Califonia Bountiful
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Strawberry fields

Strawberry fields


Chocolate "soil"
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

Strawberry gelato
12 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice

8 to 12 fresh strawberries, with stems

Moist chocolate cake "soil" lays the groundwork for this whimsical dessert in which bright microgreens mingle with fresh strawberries and strawberry gelato.


To make "soil": Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cake pan with greased parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes with a whisk. Stir in boiling water and fill cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

To make gelato: In a blender, combine strawberries, sugar and milk and puree until smooth. Add cream and mix just enough to combine. Add lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Transfer to an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

To serve: On a plate, pinch chocolate cake to resemble soil. Slice 2 to 3 strawberries per plate lengthwise with the stems on and place into chocolate cake. Add a few small scoops of gelato around strawberries and fill in any gaps with sprigs of microgreens (to resemble grass).

Serves 4