See those purple flowers in the bottom left corner there - definitely lavender
This cake (and the cream served with it) takes a long time to prepare and cook - so I think it would make a good Sunday tea cake. Plus it makes your house smell lovely!
Note: I used 3 tablespoons of lavender as that is what the recipe asked for, however, I thought that the lavender flavour was too strong on this cake, so next time I make it I'll probably only use 1.5 tablespoons of lavender. Although, it seems to be an acquired taste, as there were varying opinions from my friends, a couple of them even went back for seconds!! What I would suggest is that if you're not too keep on strong flavours, or if you're unsure, then start off only using less lavender, you can always add more each time you make the cake until you have the perfect flavour! I'll update this post the next time I try lavender cake and let you know how I got on with 1.5 tablespoons. ^_^
3tbsp finely chopped edible lavender
85g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 50 mins Serves: 12
For the strawberry infused cream:
175ml double cream
2tbsp icing sugar
5 or 6 strawberries
2tbsp caster sugar
2tsp lemon juice
Prep time: overnight Cook time: 5 minutes, plus 2 hours to cool Serves: 12
- Prepare the strawberries the evening before making the cake. Hull and then quarter the strawberries and pop them into a small glass bowl. Sprinkle the caster sugar over them and mix with your hands until all of the strawberries are covered with the sugar. Cover the bowl with cling film, and leave in the fridge overnight.
- To make the cake: preheat the oven to gas mark 3, and grease and flour a loaf tin.
- Finely chop the lavender and put this into a small saucepan with the milk. On a low heat, bring the lavender and milk to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and leave to cool whilst you prepare the batter.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and the sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, and beat well until the mixture reaches a light and creamy consistency.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Fold around a quarter of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by around a third of the milk and lavender mixture. Continue to alternate the flour and the lavender until all of the ingredients are combined, being sure to start and end with the flour mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for around 50 minutes, until a skewer entered into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
- Whilst the cake is baking, prepare your strawberry coulis. Pour the strawberries and their juice into a small pan and add the lemon juice. Over a medium heat, bring the strawberry mixture to the boil, stirring continuously. Place the strawberry mixture back into the bowl and allow to cool slightly before re-covering with clingfilm and placing back into the fridge to cool and thicken for at least 2 hours.
- Once the cake and strawberry mixture have cooled, prepare them cream. Place the cream and the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl, and whisk until the cream is thick and stands in stiff peaks. Blob about a teaspoon of the strawberry mixture around various places in the bowl of cream, and then carefully fold the strawberry into the cream to create a marbled effect. (Don't mix the cream and strawberry too much - you don't want to combine them completely!)
- Slice the cake and serve with a generous dollop of the strawberry cream!
Saludos Amigo and The Three Caballeros in one evening, and I'll be serving a Tres Leches Cake. Can't wait!!