well it is officially summer time here on the pacific north west. our spring was longer and cooler than normal but these last couple of heat wave filled weeks have more than made up for the lingering grey clouds.
if you have been following along with my journal for a while now you know that i am much more of a fall baby then i am a summer girl but something about these last few weeks have had me basking in the sunshine and actually enjoying it. i think it comes down to the fact that for the past ten years i have spend my summer days in a cubicle office job, leaving work dressed in office clothing, which is just kinda not the greatest to get blasted with heat in. so far this year, my summer days have consisted of photo shoots, more beach days than normal, working in a beautiful garden cafe with a sunshine filled patio surrounded by blooming roses and endless sour cherry spritzers. my legs are a shimmering dark hue and my hair is summer kissed. so yeah i kinda think that has made me enjoy the golden streams of light a little more than usual.
don't get my wrong i have not been completely taken over to the light side, i am eagerly awaiting some grey cloudy rainy days, but i will take these tanned legs over my regular translucent ones any day.
because of our cooler spring it took our local berries and produce a bit longer to sprout but everything is coming along beautifully now and all the farmers stands are opening up and bursting with fresh flavour. it has me so so inspired. i just want to make and bake everything, it is actually kind of overwhelming too!
alas i chose to start off my summer journaling posts with this lovely lady cake. a strawberry olive oil shortcake with vanilla bean whip and a strawberry compote. its a really nice cake with a slight nutty flavour from the combination of olive oil, maple syrup and cane sugar. it is a little more dense than a regular shortcake which is why i kept the strawberry compote and whipped cream topping light and fresh.
it will surely be the showstopper at all your summer bbq's!
strawberry olive oil shortcake + vanilla bean whip
3 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cane sugar
2 cups of maple syrup
1 cup olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
3 cups strawberries
2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp pure vanilla
juice of half a lemon
vanilla bean whip
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp pure vanilla
seeds of half vanilla bean
fresh strawberries for garnishing
preheat the oven to 350 degrees. grease two 9 inch cake pans with coconut oil and flour.
in a large bowl, stiff together the flour, baking soda, baking powder. mix in the cane sugar and salt.
in another bowl whisk together the maple syrup, buttermilk, olive oil, vanilla, and eggs.
add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, lightly whisking until it all comes together, making sure to scrap the bottom and making sure not to over mix.
pour the cake batter evenly into the two cake pans. bake for 25-30 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before taking out and placing on a cooling rack.
let the cake completely cool before adding the strawberries compote and vanilla whip.
in a small sauce pan on medium heat add the strawberries (you can use either fresh or frozen), maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla. bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 15 minutes.
whisk the cornstarch with some water and add to the strawberries to thicken (adding more if not thick enough). transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
vanilla bean whip
add all of the whipped cream ingredients to a stand mixer. scraping the vanilla bean seeds from the pod and adding those too. whip on high until thick and stiff.
once the cakes have cooled, cut each one in half (you can leave them whole and just have a two layer cake instead of a four layer). add the whipping cream to a piping bag with a tip. layer one piece of cake down and pipe a border of whipping cream, add a layer of strawberry compote and some fresh strawberries. continue these steps until all three layers are done.
you will finish the strawberry compote on the third level. on the top of the cake pipe a layer of whipping cream and garnish with some more fresh strawberries. serve!