Driscoll’s Berries

I’m just back from a day with Driscoll’s Berries and had a berry-licious day eating and learning all about berries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Blueberries. OH MY! With all this tasty inspiration, I wanted to share my favorite Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Strawberry Shag recipes. Stay tuned for more blogging about my trip and other berry-inspired ideas – make sure to follow me on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef for more berry pictures!

Strawberries2Strawberries1
Berries for the pickin’ and munchin’!

For other fun berry-ful recipes, make sure to check out the Driscoll’s berry blog, too! -Kathy

Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake
Bakeries often freeze their cake layers before filling and frosting them, as doing so is easier when the cake is really firm. Generally, by the time you have finished frosting the cake, it has defrosted and is ready to eat.

Makes 1 (3-layer) cake, serving 12 to 14

Strawberry Cake
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups cream

Filling
1/2 cup high-quality strawberry jam
1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer or other large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the softened butter. Using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add half of the milk and mix for 2 minutes more to cream the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the remaining milk, eggs, and vanilla. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and turn it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed to high and mix for 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Repeat twice, until all the powdered sugar has been added, then increase the mixer speed to high and whip for 3 minutes.

In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then fold it gently into the cream cheese mixture until just incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cake.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir the strawberry jam until smooth, then gently fold in the strawberries. Set aside until ready to fill the cake.

To assemble and frost the cake: On a large cake plate, place 1 layer of the cake. Spoon one-half of the strawberry filling in the center, then spread it out to 3/4 inch from the edge. Top with 1 cup of the frosting and spread the frosting to 3/4 inch from the edge. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. Place the final layer of cake on top, then press down gently on the cake layers to stabilize them.

With a large rubber or cake spatula, mound half of the remaining frosting on the top of the cake. Spread the other half around the sides of the cake, covering up all cake and swirling the frosting decoratively. Smooth out the frosting on the top of the cake. Let the frosting dry a little before garnishing the cake.

Stem the garnish berries, and cut in half lengthwise. Place, cut sides down, around the top edge of the cake. Arrange any extra strawberries in a small pattern in the middle of cake. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle. For other libatious inspiration, make sure to check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

Makes 1 drink

1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water

For garnishing
Fresh Driscoll’s strawberry
Small basil leaf

In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.

Sugared Strawberries
Makes enough for about 6 drinks

1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

One Response to “Driscoll’s Berries”

  1. Dishing with Kathy Casey » Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter Says:

    [...] with us how they are constantly improving Driscoll’s berry varieties – sweeeet! Check out my blog for my tasty Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Strawberry Shag Cocktail [...]

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