For a memorable Birthday celebration, Tata journeyed across the Great Smoky Mountains to Tennesse’s rustic yet refined luxury destination, Blackberry Farm. Renowned for their signature Foothills Cuisine, this farm getaway embraces all the old-time traditions of living off the land to offer their guests the ultimate farm-to-table experience.
In honor of the celebration, the resort’s Head Pasty Chef, Ben Yusko, crafted a brand new Honey Almond and Lavender Birthday Cake, with a recipe made with the freshly-picked ingredients, flowers, and berries from their Blackberry Farm garden. Frosted with a Honey Buttercream with honey sourced fresh from an estate just up the road, this delectable creation tastes like fresh Chamomile, Lavender, and a touch of natural sweetness from the Buttercream. And for a delicious surprise, this cake features a Garden Berry and Chamomile Preserve at the center with berries that were freshly picked just outside the kitchen,
Alongside Ben, Tata helped to adorn the already-made and frosted cake with the fresh flowers they had just picked together from Blackberry’s garden. This made her reminisce on the botanicals grown on her own Vermont farm for our Beauty Complex found in our farm-to-skin products.
“On our farm at Tata Harper we grow this estate grown Beauty Complex, which is in each of our skincare products that has Arnica, Borage, Calendula, Alfalfa, Meadow Sweet, and Elderberry. Are any of those on the cake?”
“Yes we used Borage flowers and there are some Elderflower on the cake as well.”
- Chef Ben Yusko
Want to recreate this gorgeous Garden Cake at home? Read on for the recipes of the Honey Almond and Lavender Cake, Honey Buttercream, and Garden Berry and Chamomile Preserves.
HONEY ALMOND & LAVENDER CAKE:
Yield: 2 6” Cake Layers
1 ½ sticks Unsalted Butter
¼ Cup Coconut Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
2 ¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Kosher Salt
1 Cup Almond Flour
¾ Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Dried Lavender
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease the bases and sides and line the bases of two, 6 inch round baking pans with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
Using an electric or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beating well, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add in half the flour mixture and almond meal, then add half the honey and buttermilk and beat to combine.
Repeat with remaining flour mixture, almond meal, milk, and honey. Stir in the vanilla and lavender that was finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
Divide mixture uniformly between two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a cake come out clean. Remove from oven. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes.
Gently loosen the sides with a blunt knife. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost with honey buttercream, and garden berry preserves.
Yield: 4 ¼ Cups
1 Cup Honey
Eggs Whites from 5 Large Eggs
¼ Teaspoon Salt
3 Sticks of Room Temperature, Unsalted Butter
1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In a medium sized heavy bottomed pot, bring honey to a boil over high heat. This should take no more than 4 minutes. If the timing is substantially different, this is simply an indication that the heat needs adjustment due to equipment variation.
Once honey begins to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until honey reaches 230°F (110°C) on a clip-on digital thermometer, about 3 minutes longer. Meanwhile, add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and begin whipping on medium-high speed.
Continue cooking honey until it reaches between 240 and 250°F (116 and 121°C), about 2 minutes longer, adjusting the heat as needed and using a heat-resistant spatula to knock back the foam. When the honey comes to temperature, remove from heat and pour into the bowl of egg whites in a steady stream, with the mixer still running. Take care that the honey drizzles down the side of the bowl so it does not come in contact with the moving whisk.
Once all of the honey has been added, continue whipping the meringue until incredibly thick and glossy and cooled to approximately 85 to 90°F (29 to 32°C), about 4 minutes.
Add salt, followed by the butter in roughly 2-tablespoon increments, waiting only a few seconds after each one before adding the next. As the butter is added, the meringue will begin to deflate dramatically; this is normal.
When all the butter has been added, reduce speed to medium-low and add vanilla, then shut off the mixer and scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula. Re-whip a few seconds more. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container.
GARDEN BERRY & CHAMOMILE PRESERVES:
Yield: 1 Pint
1 quart, approximately 680 grams of berries
2/3 Cup Honey
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 Chamomile Teabag 1 .5 oz of loose-leaf chamomile tea in tea infuser
and mash. Add the honey and the lemon juice and stir to combine. Add teabag once berries release some of their juice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring regularly for 10 to 12 minutes, until the jam thickens. Remove teabag and reserve preserves. The preserves will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
SERVE & ENJOY!
Then all there's left to do is cut yourself and indulge in your beautiful creation. And as you enjoy your slice (or two), be sure to shop Tata's Birthday Sale with code: BIRTHDAY25 for 25% off your next order over $100.*