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Soil cake recipe

Soil cake recipe


  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake

This is a great no-bake cake that will be loved by kids (and the kid in you). Chocolate biscuit crumbs are layered with a chocolate cream and decorated with gummy worms.

114 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 20x30cm cake

  • 570g chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreo®
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g instant chocolate dessert mix, such as Angel Delight®
  • 700ml milk
  • 350ml double cream, whipped
  • 15 jelly worms

MethodPrep:30min ›Extra time:3hr chilling › Ready in:3hr30min

  1. Process cookies in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed to mix then beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the chocolate dessert mix and milk to the bowl. Beat on low speed to combine.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the dessert mixture with a rubber spatula.
  4. Assemble in the ungreased 20x30cm tin in layers as follows: first layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs; second layer, 1/2 dessert mixture; third layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs; fifth layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs.
  5. Tuck the ends of jelly worms in the cookie "soil". Be sure to have a worm on each piece. Store in the fridge. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
  6. Cut into 15 squares or serve with a clean hand trowel or a toy sand shovel.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(115)

Reviews in English (95)

by STREETANGEL

I agree the proportions for this are off....so be warned......there is a better recipe for this.....but, of course, the kids love this.....can also be made with vanilla wafers and vanilla pudding and called "sand".......This has potential, but the proportions need to be adjusted........so, I would recommend another recipe for this.......I believe the correct recipe is posted on this site.com-07 Dec 2002

by WIFEOBART

Wrong proportions listed with recipe. I had to throw the whole thing out.Way, way too much milk. I had to make this for a work event the next morning. I had to go out in the middle of the night and buy all the ingredients again (this time following a different recipe).-26 Nov 2002

by MURPHI1216

This recipe is so easy and quick!! I gathered many recipes for Dirt Cake before choosing this one. The flavors blend together so well and it took me about 15 minutes to put it together. I recommend putting the cookies in a baggie, breaking up with a rolling pin or meat mallot, and then put into food processor to crush to the consistency of dirt - you end up with less "chunks" that way.-19 Jul 2002


Earth Cake Recipe

Heaven on earth cake is a cool light and creamy dessert with layers of angel food cake pudding cherry pie filling and whipped cream. Earth Cake with Inner Core Outer Core Mantle and Crust.


Best Of Cakes Magazine Earth Cake Globe Cake Cake

In a large bowl whisk together pudding mix and cold milk then fold in greek yogurt until smooth and combined.

Earth cake recipe. Mar 29 2021 – This cake is so easy fast and delicious. Let it stand while you cream together the margarine or butter with the sugars. It can also be made lots of different waysturn it into a blueberry apple lemon strawberry or cherry cake or any pie filling you would prefer.

Bake and cool the cakes. There are 25 heaven on earth cake recipe for sale on Etsy and they cost 29992 on average. It is a crowd pleaser as it is always a big hit at potlucks and.

It is a crowd pleaser as it is always a big hit at potlucks and. Prepare your favorite red velvet cake recipe divide the red velvet. Prepare the cake mix according to directions on box and pour over coconut and pecan pieces mix well together.

As it rests in the fridge the light and airy cake absorbs. Im not a pro but I love baki. The Australian food enthusiast even took on an ambitious commission for her sister an educator.

Spread 12 cake cubes into an even layer in a 9吉-inch baking dish then top with 23 cherry pie filling. Top with remaining cake cubes the pour pudding. Heaven On Earth Cake RECIPE Easy AND Delicious No Bake Recipe HEARTLANDMIX 5 out of 5 stars 1693 Sale Price 195 195 230 Original Price 230 15 off Add to Favorites Raspberry Cheesecake Coffee Cake RECIPE YUM.

The hardest part of this cake is waiting for it to chill. It can also be made lots of different waysturn it into a blueberry apple lemon strawberry or cherry cake or any pie filling you would prefer. The most popular color.

Spoon over cake in. Margarine cream cheese vanilla and powered sugar. The most common heaven on earth cake recipe material is cotton.

By Pinar Noorata on July 26 2013 Baking can be a tedious task but self-taught cook Rhiannon aka cakecrumbs accepts the creative and artistic challenges of preparing delicious treats. Place the oats in a smaller bowl boil the water or juice and pour it over the oats. Prepare your favorite yellow cake recipe divide the batter amongst 9-inch or 6-inch cake pans.

I really enjoy making nerdy themed goodies and decorating them. The hardest part of this cake is waiting for it to chill. Today I made a layered Earth cake in celebration of Earth Day.

May 1 2021 – This cake is so easy fast and delicious. Beat in the eggs one at a time.


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This Sediment Layer Earth Cake Is Educational Yummy Organic Layer Chocolate Cake Top Soil Layer Carrot Cake Subsoil Layer Earth Cake Science Cake Yummy


Soul Cake History

There are a number of legends about the origins of the soul cake, and the practice of giving them away. Some people say that they harken back to the time of the Druids cakes were baked around the Samhain bonfire season, and used as part of a lottery. If you drew the one burnt cake in the pile, you got to be the human sacrifice for the coming year. In other tales, the soul cake was used an offering to placate any angry ghosts who might be wandering around as the veil grew thin.

Regardless, one thing is for certain, which is that by around the eighth century, soul cakes had been adopted by the Christian church. They were consecrated and blessed, and given to poor travelers who might approach the local monastery. NPR's T. Susan Chang says,

"[Soul cakes] were used to pay the beggars who came around on All Souls' Eve and offered to say prayers for the family's departed. One cake given, one soul saved–cheap at the price. Elsewhere, they were given to the costumed entertainers known as mummers, who made their merry rounds at Halloween. Today's trick-or-treaters are thought to be their descendants."


Make Your Own Soil From Scratch with 3 Proven Recipes

Watch the video below or Read on further for detailed instructions.

When you are done reading this you will have all the tools to build your own potting soil from scratch and you’ll have the confidence to know it’s going to work as planned.

Part 1: What is in potting soil?

Have you ever thought about how a bagged soil company settles on a recipe? What about where they get the ingredients from? Can you trust the soil companies?

There are so many soil products on the market and most manufacturers are getting all the same ingredients from the same sources and getting them bagged all at the same facilities. All that changes is the label and exact ingredients used. There is little regulation in the industry and the only approval for a Label is if you are citing NPK numbers or fertilizer claims. Besides that, you can list your most expensive and attractive ingredient First on the label even if that ingredient happens to be in the lowest concentration in the soil. This allows companies to list ingredients that sound incredible but then fail to back them up with actual quantities used. Then as a soil company gets larger they have to buy in large scale and start looking to the most affordable sources for ingredients such as, City Waste, Bio-Solids, Poultry Waste, Cattle Waste. Think like a big company for a minute and compare bagged soil to our food industry but with less regulation, then you can see how bad the situation truly is. Thankfully there are a number of decent potting soils on the market but none will compare to making your own from scratch.

So, let’s say you have decided to make your own soil from scratch and are willing to do whatever it takes to make the best. Well, where do you start? There are so many recipes out there.

There is so much talk online in the organic forums about creating an ideal soil. Many different recipes from many different growers. Some claiming their soil is the best, others indicating that you should use spikes of nutrients and layers of different soil. It's challenging as a new grower to actually decide on a recipe and then stick to it. One of the many things that growers do when using bottled nutrients, is change nutrient brands all the time. Usually looking for the ultimate grow product that will finally allow them to purchase a good grow. This mentality usually wears off after a few runs but it's important not to start that mind set all over again in organics. If you are brand new, start to learn why each ingredient is added to a mix. Once you have that understanding you can easily make a mix from scratch from components that you have available locally or regionally depending on your budget.

In the next step I’ll give you the fundamental basic math to understand the recipe in different volumes and how to design your own mix based on how much soil you will require.

Step #1: How to follow the recipe:

We often discuss making a recipe in “parts” instead of exact volumes because this allows you to scale the recipe up. So if the recipe is a 3 part mix, that means each part will be 1/3 rd of the total. The first recipe we use will use a 3 part base and you could make that recipe using a 5 gallon bucket or a wheelbarrow as long as each part was equal. If you want to make a certain amount of soil we give you some conversions below to help in the process. On average the particles will blend together and the sum of the total recipe will be less volume than each individual component combined. For this reason, be sure to error on the side of making a little too much soil instead of trying to be just right.

Here is the math we will use:

1 Cubic Yard = 200 Gallons (Approximate)

1 Cubic Yard = 27 Cubic Feet

1 Cubic Foot = 7.5 Gallons

3.8 CF Bale of Peatmoss = 6 cubic feet when fluffed up

3.0 CF Bale of Peatmoss = 4.5 cubic feet when fluffed up

2.0 CF Bale of Peatmoss = 3 cubic feet when fluffed up

Step # 2: Choose The Recipe

Recipe #1: Timeless Classic recipe called the Coots Mix

This recipe has evolved from longtime growers through the online grow forums and has set a benchmark for quality no-till inputs.

Recipe #2: Building A Soil With Local Inputs Following Coots Recipe

Following the above recipe we will be suggesting proven inputs to make sure that your recipe comes out with the expected results. In this Recipe #2 we change the percentages to make a lighter soil that will allow for a gamble with local inputs without using a soil lab.

Recipe #3: Building A Soil Using soil testing to make it as balanced as possible

In this recipe we tackle that challenge of designing a potting soil that will perform at the highest level with the least cost by sending several samples to the lab and using soil testing and CEC balancing to make sure it’s as good as you can get with the inputs available to you.

Step #1 Get your base ingredients together.

This is benchmark to use at first and then start tweaking based on your situation.

This means that there are 3 main components at 1 part each.

Example: To make 15 gallons of soil. 1 Part would be 5 gallons.

1 Part Sphagnum Peatmoss, Coco, Leaf-mold, etc.

1 Part Aeration material like lava rock, pumice, perlite, rice hulls etc.

Notice: Most local compost will be better off used at 5-15% instead of 33.33% as this recipe calls for. For that reason we suggest seeking out quality compost with a known reputation of move on to recipe #2.

The recipe that we use for our coots mix is as follows:

33.33% Sphagnum Peat Moss 33.33% Compost 33.33% Pumice and Rice Hulls

You’ll notice that if you combine the rice hulls and pumice it’s basically a 1:1:1 mix we just like to add 2 aeration components. Some people also add half Vermicompost and Half Regular Compost.

We use Oly Mountain Fish Compost and Malibu Biodynamic Compost along with a few local sources that we have tested extensively.

Step #2: Adding The Minerals & Nutrients:

Consider each ingredient and why it's being added. Also consider that many organic approved products just aren't as good as others. The top ingredients that are popular that most organic growers avoid are as follows: Blood meal, bone meal, guano, soy, cotton, corn and many other soil conditioners that come from potential GMO crops etc.

A brief explanation of using Cubic Feet as a measurement: Most soil companies sell their soil by the Cubic Foot as do we. But there is a big difference between what constitutes a Cubic Foot. When looking up the Volume for a “DRY” cubic foot in gallons you’ll find 6.4285 gallons. But when looking up the “Liquid” volume for a Cubic Foot you’ll find 7.4805 gallons. Well you won’t be surprised to find that most home gardeners use 7.5 gallons as a cubic foot but most soil companies use 6.4285 gallons per cubic foot. This will explain why you have less soil in some bags than others from two different companies. To be clear, we use 7.5 Gallons at BuildASoil. com for all of our soil bagging and measurements for addition of amendments.

Here is a recipe that has been proven with soil testing at labs to have a good ratio of nutrients and minerals.

1/2 Cup per cubic foot the following:

* Karanja Cake (NPK, Micro Nutrients and reported Bug Defense all in one)

* Kelp Meal (NPK, Micro Nutrients, Growth Hormones and many other benefits)

* Crustacean Meal (Crab and/or Shrimp Meal) (Calcium, Nitrogen and Chitin along with other benefits)

4 Cups per cubic foot of a mineral mix:

  • 2 Cup Basalt (Paramagnetic Rock Dust from lava flow that is high in micronutrients)
  • 1 Cup Gypsum (Calcium and Sulfur)
  • 1 Cup Oyster Shell Flour (Calcium Carbonate)

The Nutrients added above cover all the NPK and all the micronutrients and I could explain why each ingredient is added all day long, but I encourage you to do your own research.

Now let’s say that you had access to a range of fertilizer amendments to use, which ones should you choose? I like to choose the best product and also the most economical. For instance, Guano is really expensive and typically only brings one or two things to the table. Whereas Kelp Meal is fairly affordable and brings every nutrient and micronutrient with it along with growth hormones and other secondary benefits. Would it be better to eat Red meat all day long or maybe a little fish protein with some vegetable protein? Same for your soil! No need to get all crazy with Blood meal when we can use, Crustacean, Karanja Seed Meal, Fish Meal etc. and all of the ingredients I just mentioned bring tons of secondary benefits where as the Blood Meal only brings Nitrogen in fast release form.

Note: If you only have access to Blood Meal, you will be fine and can totally use it, I’m not trying to get on a high horse and look down on people that use these ingredients. I’m only hoping to give reasons to look for better ingredients when those choices are available and providing some reasons for those that want them. All in all, I’d rather see a Blood, Bone and Guano Mix over a synthetic nutrient grow all day long. but if you start looking into the environmental impact of some of the ingredients we use you’ll quickly consider making your own soil from totally local ingredients and once you have an idea how well this recipe performs you can start tweaking it to use what is available in your region.

Some Recommendations for custom soil building:

MORE isn’t always better. Consider the Kelp, Crustacean and Karanja inputs that I recently recommended. Adding 4000 Pounds per acre is the same as adding about 5 lbs per Cubic Yard which is just under a half cup of material per cubic foot of soil! So while a half cup doesn’t sound like a lot, adding a little extra can overdo your recipe and it would be better to add it later via topdressing. Less is More!

Most soil recipes have a total of 1.5 - 3 cups of Total fertilizers added per cubic foot of Mix. I like to keep things really minimal knowing I can always add more later. Besides that, topdressing is so easy on smaller scale. No worry about burning and great slow release soil builder as the worms take the material into the soil and make it available to the plant. One other reason why I like to add small amounts of simple ingredients is because it allows you to diversify the soil with ingredients you haven’t added later on. For instance, my recipe doesn’t call for Alfalfa, but I love the stuff and make tea’s with it sometimes, no reason to have it in the soil and in the tea. But if you never want to brew teas you could always top dress. It’s up to you.

5 Parts Sphagnum Peatmoss (62.5%)

2 Part Aeration (25%)

1 Part Compost (12.5%)

Using these ratios will insure that you have a lower chance of an imbalanced compost messing up your recipe. Most composts work very well at 10 – 15% especially if you are finding the best recommended compost locally.

This recipe should be used in larger volumes and you might have to topdress or supplement with compost tea but it is cost effective and will produce wonderful results with most generally good inputs.

Mix several different ratios together and send them to the lab.

70% Peat, 10% Compost, 20% Aeration

60% Peat, 20% Compost, 20% Aeration

50% Peat, 30% Compost, 20 % Aeration

33% Peat, 33% Compost, 33% Aeration

(If you have access to high quality local topsoil you can try testing with 5% and 10% and see how those tests look, just take out some of the compost or peat to make room)

Send each sample to Logan Labs by purchasing the Complete Logan Labs test over at BuildASoil.com This will allow you to receive the soil test from logan labs and the complete report on how to amend the soil to make it just right. https://buildasoil.com/products/logan-labs-soil-test

First Sample is $150.00 For the Complete BuildASoil Package and Full Report.

This INCLUDES a detailed report and soil test interpretation. Your custom report will be created to include exact numbers for amending your field or potting soil along with helpful tips for your particular scenario.

Soil Test Interpretation and Report Powered by @GROWRU

(GrowRu and BuildASoil have been working together since 2017 and after countless hours discussing the nuances of soil testing together a mutual trust has been developed and BuildASoil is very proud to offer his services along with our support)

  1. Standard Melich 3 Soil Test.
  2. Extras: Cobalt, Molybydenum, Ammonium Nitrogen, Nitrate Nitrogen, Selenium, Silicon, EC
  3. Saturated Paste Test
  4. AA 8.2 Soil Test for accurate CEC and Calcium numbers.

We send you a package with soil sample bags and pre-printed form to send of to Logan Labs along with pre-paid postage to make it very simple.

General Tips:

Tarp, Flat Shovel, Rake or whatever you have to help.

Mixing on a tarp keeps things clean and allows you to spread and flip the tarp edges to help mix the soil.

Make sure to moisten everything as you go so to make it easier to hydrate. If you mix everything bone dry and wait until the end it will be hard to get wet without overwatering. The Peatmoss is hydrophobic by nature and we like to use ThermX70 Yucca to help feed the soil microbes and also break the hydrophobic tension of the peat when moistening fresh soil.

Smash them with the shovel, grab them with your hands and smash them up, stomp on them, do whatever it takes to get a nice even consistency! This will allow for even porosity and maximize results.

You’ll hear this term sooner or later when discussing mixing potting soil. It just means that when you mix a recipe together it can get very hot to the touch while the moisture and compost and all the ingredients come together and homogenize. Depending on the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio and the inputs used it can get as high as 160 Degrees when made in at least a 1 yard pile. Now that being said, the recipes that we call for don’t use Blood Meal or Guano or anything with really high nitrogen and normally these recipes don’t require and real cook time but the rule of thumb is to mix up your soil and let it sit for at least a week prior to use. Some people making super hot soils like super soil let it “cook” for 2 months. I often mix and plant immediately into my recipe with no problems especially when using awesome products like Rootwise Mycrobe Complete.

SUPPLEMENTAL:

When making home made potting mixes you can always supplement with watering in or foliar spraying additional inputs like Yucca, Aloe, Coconut water, and many others available at buildasoil.com for a good suggestion list check out our No-Till Bundle that has all of our favorite products at a discount in one package.

Don’t have the time to make your own?

Check out our most popular recipes below!

BuildASoil Light: Our Most Cost Effective and Similar to Recipe #2

BuildASoil 3.0: Our Most loaded with extra inputs

BuildASoil Classic : Our Version of Recipe #1 the Coots mix!

Once your soil is mixed up, you can plant immediately into it and add a compost tea to kick start the process. With that being said, it always works a little better if you let the soil sit in a big pile to homogenize or “Cook.” Without the use of Bloods, Bones and Guano’s it shouldn’t burn any plants but will be ready to use faster with the pre-digestion of the nutrients in the soil. When making soil in big piles above 200 gallons things heat up really fast and will need to be turned every couple days until the heating stops and you are then ready to use the soil.

I hope this short and simple home made soil tutorial can help you make your own soil, because once you do, you’ll never go back to bagged soil ever again.


How to Prepare and Use the Neem Oil Soil Drench Recipe?

  1. 1 quart of warm water
  2. A teaspoon of cold-pressed Neem oil
  3. Liquid dish soap
  4. Container for your neem oil spray

Mix the ingredients well. We all know that water and oil will not go together, so the liquid dish soap will emulsify the two to stabilize the mixture. Choose a dish soap that is not harsh to plants. It is important to note that you have to prepare the solution in a warm place or use warm water because neem oil will solidify in cooler temperatures . Also, do take note that warm water should be used and not the hot, boiling water as it may destroy Azadirachtin.

How To Apply Neem Oil To Soil

Now, you already have with you a Neem oil spray recipe for your soil and plants. To use this as a drench , water the soil first. Then, saturate the mixture around the plant you want to treat. Use this once a week in your plants for pest control, spray above and below the foliage. To keep these unwanted insects from lurking back to your plants, apply the recipe to drench your soil every two weeks.

Tips To Apply Neem Oil To Soil

  • Test on a small part of the plant first, if there are no negative effects in 24 hours, treat the whole plant.
  • Apply it outdoors at sunset and not in full sun to allow the oil soak into the soil and plant.
  • Look for 100% pure Neem oil to make this drench soil recipe.
  • Store your neem oil spray out of direct light and avoid high temperatures.

Soil cake recipe - Recipes

Healthy soil is positively alive with beneficial microbial activity. Life on earth is supported by these billions of ceaselessly flickering constellations of vitality quietly imbibing the sunlight captured by plants then wicked underground through root systems. Soil is the genesis of our food supply, our health, our vitality, and, consequently, every aspiration we hold.

The most familiar subterranean throng are earthworms, whose populations increase with natural organic matter and decrease with human disturbances such as plowing, disking, and chemical spraying. Earthworms' role to life on earth is so vital nature ensured their biomass was greater than all animals combined!

What is entitled "modern" industrial farming is out of sync - nature operates at a marathon pace, not at a sprint. Our near-hysterical enthusiasm for technology has blinded us to our dependence on the patient processes of seasons and centuries and the interactions of tiny, strange micro-critters swarming underground. Given human well-being is directly connected to the health of Earth's earth, we need to protect these preservers of important fathomless functions at life's nexus. They are mere inches from us - and a world away.

We are losing alarming quantities of our remaining healthy bio-active soil, yet it is upon this very stage all life on earth dances.

Some are fighting back – a revolution is brewing – just in time, regenerative farmers are focusing on soil health over destructive plowing and high chemical application.

Around us, a tragedy is unfolding forests, wilderness, marshes, corals, animals, fish, soil, and glaciers are disappearing faster and faster. We adjust because it's happening gradually. Gradually is before suddenly, softly before substantially, imperceptibly before entirely. The response of our wonderdull leaders is largely performative messaging when we need lasting change their "action" bleeds into the banal.

We have got to take this on ourselves. It starts underground - like all the finer revolutions.


Why Don't You Go Eat Dirt (Cake)?

My birthday falls close to the Fourth of July, so some years, when I was a kid, my mom would make a seasonally respectful dessert, like a birthday flag cake topped with whipped cream, blueberries, and raspberries. Those years were OK. Much better, in my estimation, were the years when she made dirt cake.

The Secret to Perfect Cream Pie (Hint: It's in the Name)

Maybe you remember dirt cake, which in its classical presentation came served in a terra cotta pot, with gummy worms and a flower or two poking out of its surface? The ingredients were pure convenience—Oreos were a must, Cool Whip was de rigeur, and Jell-o vanilla pudding was often incorporated to lend a little heft—and pure satisfaction, too (there is literally no conceivable universe in which a mixture of Oreos, Cool Whip, and pudding could taste bad.) These components were layered in that flowerpot, a bed of crushed Oreos on top, of course, and that was the point: the cake looked like dirt and tasted like heaven. The thing was so delicious that it basically proved Tommy Werner's Theory of Store-Bought Ingredients.

Still: I've long wanted to make my own dirt cake, slightly fussy, everything from scratch—just to have a project, I guess. (Easier than having friends!) So recently I did. I took it to a party where both children and adults were in attendance, and I'm here to say—those adults were impressed as hell. The children were somewhat more taciturn, though to be fair most of them were babies.

What goes into it? Start with a recipe from the Epi archives—these chocolate shortbread cookies take the place of Oreos. Then make a pastry cream and let it chill. Cream softened butter with cream cheese, add the pastry cream, and beat to combine. Separately, whip some heavy cream and fold it gently into the pastry cream to lighten things a bit (regular readers will recognize this as a technique that I've been banging on about for some time).

Now comes the fun part! Get yourself an 8-inch flowerpot, preferably terra cotta. You could also do this in a trifle bowl if you wanted to undermine the spirit of the whole enterprise. (Martha Stewart, in her totally basic dirt cake recipe, likes to sterilize the terra cotta pot for several hours in the oven beforehand. Whatever, Martha!) Spoon some of the pastry cream mixture into the bottom, sprinkle a couple gummy worms over, top this with crushed chocolate cookies. Repeat until all your ingredients are gone, finishing with a layer of crushed cookies to resemble soil. Decorate like you're planting a garden, with flowers and a garden spade for serving.


The Lone Baker


crystallised chocolate soil

A two ingredient chocolate soil, I'll give you all the dirt today (ok couldn't resist) on how make it with the least amount of cleaning up.

With chocolate soil you can add crunch and texture to a plated dessert, make pot plant cupcakes, set up a garden scene for your cake or perhaps just sprinkle on your favourite ice-cream.

Flavour it up you can use a flavoured dark chocolate i.e. blueberry, orange, mint etc for flavoured soil or add your own flavour by stirring in cinnamon, ginger, chilli flakes, a drop or two of peppermint oil or whatever takes your fancy.

We are aren't going to use a *candy thermometer, we are going to do this by eye. a photo will act as your guide.

Ingredients

75g (2.6OZ) Dark Chocolate roughly chopped (even if you don't usually like 70% dark chocolate, I would recommend using it here because your are adding sugar to counteract the bitterness)

Tools. a wire whisk and a baking tray lined with non stick paper ready for you to tip your completed soil on.

On you stove top in a small to medium saucepan add the caster sugar, gently pour in 2 tablespoons of cold water. We are being gentle so we don't splash sugar crystals on the side of the pan.

Turn on your heat to high and you are going to just let it do it's thing without stirring, the sugar will dissolve and bubble and boil until you see "golden brown edges".

the center of the boiling sugar is still clear, the edges have changed to golden brown.

have your roughly chopped chocolate ready to go

Immediately remove saucepan from the heat and all at once whisk in the chocolate, along with any flavouring if using. Don't forget to whisk around the edges. Whisk until all the chocolate is coated, this doesn't take long . a couple of minutes.

it starts to look like "soil" almost instantly

Yep, you're done, it's finished and ready to poured onto your non stick paper prepared baking tray to cool.

finished chocolate soil

Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze up to a month.

*I've adapted this recipe from Heston Blumenthal's chocolate soil. halved the sugar and made it a simpler soil. His recipe has many more elements and is part of his wickedly delicious tiramisu recipe. Check out Hestons tiramisu on SBS food.

Clean up tips: Remember how we cleaned up our sugar work saucepans? It's the same today, fill your saucepan with water, bring to the boil, empty the water out and wash as per usual. Clean your whisk the same way, boiling water will remove any stuck on crystallised chocolate.

*really want to, need to, use a candy thermometer. 135 cel or 275 F.

You might also like to make fast bubble sugar decorations/toppers.

Make quick and easy faux gingerbread mushrooms.

You've made the soil now make the dust. Nutella dust

a change from chocolate? Make a fondant gold fish!


Can You Make This Into Brown Butter Cupcakes?

Yes and no. To make this into cupcakes you have to adjust a few things in the recipe.

The cake recipe is super moist and bakes up nice and flat for a cake but for cupcakes, you want a little less moisture so you can get a nice dome and prevent shrinking.

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 full of batter. I like to use a small ice cream scoop. Bake your cupcakes for 5 minutes at 400ºF then reduce the temperature to 335ºF. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Opening the oven can cause your cupcakes to deflate.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the domes are set and spring back when you touch the center. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.

Try these recipes!


Vintage Recipes

If you love vintage recipes be sure to check out my other posts full of recipes from the past!

Can you add potatoes to a cake?

Absolutely! Adding potatoes actually gives bakes treats moisture and structure.

Are baked or mashed potatoes best in a cake?

I prefer mashed but I know there are recipes that use baked potatoes successfully.


Gifts of Lemon Balm (Plus a Lemon Balm Cake Recipe)

Lemon balm is generous. Plant a small patch in your garden and it will soon take over, spilling into neighboring beds and walkways. If you wisely sow seeds or grow a small plant in a container, it will soon fill the pot.

As summer progresses, lemon balm’s dense foliage grows longer and longer with flower stalks emerging. Those tiny white flowers may not look like much, but bees and other pollinators absolutely love them. Lemon balm is so loved by bees that its genus name, Melissa, comes from Greek origins of both “bee” and “honey.”

Lemon balm is the perfect medicine for our time. To be fair, I think I say that no matter what day, week, month, or year it is. Twelfth-century herbalist Saint Hildegard von Bingen said, “Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.”

With its ability to strongly modulate inflammation as well as lift our spirits, I love infusing lemon balm into my life in many different ways, including yummy treats like a delicious lemon balm cake. But before we get to the recipe, let’s take a closer look at lemon balm’s gifts.

For Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia

Lemon balm has been used for medicine for thousands of years by many people in the Mediterranean. Pliny, Hippocrates, Galen, Culpepper, and even Shakespeare all spoke of its attributes.

Human clinical trials have shown that lemon balm can relieve agitation in people with dementia and improve the mood and stress levels of healthy adults. 1 2 3 4

In a 2018 double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, 80 patients with chronic stable angina were separated into two groups. One group received 3 grams of lemon balm daily for 8 weeks while the other group received a placebo. The results showed that lemon balm can decrease depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders in patients with chronic stable angina. 5

One of my favorite ways to enjoy the relaxing gifts of lemon balm is to make a strong tea and then take the time to enjoy each and every sip.

To Modulate Inflammation

Lemon balm is full of antioxidants and can powerfully decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. There have been some interesting studies about this!

For example, lemon balm can protect the eyes. An in vitro study showed that by protecting human retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death, lemon balm has therapeutic potential for the prevention of dry age-related macular degeneration. 6

In an interesting human clinical trial, 55 radiology staff members were asked to drink lemon balm tea twice a day for 30 days. (The radiation from X-rays can damage DNA and induce oxidative stress.) Oxidative stress markers were recorded before they began drinking the tea and again after the 30 days. Researchers recorded numerous improvements in oxidative stress markers, including a “marked reduction in plasma DNA damage.” 7 I wish more radiology staff and others regularly exposed to low levels of radiation knew about this study!

Effective Against Viruses

Lemon balm is also famous for its ability to inhibit viral infections. Many people turn to it to reduce herpes sore outbreaks. An in vitro study showed that a lemon balm extract could even inhibit attachment and penetration of acyclovir-resistant herpes virus. 8 An older double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial showed that lemon balm is effective against herpes labialis. 9

Lemon balm has also been shown to be effective against influenza A. One in vitro study concluded that “lemon balm essential oil ingredient seems to act as natural and novel antiviral substance through the different stages of influenza virus (H9N2) replication.” 10 I would love to see human clinical trials developed to see the results in vivo.

Is Lemon Balm Safe for Everyone?

It is commonly repeated that lemon balm, while generally regarded as safe, is not appropriate for people with hypothyroidism.

This supposed contraindication has its roots in questionable studies in the 1980s (in vitro animal studies). Another source of this information may come from the fact that lemon balm is frequently used in formulas for people with hypErthyroidism. However, herbs are often modulatory in nature and it being helpful for hypErthyroidism doesn’t inherently make it unsafe for hypOthyroidism.

To date there is no evidence that lemon balm adversely effects people with hypothyroidism. In fact, many herbal practitioners prefer to use it for many of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

Using Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has many gifts ranging from reducing anxiety to modulating inflammation and addressing viral infections. This is just the beginning as lemon balm is known to do so much more!

How can you get the best results with lemon balm?

Lemon balm can be used fresh or dried. I love lemon balm both ways. A cold infused fresh lemon balm tea is a refreshing treat in the summer and I drink dried lemon balm tea all year long.

Herbalists use lemon balm in small to large amounts ranging from 3 to 30 grams per day. Many of the clinical trials use about 3 grams per day.

Lemon balm can also be used in foods, such as this delicious lemon balm cake.

Lemon Balm Poppy Seed Honey Cake

Gather the heart-lifting lemon balm from your garden (or farmers market or friend’s garden) and infuse it into this delicious tasting lemon balm cake. Serve it with lemon balm tea (or fresh infused lemon balm water) and make it an event with a simple picnic on your lawn, balcony, or community green space.

If you don’t have access to fresh lemon balm, you could try using a couple tablespoons of dried lemon balm in the cake. (I haven’t tried this but it will probably work.) Or you can omit it in the cake and simply used dried lemon balm for the icing.

I used a honey bee cakelet pan to make these — it seemed especially fun because of lemon balm’s strong affinity for bees. You can bake this lemon balm cake in a variety of pans including muffin pans, 8-inch cake pans or even an 8-inch loaf pan. When using different pans, you’ll need to adjust the baking time. When I cooked this recipe in an 8-inch loaf pan, I increased the baking time to 60 minutes.

This post is sponsored by our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs.

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil (such as olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or thin yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1 cup just-boiled water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • More poppy seeds for sprinkling
  • Lemon balm leaves for garnish (optional)

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking pan (see notes above).
  2. Finely mince the lemon balm. (I use a food processor for this but a knife is fine too.)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, minced lemon balm, honey, and vanilla extract. (I use a cake mixer for this step.)

  1. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in two batches. Mix on low speed until combined, and do not overmix. Mix in the poppy seeds.

  1. Bake until it is brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a cakelet pan or 60 minutes for a loaf pan.

For the icing:

  1. Separate two tablespoons of the lemon balm and honey mixture into a small bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, add the arrowroot powder and stir well.

  1. Add this mixture back into the small pan with the lemon balm and honey.
  2. Heat the pan on medium-low heat. Whisk the mixture continuously until it begins to thicken. Pull it from the heat just as it thickens otherwise, it will continue to thicken and become overly gel-like.
  3. Spoon the icing over the cake.

Print out and save this recipe

Now I’d love to hear from you!
Do you adore lemon balm?
What are you favorite ways to enjoy this delicious and aromatic plant?
Please share in the comments below.

  1. Akhondzadeh, S., et al. “Melissa Officinalis Extract in the Treatment of Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: A Double-blind, Randomised, Placebo-controlled Trial.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 74, no. 7 (2003): 863–66. doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.7.863. ↩
  2. Ballard, Clive G., et al. “Aromatherapy as a Safe and Effective Treatment for the Management of Agitation in Severe Dementia: The Results of a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial with Melissa.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 63, no. 7 (2002): 553–58. ↩
  3. Kennedy, D. O., et al. “Modulation of Mood and Cognitive Performance following Acute Administration of Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm).” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior 72, no. 4 (2002): 953–64. doi:10.1016/S0091-3057(02)00777-3. ↩
  4. Kennedy, D. O., et al. “Modulation of Mood and Cognitive Performance following Acute Administration of Single Doses of Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) with Human CNS Nicotinic and Muscarinic Receptor-Binding Properties.” Neuropsychopharmacology 28, no. 10 (2003): 1871–81. ↩
  5. Haybar, Habib, Ahmad Zare Javid, Mohammad Hosein Haghighizadeh, Einollah Valizadeh, Seyede Marjan Mohaghegh, and Assieh Mohammadzadeh. “The Effects of Melissa Officinalis Supplementation on Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Sleep Disorder in Patients with Chronic Stable Angina.” Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 26 (2018): 47–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.04.015. ↩
  6. Jeung, In Cheul, Donghyun Jee, Chang-Rae Rho, and Seungbum Kang. “Melissa Officinalis L. Extracts Protect Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells against Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis.” International Journal of Medical Sciences 13, no. 2 (February 3, 2016): 139–46. https://doi.org/10.7150/ijms.13861. ↩
  7. Zeraatpishe, Akbar, Shahrbano Oryan, Mohammad Hadi Bagheri, Ali Asghar Pilevarian, Ali Akbar Malekirad, Maryam Baeeri, and Mohammad Abdollahi. “Effects of Melissa Officinalis L. on Oxidative Status and DNA Damage in Subjects Exposed to Long-Term Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation.” Toxicology and Industrial Health, September 21, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1177/0748233710383889. ↩
  8. Astani, Akram, Mojdeh Heidary Navid, and Paul Schnitzler. “Attachment and Penetration of Acyclovir-Resistant Herpes Simplex Virus Are Inhibited by Melissa Officinalis Extract.” Phytotherapy Research 28, no. 10 (2014): 1547–52. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5166. ↩
  9. Koytchev, R., R. G. Alken, and S. Dundarov. “Balm Mint Extract (Lo-701) for Topical Treatment of Recurring Herpes Labialis.” Phytomedicine 6, no. 4 (October 1, 1999): 225–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0944-7113(99)80013-0. ↩
  10. Pourghanbari, Gholamhosein, Hasan Nili, Afagh Moattari, Ali Mohammadi, and Aida Iraji. “Antiviral Activity of the Oseltamivir and Melissa Officinalis L. Essential Oil against Avian Influenza A Virus (H9N2).” VirusDisease 27, no. 2 (June 2016): 170–78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13337-016-0321-0. ↩

About the Author - Rosalee de la Forêt

Rosalee is the Education Director of LearningHerbs and author of the bestselling book "Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal." She’s a registered herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild and she teaches students from all over the world how to confidently use medicinal plants. Explore more herbs with Rosalee at her website, Herbs with Rosalee, where you can get her free course, How to Choose the Best Herb For You.

All content and photos in this article are copyright © Rosalee de la Forêt.