Bergamot and and Tea infused cake & Wabisabi Styling Workshop with Isabella

I am behind excitement to announce my first Workshop of Styling+Making Series on the 27 of June 2017, in collaboration with my friend and maker Isabella.
We brought together a one day Wabisabi Workshop project combining hands on styling techniques with the making of natural rope trivets, the perfect addition to any kind of styling background.

Isabella is half Italian and half Japanese bringing to our venture the Wabisabi philosophy of her making. The precision of her work with the imperfections of the natural material. Her detailed pieces are a gem of intricate linearities.
Wabisabi is in her as much as the passion for good food, that of course, we share.
Isabella is an Interior Designer and she holds various Creative Workshops inLondon.

Was a long time I had in mind this project and the styling+making series, and commencing this adventure with someone so skilful and sweet like Isabella is certainly all I could wish. And all you could possibly ask for. She is always the perfect host and conversations with her are flowing with ease.

Our workshop is aiming to be a gathering of like-minded creatives, a slow-day of learning and connecting along delicious treats.
We will eat vegan food, in its finest version, and of course we will slice the cake from the shooting session. Because in my house the cake is always mandatory.

Julia Child: 'A party without cake is just a meeting'

And surely we are not talking about a mere meeting here.

We choose to keep our workshop small, having 6 people only to give the best opportunities to learn, exchange stories and relax.

Clapham studio is in a quirky old business centre,  factories have been replaces by studios and ateliers. Inside the number 7 metal door you find a welcoming lie- back ambiance with a taste for reclaimed wooden surfaces, just the one kind we like the most.
Hanging plants and walls covered in props, finish the interiors. And most important of all a large industrial window allows the best natural light to come in.

Ingredients for the sponge (makes 4 layers):

1+1/2 cups of white unbleached flour
1+1/2 cups of whole spelt flour
2 cups coconut raw sugar.
5 tsp organic baking powder
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp of unrefined salt
1/4 tsp of cardamom
1/2 cup light extra virgin olive oil
1+1/2 cups of lukewarm black tea
1/2 cup bergamot juice
the zest of one or two bergamot (it is possible to use lemons or oranges in place of bergamot for this recipe)

Ingredients for the filling:

1 can coconut milk (refrigerated)
1 bergamot juice plus zest
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 to 2tbsp Xylitol
1 tbsp arrowroot
pinch of salt

Ingredients for the icing:

300 gr coconut cream whipped up
120 gr cashew soaked
4-6 tsp powdered Xylitol
2 tbsp melted cocoa butter

Instructions for the sponge:

Pre-heat the oven at 180C/355F and grease 4 tins of 16 cm diameter.

Take all the dry ingredients from the cake and mix well in a large bowl.
Cover with the wet ingredients and bergamot zest, and gently combine all well.
Folding them gently.
When the batter is ready spread it evenly across the 4 cake forms, place in the preheated oven and cook for approximately 35 min or until fully baked through (do stick test).

Once cooked, let the cake layers cool down for about 10 min, then remove from tins and leave on a rack. Let them cool completely before starting to assemble the layered cake.

Whilst the cake is cooking prepare the filling and the icing.

Filling ( bergamot curd)

Rinse the bergamot, grate the rid and squeeze them.

Scoop out the coconut cream from the can leaving the water and place in a small saucepan.

Prepare the arrowroot stirring it in a couple of tablespoon of the leftover coconut water (you can use the rest for stews or smoothies).

In the saucepan heat the coconut with the bergamot juice with the xylitol, cardamom and the salt, stirring for a couple of minutes. Bring to a gentle boil over a low flame.

Stir in the arrowroot and the vanilla. Turn off the flame and leave aside to cool completely. Add the bergamot rid to it.

The bergamot curd should be firm enough so the filling stay in the cake. You can reheat and add a bit more dissolved arrowroot, if needed.


Cream the cashews in the food processor until perfectly smooth.
All ingredients must be at room temperature, and not too cold.

Whip up the coconut cream adding the powdered Xylitol ( you can powder it in a food processor) and then the cocoa butter. Combine very well. Fold in the cashews and leave in the fridge to cool down for 10-20 minutes.


When the cakes are perfectly cold and the frosting and filling are creamy, you can start to assemble.

(If the cakes are rounded cut off the top, taking care to cut them straight and similar in height)

Spread a measured amount of filling in the centre up to 1.5 cm from edges. All around the curd pipe or scoop your white frosting. Than place on top an other cakes disk and repeat. Place the last cake upside down.

Now you can start with the frosting. Poke a long stick in the middle of the cake. This will hold the layered cake while you work with the frosting. If necessary put back in the fridge for some moments before starting. 

Scoop a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake, and with a spatula work it all around the top and down the sides of it, scraping away the excess very gently.  You want to fill up any space leaving some of the cake edges still visible.

Keep working the sides until you are happy with the result, if needing some extra directions try here. Clean the edges and smooth the top, then decorate.


Enjoy! xx

silvia bifaro