Summer’s Bounty

Genoise Cake soaked in Earl Grey syrup, softly sweetened whipped cream, and fresh raspberries and blackberries
Genoise Cake soaked in Earl Grey syrup, softly sweetened whipped cream, and fresh raspberries and blackberries

It’s the simple things that count in life. An afternoon with family, a chat with a good friend, the ease of a summer afternoon–these are the things that make this swiftly spinning planet enjoyable. It’s easy to lose sight of that, but my friend Melissa is always here to remind me what truly matters.

Melissa is someone who seeks out the quiet space in between the hectic life that dogs her, the same that dogs us all. Work, family, shuttling kids to games, practices, school, music lessons, and more–it all crowds the window screen quickly. But Melissa delights in the simple, simple pleasures and is an artist at showing her family how to do the same.

When her sweet husband’s birthday came, she knew exactly what he would want: something simple. Something natural. It’s not about the fluff and pomp, it’s just about goodness. She asked me to create something for him that would be about simple, delicious flavors.

Fresh blackberries, raspberries, softly sweetened whipped cream, honey, and raw sugar make the perfect summer cake.
Fresh blackberries, raspberries, softly sweetened whipped cream, honey, and raw sugar make the perfect summer cake.

With great pleasure, I made for her family a genoise cake–soft and airy, it a sponge just waiting to soak up the Earl Grey soaking syrup. A personal favorite for years, I love Earl Grey’s sophisticated floral notes, sweet without being sweet. Delicate without losing its presence. The soft layers are stacked high, layered with lightly sweetened whipped cream, then mounds of fat, delicious rasp- and blackberries, then the topmost layer is sprinkled with golden honey and sparkling crystals of raw sugar.

This is what it’s about. This is all you need. A symphony of simple, natural flavors that speak for themselves, just like the pure, simple joy of a family gathering on a soft summer day. Happy birthday, Toshi!

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