Blackberry Julep Cake - Inspired By The Royal Wedding

Pastry chef and master gardener - Alisa Huntsman made a Blackberry Julep Cake and showed flowers you can grow locally to decorate a cake – just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to do at their wedding. Learn more gardening tips at the Urban Gardening Festival is Saturday, May 19 from 9am - 4pm (rain or shine) at Ellington Agricultural Center, 5201 Marchant Dr. Nashville TN. Get hands-on information from UT-trained gardening experts, enjoy food trucks and more than 75 vendors. The event will also feature eight garden-influenced food demonstrations to inspire both novices and veterans to try something new this spring in their home garden and kitchen, be it inspired by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Admission is FREE. For more information, visit mgofdc.org/ugf

BLACKBERRY JULEP CAKE
 
Makes 1 (8-inch) triple layer cake to serve about 16


2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/4 cups milk
Blackberry-Lime Preserves, recipe follows
Bourbon Buttercream, recipe follows
Fresh flowers, mint sprigs and blackberries for decoration
 
DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 3 (8”) cake pans, line them with parchment paper and grease the paper.  In a mixer bowl, cream the butter with the sugar, lime zest and salt until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the egg whites, 2-3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping to scrape the bowl.
 
Combine the flour with the baking powder and whisk gently to blend.  In 2-3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.  Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter. 
 
Scoop out 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl.  Divide the remainder equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing out the tops with a rubber spatula.  Mix 2-1/2 tablespoons of the Blackberry-Lime Preserves to the reserved batter and blend well.  Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blackberry mixture over the batter in the pans.  Using a skewer or paring knife, swirl the blackberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the batter but take care not to mix it in. 
 
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let the layers cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks, remove the parchment paper and allow them to cool completely.
 
To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up on a cake stand or serving plate.  Spread half of the Blackberry-Lime Preserves over the top.  Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it.  Finally, place the third layer on top of the second and frost the sides and top of the cake with the Bourbon Buttercream Frosting.  Arrange the flowers, mint and berries around the top of the cake and the serving plate.
 
BLACKBERRY-LIME PRESERVES
Makes about 1 cup

3 cups frozen blackberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
 
If using frozen blackberries, allow them to thaw and the juices to accumulate.  Place the berries and the juice into a blender.  Puree the berries and pass them through a strainer to remove the seeds. 
 
In a heavy medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the blackberry puree with the sugar, lime juice, lime zest and the ginger.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently dissolve the sugar.  Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. 
 
BOURBON BUTTERCREAM
Makes about 3-1/2 cups
 
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons Bourbon
2 eggs
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
 
In a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar and Bourbon.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Continue to boil with out stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F, on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from the heat.
 
In a large mixer bowl with the mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs briefly.  Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup will splatter.  When all of the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature.  This can take 15 minutes or longer.
 
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2-3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions.  As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter.  Beat in the lime juice, and the frosting is ready for use.

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