The Decade Cake
(Olive oil, lemon, and rosemary “naked cake” for The Berrics’ 10th anniversary)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
As you’re probably aware, this week marks The Berrics’ tenth year of providing top-notch skateboarding on the small screen. If ten years doesn’t sound like a long time, try to imagine which tricks you were learning a decade ago; better yet, try to imagine wearing cuffed chinos, dad hats and rubber toe caps ten years ago.
While The Berrics has changed park layout, location and site design, one thing has remained constant: as reflected in its slogan, the Berrics is constantly “pushing the future.” Whether that means giving a voice to the comedic—yet financially pragmatic—stylings of Donovan Strain (or, as I will always remember him, as commemorated in my set of Berrics skate dice: Butteryass Donovan), thrusting young bucks like Joslin into the spotlight with the one-two punch of both a Recruit and Battle Commander, elevating games of SKATE into a global event, or sharing the stories of companies and individuals outside of the pro ranks (Trajectory, Aberrican Me), The Berrics has taken a formerly two-dimensional definition of what it means to be a skateboarder and nurtured a culture that takes skateboarding beyond the seven plys of a deck.
While I initially wanted to author a list of the top ten Berrics videos of all time, I realized that this may ultimately be a fruitless endeavor as (1) much like Instagram footage, top ten lists have saturated the web and public interest in them is rapidly dwindling; and (2) my top ten list changes almost daily (but for the record, Appleyard’s Battle Commander always gets a top three spot, and if we’re including non-skateboarding content, Ross Capicchioni’s Aberrican Me might be the most insane story in skateboarding). Instead, I’ll simply reiterate that The Berrics has helped both skateboarding and skateboarders progress over the last decade. It has rallied skateboarders together to give aid to groups and individuals in need, given a spotlight to budding talent, and nurtured an interest in artistic endeavors outside of (but related to) skateboarding. Oh, and, of course, it has provided a stunning skatepark that lends itself to terabytes of jaw-dropping footage.
In honor of ten sick years (and as a toast to ten more), this week’s recipe is a birthday cake of sorts. Much like skateboarding has matured in the last ten years, this cake has matured from the icing-saturated, saccharine birthday cakes of the past. While still sweet (don’t be fooled; this is very much still cake*), this cake boasts both the flavor and aroma of lemon, olive oil, and rosemary for a tangy first bite and a savory, unconventional finish. In line with the times, and because of how much I suck at icing cakes, this cake is presented in the “naked” fashion (i.e., icing only on the top and in between layers). If you haven’t tried “naked” cakes, then welcome to the trend sweeping the country.
…Also, don’t think that I hadn’t considered saving the idea of a “naked” cake for an Aaron “Jaws” Homoki-inspired recipe. Jimmy Carlin’s impromptu strip performance at the BATB 6 finals would work, too.
In honor of ten years of pushing the future, I present to you The Decade Cake!
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¾ cup coconut sugar (or any animal-safe sugar)
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. freshly-ground rosemary
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
LEMON CURD INGREDIENTS:
- ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cups coconut sugar (or any animal-safe sugar)
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. non-dairy butter
LEMON ICING INGREDIENTS:
- ½ cup butter
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. For the cake, add all the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until evenly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients until even and then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients about ½ cup at a time and stir intermittently until there are no lumps.
- This recipe can either make 2-3 small 4” diameter cakes or 1 large 9” cake (each cake will have two layers). If you have them handy, I recommend using a springform pan, as it will make it easier to stack; however, if you only have regular pans available, the cake will still be just fine! If using 4” pans, add about ½ cup of batter to each pan and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and fluffy (the best test is to stick a toothpick in the center—if it comes back without any cake residue, the cake is ready). If using a 9” pan, add about 1 ½ cups of batter to each pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Once the cakes are baked, remove them from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan(s).
- For the lemon curd, add all the ingredients except for the butter to a sauce pot and bring to a boil, stirring often. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and add the butter, stirring until it is melted. While it is simmering, the mixture should begin to thicken.
- Once the butter is melted and the mixture has thickened, remove the sauce pot from the heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes before putting in the fridge.
- For the icing, add all the icing ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until creamy. If you do not have a stick blender, stand mixer, or egg beater, it is helpful to soften the butter first by leaving it out for an hour or so. With fresh-out-of-the-fridge vegan butter and a stand mixer, it should take 3-5 minutes of mixing at a medium speed to create creamy, consistent icing.
- Time to make your cake layers level. Because the cake will often have a “domed” top, use a knife to gently cut the dome off the top so that you have a flat top of each layer of cake (speaking of domed tops, was anybody else’s mind blown by Jeremy Wray’s story about how the water towers he ollied were not actually flat?). When stacking and icing the cakes, it’s best to stack them so that the un-domed sides are facing each other. If you have a raw side as the top of the cake and the icing is too thick, you’ll end up just peeling cake off with the icing!
- Grab your bottom layer(s) of cake and ice the top perimeter with a thick layer of icing; this will be the spackle that holds the two layers together. It is also helpful to just put a dab of icing in the center to keep it stable. If your pan is taller than the cake, then it’s helpful to keep the cake in the pan so that you can ice right on the edges without icing falling off the side. Once you have a moat of icing, spread a thick layer of lemon curd over the top of the bottom layer (but within the icing).
- Stack the second layer of cake on top and position so that the sides are flush with each other and the cake doesn’t tilt. If icing is pushed out of the sides, use a spatula or butter knife to smooth the icing out. At this point, if you have a springform pan, it is helpful to enclose the cake back in the spring form pan so that it doesn’t move around while you ice the top. If you don’t have a spring form pan, however, put the cake in the fridge after smoothing the side-icing for about 30 minutes and then ice the top for a more stable cake tower. Once the top is iced, light some candles, cut it up and go watch your favorite Berrics videos from the last ten years!
*As I did with the Screaming Hand Butterfinger recipe, I’ll point out here that, while vegan, this is cake. Coconut sugar may be friendlier on the glycemic index, but it’s still very much sugar, and therefore I recommend enjoying this delicious treat in moderation.
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