Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Fringford
Bicester
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Mint 'Berries and Cream'

Mentha 'Berries and Cream'

Height:
Approx. 40cm
Suitable for:
Moist soil in sun or part shade. Pots and containers.
Mint 'Berries and Cream': Mentha 'Berries and Cream'

This is another unusual new cultivar of mint with a compact habit. The foliage is dark green and scented with peppermint and fruit. If the leaves are frequently harvested the plant stays bushy and luxuriant throughout the growing season. In mid summer it produces light purple flower spikes which should be removed if you are growing it to use the leaves.

Like all mints it is invasive so should be planted where it can be kept under control. It makes a good subject for a large container where it should be grown on its own and the compost kept moist at all times.

The leaves are attractive to use as a garnish and when finely chopped they can be added to both sweet and savoury sauces. The flavour is lost with prolonged cooking so always add to hot dishes just before serving.
A bunch of leaves in boiling water will give a delicious herb tea. If you make a really strong infusion of mint leaves and then cool, it can be mixed with chilled soda water for a refreshing summer drink.

The fruity minty flavours mix well with lemon in this cake which can be served for a sumptuous tea or as an impressive dessert.

Lemon Cake with Strawberries and Mint 'Berries and Cream'

For the cake:

  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 4 tbs chopped leaves of Mint Berries and Cream
  • 170 g butter
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 120 ml of whipping cream
  • 1 large lemon (or 2 smaller ones)

Preheat the oven to 350°F, Gas 4, 180°C (170°C fan). Grease and line a loaf pan approx 20 x 12 cm.

Process together the 55 g of sugar with the roughly chopped mint leaves and set aside.

Beat the butter until soft and then add 2 tbs of the mint mixture and the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is soft and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time beating all the time, if the mixture starts to separate then add a couple of tablespoons of flour and carry on.

Fold in half of the flour, then the cream and then the final half of flour. Stir in the zest from the lemon and the juice and add the mixture to the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

For the garnish of strawberries and lemon mint cream:

  • 200 g lemon curd
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 60 g icing sugar
  • large punnet of strawberries

Beat together the cream, 30 g of the icing sugar and 1 tbs of processed mint mixture. When the cream forms stiff peaks then fold in the lemon curd.

Slice or halve the strawberries into a bowl, depending on how large they are, and add the remaining mint mixture and the final 30 g of icing sugar.

Serve the lemon cake with the lemon mint cream and the minty strawberries