Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Cake Art

May the Cake be With You...

Everything is Awesome!

"Crab Cake" with a squeeze of "Lemon"

Once upon a time there was a girl who liked art and loved to bake. One day, a friend encouraged her to put the two together, and in a short time the girl was sculpting cakes for events up and down the California coast and had her very own little boutique cakerie.  

Along the way, she baked up something entirely different, wonderful, and even miraculous -- two little girls -- not made of sugar and spice, but of the real stuff:  chubby cheeks, golden hair, and lots of giggles. The girl who made cakes became the mother who played patty-cake, and she came to love this job above all others.  So the girl who became a mother set aside her whisk and her paint brushes, and set about devoting her time, love and energy to sculpting a beautiful and magical life for her two little cupcakes!

Here are a few photos of the cake creations from those earlier days of the girl and her boutique cakerie:

Bon Appetit!  

While certainly very crabby, this fellow was actually a very sweet and rich chocolate cake on the inside.

His "squeeze of lemon" was made of sugarpaste.

Lalaloopsy Cake

This cake was my interpretation of the client's Peter Max lithograph (in the background).

This was designed for a book club called "The Bookies"

Inspired by Mary Cecily Barker's Flower Fairies

Alice In Wonderland Birthday Party

The client asked me to replicate a hammered tin plaque she and her fiancé had purchased in Mexico.  It is made of sugarpaste, as are the scrolls banding the cake.

A little sugarpaste Eiffel Tower for a Francophile birthday girl

A baby octopus for a baby shower.  Pacifier and Rattle were made of sugarpaste.


A mix of fresh and sugarpaste flowers are joined by chocolate shoes and cross.

The folk art collection that inspired the cake.

The cake.

"An inside joke," is what I was told when a mom ordered this cake for her daughter's 19th birthday.

One of my signature desserts:  Chocolate Banded Parapets

Here are some tutorials for working with fondant that I've written for Rook No. 17:

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