Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lemon and lavender cake

Thanks so much to Alan for suggesting this combination, and thanks to Jaime&Alan and Todd for hosting 4th of July parties to eat cake at! (Hence the "USA".) All you can see here is the frosting, but that's at least enough to demonstrate that the whipped cream is happily pipable. And the cake inside is finally the right texture, and the lemon, sour cream, and lavender all balance out very well to make a final cake that's both light and interesting. Second wedding win!

4 c all-purpose flour
4 T cornstarch
2 t baking powder
1.5 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 c buttermilk (or milk + juice of 2 lemons)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
2 t vanilla
4 eggs
1 T Meyer lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two 9" cake pans. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the vanilla, eggs, and zest until fluffy. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in several alternating batches, without overmixing. Transfer to pans and knock out the air bubbles, then bake for 35-40 min until golden. These domed a fair bit, so make sure to level before assembling the cake.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3.5 c powdered sugar
1 T honey
4 T Meyer lemon juice
5 T sour cream
1/2 t vanilla
pinch salt

Beat everything together until fluffy. Adjust the sour cream and powdered sugar to get something stiff enough.

several whole sprigs lavender, gently rinsed
2 T honey
1 c cream
powdered sugar as needed (at least a cup I think)

Put the lavender, honey, and cream in a saucepan. Heat until just simmering, then turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for half an hour. Strain into a bowl, discarding the lavender, and chill the cream in the fridge. Whip the cream until fairly firm, then beat in powdered sugar to get the taste and sturdiness you want.

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