March 13, 2010

Luscious Lavender Cake


A few months ago I made the most amazing Lavender cake from a Swedish cookbook called Mitt Eget Kafe (My Own Cafe) by Mia Öhrn. The recipe originally comes from Annika at the Swedish castle Sturehof just outside of Stockholm. Moist, with a subtle hint of Lavender it is so moreish and the delicious icing, a lime butter cream, really caps it off. It was a huge success when I brought it in for our springtime Afternoon Tea at work and they still talk about it. So thanks Mia, and thanks to Annika for one of the best cakes I've ever had the pleasure to make.

Here's the original recipe:


Sugar syrup

100 ml White sugar
75 ml Water
2-3 Tablespoons dried lavender (I used the tin from Essential Ingredient)

For the cake
150 g unsalted butter
200 ml White Sugar
150 g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (I use homemade, but you can substitute vanilla essence)
150 ml pouring cream
4 egg whites (70g eggs)

150 g Philadelphia Cheese
200 ml icing sugar
Zest and juice from 1 lime
150 g unsalted butter

How to make it:
Start with the sugar syrup. Mix all ingredients together in a small pan. Let it boil and then turn down the heat to a slow simmer for 3-4 minutes. Leave to cool and sieve the syrup so you have a clear liquid.
Continue with the cake. Butter a round 22-24 cm cake tin and use breadcrumbs instead of flour to coat surface. Melt the butter (add vanilla essence at this stage if using instead of vanilla sugar) and add sugar and sugar syrup.

Combine flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar and add to the batter together with the pouring cream and egg whites. There is no need to whip the egg whites beforehand. Sometimes the batter turns green from the lavender but don't worry as it won't affect the outcome. Pour batter into the cake tin and bake in 175 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the tin.

Mix cream cheese, icing sugar and lime zest and juice together until smooth. Melt the butter and let it cool. Using an electric beater whisk butter into cream cheese mixture. Cover the cake in icing and use lavender flower as garnish.

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