Monday, February 8, 2010

Lemon Cake with Lavender Cream

It is hard to find the right words that describe this cake. It's light and tender, tart and sweet, but that doesn't even compare to the real taste of this cake. Lemon is such a crisp, fresh, clean flavor and I love it in lots of things but lemon in desserts just takes the cake! Then there is Lavender. Lavender to me, is more of a smell. One that is floral and very fragrant. Lavender buds are steeped in a mixture of heavy cream and honey and then whipped up light and fluffy to top off the cake. When you take a bite I swear you are smelling with your tongue. Neither flavor over powers the other which makes this the perfect dessert.

*** It is important to note that you do not get lavender blossoms from the craft section of your local walarmt because they contain fragrance oils which are not edible. You can find the blossoms in the herb/spice section of most health food stores, or on the internet.

What you need:
For Cake:
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted, for brushing pan
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 c sugar, divided
3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs grated  lemon zest, plus 3 tbs juice
1 c cake flour (not self rising)
1/2 tsp salt
For Filling:
1/2 c plus 1 tbs sugar
3 tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated Meyer lemon zest plus 3/4 c juice (again can use regular lemon)
1 large egg yolk
1 tbs unsalted butter
For Lavender Cream:
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3 tbs mild honey
1/2 tbs dried lavendar blossoms
confectioners sugar

What to do:
Make cake:
Preheat oven to 325 f
Invert bottom of a springform pan and lock on side. Brush pan with melted butter, then chill 2 mins to set. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper, then brush pan and parchment with another layer of melted butter and chill 2 mins more. Dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Beat together yolks and 1/2 c sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and thick, about 3 mins. At med speed, beat in oil and lemon zest and juice until just combined. Sift in flour and mix at low speed until just combined.
Beat whites with salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at med-high speed until foamy, then add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating and continue to beat until whites just hold soft peaks. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but throughly. Transfer batter to springform pan, smoothing top, and gently rap against counter once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden brown (top with crack slightly) and a wooden toothpick comes out clean. 40 to 50 mins. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 mins, then remove side of pan and cool cake to room temp. About 1 hour, sides will cave in a little.

Make Filling while cake cools:
Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a small heavy sauce pan, then add lemon juice in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 3 mins. Remove from heat.
Whisk yolk in small bowl, then add about one fourth of lemon-juice mixture whisking virgiously (tempering the yolk) Whisk into remaining lemon juice mixture and gently boil, whisking 1 min. Remove from heat and stir in butter and zest. Transfer filling to a bowl and cover surface with buttered parchment paper. Chill until cool, at least 30 mins.

Lavender Cream:
Bring cream, honey and lavender blozzoms just to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 30 mins. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids and chill lavender cream, covered until cold.

Assemble Cake:
Invert cake and discard parchment. Cut cake horizontally into 3 even layers with a long serrated knife. Transfer 1 layer, cut side up to a cake plate. Lightly whisk filling to loosen, then spread half of filling evenly over cake layer on plate leaving 1/2 in border around edge. Place a second cake layer over filling in same manner. Top with remaining filling in same manner. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down, pressing gently so that filling is spread to edge of cake.
Just before serving beat lavender cream with a whisk until it is thickened and barely holds soft peaks. Dust cake with confectioners sugar and serve with lavender cream.

H A P P Y  C O O K I N G !!

1 comment:

I would love to hear what you think about this recipe! Please leave a comment and make sure to include you email so that I can reply to you!

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