. Take large dollop of the egg whites and add it gently into the yolk-flour mixture to loosen up the batter. Now gently fold the remaining whites and mix till everything is well combined. Make sure not to over mix else the egg whites will deflate.
Transfer the batter onto the prepared cake till and gently tap to release any air bubbles. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.
Mascarpone cheese frosting –
- Mascarpone cheese – 250 grams
- Icing sugar – ¾ cup
- Whipping cream – 1 cup
- Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
How to –
In a mixing bowl and with a whisk attachment, mix the cheese, sugar and essence till well combined. Turn the mixed to low; add the whipping cream and beat till well combined. Now increase the speed to high and beat till stiff peaks form.
Assembling the cake –
Once the cake is completely cooled, slice in half horizontally and sandwich with the frosting and spread the frosting on top. Garnish with fresh berries and basil leaves, Finally dusted with icing sugar and serve.