We are so excited to feature Part II of our feature with Cake Bloom! Susan, who founded Cake Bloom with the intention of creating cakes inspired by nature, shares with us today a delicious recipe for Wild Blackberry Curd.
Someone once told me that we prefer the foods from the season we were born, and having made my debut into this world in late August, when summer berries, heirloom tomatoes, and squashes are at their peak, it’s easy to agree (and thank my lucky stars I wasn’t born on the opposite side of the year).
Whether or not the birthday/diet theory holds true for others, my love for wild blackberries is undeniable. Only for me, it’s not just the sweet berries from a warm summer day that I’m drawn to, it’s the long, slow season of wild blackberries that hooks me every year.
It begins with the vines of little delicate white/pink flowers that start teasing me in April, followed by the tiny, green studded berries I find on roadsides, bike paths and parks throughout Sonoma in spring that hint at the bounty to come. As for the merciless thorns, obviously I don’t love them, but I do appreciate how they protect the fruit for only the most devoted blackberry pickers.
And when the season finally arrives, I find myself pretty much living on wild blackberries morning, noon and night. From margaritas to marinades, cobblers and all things cake, they are a staple in my kitchen.
For my latest inspiration cake, I sourced the most luscious, ripe berries from a tangle of wild vines that line the organic gardens at Fifth Street Farms, the same farm that provides all the gorgeous produce for Ramekins Culinary School and The General’s Daughter here in Sonoma. From the stone fruit orchards to the vibrant rows of heirloom lettuces, herbs and veggies, FifthStreet Farms is the stuff my Sonoma garden dreams (and cakes) are made of.
To celebrate the pure beauty of the fruit in all its stages, I created a Wild Blackberry naked cake for summer picnics on the plaza. I filled my favorite citrus cake with a thin layer of Wild Blackberry curd and sweet mascarpone cream, finished in the prettiest pale pink, wild blackberry buttercream.
Find my recipe for the Wild Blackberry Curd and simple steps to make your own Blackberry Buttercream below:
2 c. wild blackberries (~1/2 C-3/4 C juice)
3 eggs yolks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
¼ C sugar
2 TB lemon juice
Bring blackberries, ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water to a simmer over medium; reduce to low heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 30 minutes. Once cool, puree blackberries in a food processor and strain in a fine-meshed sieve, to make about ½-3/4 cups juice.
Put egg yolks, zest and lemon juice in a saucepan, add berry juice and stir well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once thickened, remove from heat and strain curd through a fine-meshed sieve, pushing through with a spoon.
Whisk butter into warm curd until completely melted and combined. Cover top of curd tightly with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on top of curd and let cool completely before chilling in refrigerator.
Store in fridge for up to a week or freeze up to 3 months.
For Blackberry Buttercream, using a whisk attachment, add two tablespoons blackberry curd for every 2 cups of your favorite buttercream recipe and mix on medium speed until combined. To eliminate airbubbles, switch to a paddle attachment and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Huge thank you to everyone involved:
Photography: Sarah Deragon of Portraits to the People / Farm Venue: Fifth Street Farms / Picnic Venue: Sonoma Plaza / Farm Styling: Alyssa Rhodes / Picnic Styling: Boxwood Avenue / Picnic Wine: Kivelstadt Cellars Rosé