This is our second feature for American Cake Decorating Magazine. I created this recipe for their cocktail e-book that is available exclusively to their VIC members. To get this recipe and many more in this boozy cake collection subscribe here.
This refreshing blackberry bourbon cake is based on the popular Mint Julep cocktail. A Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon, mint, sugar, and water. The addition of the blackberries is a fun twist to this classic tipple. Just one bite of the delicious cake will take you back to warm summer nights spent sitting on the front porch, watching the fire flies glow in the twilight; the perfect way to relax and say goodnight to a purpose-filled day.
THE "SPIRIT" OF AMERICA
The Mint Julep recipe is a staple throughout the American South. It became especially popular in Kentucky and is considered the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. Bourbon is the star of this delightful refreshment, so I took some time to research and learn its rich history in our great country. In 1964, the United States Congress recognized Bourbon as a uniquely American product; it is America’s only native spirit. Bourbon found its home in Kentucky where 95 percent of all bourbon in the world is made. Kentucky is known as the “Heart of Bourbon” or the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” Distillers were drawn to Kentucky for its limestone-rich springs and streams that are crucial to the production process. Farmers would harvest their corn in late summer and make their whiskey in autumn. The long process of shipping their whiskey downstream resulted in the fortunate and accidental “aging” of the whiskey before it reached its destination. This
resulted in a rich amber color and round flavor, making the beverage smoother, richer, and a whole lot more pleasing to the palate than un-aged whiskey. Charring the inside of oak whiskey barrels was another discovery that became a milestone in enhancing the flavor.
CREATING THE RECIPE
I selected Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon for its complex notes of mild spices. I added some whole allspice to my blackberry mint reduction to complement the spices from the bourbon in my Swiss Meringue buttercream recipe. I chose my go-to vanilla cake recipe created by my friend and colleague, Elizabeth Marek, for its light and fluffy texture and warm flavors of the Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla that is one of the key ingredients I use to really take this cake to the next level. I decided to keep the bourbon subtle so as not to overwhelm, but this is easily adjustable to suit your own palate.
Enjoy! ~ xo