Lavender & Lemon Cake
A great get-ahead trick with this cake is to double the recipe and freeze some. It keeps in the freezer beautifully, ready for an impromptu picnic and if you leave the lavender out then it is a lemon drizzle cake – everyones favourite. You can make one single large cake from this recipe too, and decorate it while it’s still frozen, so I can have picnic food ready and waiting to go and look like you've slaved for hours to get everything ready!
The combination of lavender and lemon is nothing less than stunning.
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Suitable for freezing? Yes
For the cake:
- 2 large eggs
- 175g fairtrade caster sugar
- 160g soft butter
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 175g sifted self-raising flour
- 2 tbs fresh lavender infused in 125ml milk
- pinch of sea salt
For the drizzle:
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tablspoons granulated sugar
OR use icing sugar and follow that instructions on the packet.
The evening before you want to make this cake, gently warm the milk for infusing the lavender and drop in the crumbled lavender flowers, then leave for about 8 hours to infuse. Some like to leave the flowers in the milk and others prefer to strain the milk before it goes into the cake mixture – that is up to you!
Mix together the drizzle ingredients, do not be tempted to heat the mix to dissolve it – undissolved is better to give the topping more of a sugary crunch., Adjust the sugar slightly to get the right consistency ready to pour over the cakes as they come out the the oven. You are looking for a thin, crunchy syrup.
To decorate the large cake use icing sugar, mixed as per instructions and I use red and blue food colouring to get purple. Decorate with fresh lavender flowers and edible iced flowers.
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Put the paper liners into either 8 Tom Pouce or 1 Archiduc case.
Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer for 2 minutes, scraping the sides down once with a spatula to make sure you’ve got all the ingredients mixed in, then mix in the butter. The batter will look rather like mayonnaise.
Add the flour, lavender milk and salt, and mix gently until the batter is smooth in texture and even in colour. Go easy with the mixing; it’s important not overbeat or the cake will be tough.
Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes (or 45 if making a single one in an Archiduc mould), until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and stand the moulds on a cooling rack.
While the cakes are still warm, prick them all over with a cocktail stick and gently pour the lemon syrup over.
These cakes are excellent just like this, but as an alternative toping you may want topi it with icing. If you do prefer to ice it ( as in this photo ) then once the cake is completely cold, mix together your icing ingredients and pour over the cake before decorating it with the flowers.
[caption id="attachment_2463" align="aligncenter" width="683"] Picnic baking with Panibois[/caption]