Chamomile & Strawberry Cake

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As far as I remember, drinking natural herbal tea or as we call them in Farsi dam-noosh was apart of our everyday life. My mom had a specific Mafresho , a large drawstring bag made with a colorful fabric with yellow & green flowers and green strings. I’m sure she had made the Mafresho herself, inside the bag, you could find all sorts of dam-noosh from chamomile, to malva, to alaleh, and borage. Each one, a cure for a specific pain and ache. I love dam-noosh so much so that sometimes I would pretend to have a stomach ache just to get a warm and sweet cup of chamomile.

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Couple days ago, I was at Trader’s Joes & saw large bouquets of chamomiles, immediately, I thought of mom, the way she moves in her kitchen, so gentle, so calm making her dam-noosh. I miss her, I miss the smell of her kitchen and I miss baking with her. Captivated by my emotions, I rushed home and luckily it wasn’t a busy work day, so I let the memories and my emotions take over until my kitchen smelled like my mom’s.

This layered cake has delightful fresh flavors. Chamomile is steeped in milk to flavor the cake batter, and fresh strawberries bring a fruity and mild acidity to the icing.

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Chamomile Strawberry Cake

Yields: 9 servings Bake time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 cup (200 ml) milk

  • 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile or 4 chamomile tea bags

  • 1 1/2 cups (286 grams) sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup canola or olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 1/4 cups (315 grams) all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Ingredients for the frosting*:

  • 2 cups ( 500 ml) heavy cream, cold

  • 7 oz. (250 grams) mascarpone, cold

  • 3/4 cup ( 100 grams) powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract

Combine all the ingredients: mascarpone, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and strawberry extract togehter. Whisk until the mixture is fluffy.

To Assemble:

  • Chamomile flowers

  • Fresh strawberries

  • Strawberry marmalade

Process:

  • Have two 6” or one 9” cake pans ready, spray with olive oil spray and cover the bottom with parchment paper & set aside.

  • Add milk and chamomile to a small saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat and let it boil for a minute, stir frequently. Strain the milk and keep the steeped chamomile. Set the chamomile aside and let the milk cool.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (convection) or 350°F for regular oven

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment start by mixing the sugar with eggs until well mixed, add the steeped chamomile, milk, and oil and mix on low speed.

  • Add baking powder to the flour and mix. While the mixer is on & on low speed, slowly add the flour until you have a creamy batter.

  • Divide the batter into two equal amount onto the baking pans covered with parchment paper & place on the low rack of your oven. Lets bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

  • Remove the pans from the oven and let cool on a baking rack. Invert once it’s cold.

To Decorate:

  • Slice the tops of the cakes off to make them even and level.

  • Spread marmalade on the cakes ( I didn’t add strawberry marmalade on my cake as I wanted it less sweet, but I do recommend it to enhance the flavor) then top with icing. Place each layer on top of the other, inverting the final layer so the flattest surface is on top. Continue to frost the cake suing a flat spatula.

  • Garnish the cake with chamomile flowers and fresh strawberry slices.

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Hope you enjoy this recipe. Please visit my Instagram page if you want to see step by step direction to make this cake.

Until next week,

xoxo

Fariba


*Credits:

The frosting recipe is from the amazing Manuela from Passionforbaking.com