The lovely essence of lavender brings visions of lush rows of lavender growing in the fields of Provence.
Commonly used in cooking, lavender has a sweet fragrance of lemon or citrus notes. It's used as a spice or condiment in pastas, salads and dressings, and desserts. The buds, processed by bees, are an essential ingredient in honey. Today I'm using edible lavender buds in my Lemon Lavender Cake, another version of my original Almond Cake, as well as my Pipka Lemon Extract, just one of my new gourmet extracts that adds a rich flavor to the cake.
We'll be baking the cake in my Almond Cake pan as it is the perfect pan to use when we cut up the cake for the upcoming Lemon Lavender Trifle later this week. Usually I like to make two cakes, one for now and one for the trifle later. You can freeze the cake and thaw it when you're ready to use it in the trifle. The "now" Lemon Lavender Cake can be served plain or dressed with a Lavender Glaze, which is my favorite.
This is a wonderful cake for a sunny summer picnic.
Lemon Lavender Cake
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour the Pipka Almond Cake pan.
Beat well: 1 1/4 cup sugar
1 large room temperature egg
1 1/2 teaspoon Pipka Lemon Extract
2/3 cup whole milk
Mix in: 1/1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Slowly add: 1 stick unsalted butter
Mix in: 1 Tablespoon edible lavender buds.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds, patting the almonds into the batter (with wet fingers). Bake at 350 degrees for 38-42 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 6-8 minutes. Tap the pan on the counter and invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. If adding the Lavender Glaze, refrigerate the cake for at least an hour.
Lavender Glaze (don't glaze the cake if using for the upcoming trifle) : mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon soft butter, 5 Tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoons Pipka Lavender Extract. Pour over the cake. Let set.
*Lavender buds can be put into sugar for two weeks to allow the essential oils and fragrance to transfer; then the sugar itself is used in baking.
*Lavender can be used in breads where recipes call for rosemary.
*Lavender can be used decoratively in dishes or spirits, or as a decorative and aromatic in a glass of champagne.
* Lavender is used in savory dishes, giving stews and reduced sauces aromatic flair.
* Lavender extract or buds can also be used to scent flans, custards, and sorbets.