Blackberry Thyme Ricotta Cake

Hey lovely people, our Monday is coming to an end and I can’t be happier. Last week was an extremely stressful week as I was hitting a road block with my own personal growth. I had anxiety attacks everyday from the moment I woke up till I slept. Not to mention, sleeping is extremely difficult when you can’t seem to shut your mind off. My entire week was thrown off and I didn’t even get to writing my mindful Monday. I was kind of hating myself for skipping it as it was something I aimed to do consistently, but I have flaws, and even when I can’t do what was planned, I need to learn to go with the flow. To know that it’s a-okay to not be perfect. I know I say that a lot, but I seriously need a constant reminder… like every second if possible haha.

Well, onto today. I am feeling completely relieved and grateful. There were some legal issues going on between my dad and some guy (let’s call him Dave). Dave was suing my sweet honest dad because he wanted more money to compensate for his “loss” which was at no fault of my dads. It got to the point where my parents thought it might be best if we sold our house in the case that Dave would not settle and (worst case senario) they tried to take our assets. Long story short, he did settle and all the anger and worry I was holding onto completely vanished. The big dark cloud above my head moved along and my Monday actually went pretty well.

Due to all this nonsense, it made me realize how vulnerable we all are. How helping others is great, wonderful even, but sometimes it’s worth it to think about yourself first. It also made me appreciate every little thing in my life. I am so grateful to have a place to call home. To have parents who are genuinely caring and kind hearted. To have such amazing support from my extended family. So this week I dedicate my consciousness to being aware of the little things and to cherish and find grace in the everyday life.

Now, Easter is coming pretty soon and I know that you are probably deciding on what to put on that menu of yours. I have a couple savory recipes coming up for you, but lets start out with the sweets (because we can!). I don’t know about you, but what I enjoy most about spring are those gloomy days that have a tad bit of sunshine radiating through, kissing the bright colors of blooms. I wanted to recreate that feeling and warmth through this cake but also didn’t want to forget that pop of brightness. The cake and the buttercream is infused with thyme and there are layers of blackberry throughout. To top it off, the ricotta in the cake batter makes it tangy and rich, but light (does that even make sense???). Anyways, it is a stunner and would fit perfectly on your Easter table to add a little pop of color, and if that doesn’t float your boat, just know it’s DAMN good. Have a wonderful week ahead!

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BLACKBERRY THYME RICOTTA CAKE

INGREDIENTS

for the cake

  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta (room temp)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries

for the buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cups of fresh blackberries to make 4 tbsp. of blackberry reduction
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

for assembly

  • 1 cup of fresh blackberries
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 3 Hershey’s candy coated chocolate eggs

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DIRECTIONS

for the cake 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Butter and flour (3) 6in cake pans, then line with parchment paper.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the the butter on low heat with the thyme till fragrant, then steep for ~5mins, strain into a small bowl & set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, & vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry & mix till just combined.
  • Fold in the thyme infused butter into the batter.
  • Carefully fold in the blackberries & divide evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 35-40mins or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
  • Cool completely in the pans before releasing.

for the buttercream 

  • In the same small saucepan, melt together the butter and thyme & steep for 10mins.
  • Strain the butter into your mixing bowl & cool in the fridge till it begins to harden again (~30mins).
  • Meanwhile, make the blackberry reduction.
  • In another small saucepan, heat the blackberries on medium low heat until the blackberries are soft.
  • Smash the berries so all the juice come out & reduce the heat to low.
  • Continue to cook them until the liquid has reduced by at least half and it looks almost like a paste, then set aside to cool.
  • Once the butter is chilled & hardened, bring it to room temp & beat it with the vanilla extract and salt till light and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar in one cup increments, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition and beat till pale and fluffy.
  • Add in 4 tbsp. of the cooled blackberry reduction and beat till just combined.

for assembly

  • Level off the tops of the cake if needed and place one layer down on a cake board or serving plate.
  • Scoop a generous amount of frosting on & spread evenly.
  • Layer on half the blackberries, pressing them slightly into the frosting.
  • Place the next layer on top and repeat.
  • For the last layer of cake, place it upside down so the bottom of the cake is on top. This ensures you have a flat top.
  • Using what is left of the frosting, frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • Place thyme leaves around the edges of the cake (top and bottom) & make a bunch in the center for the “nest”.
  • Place the chocolate eggs on top of the “nest” and chill the cake in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight) before serving.

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