Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lavender & Lime Cake

This cake owes much to our blossoming herb garden. Pretty and simple, it combines the delicate taste of our beautiful fresh home grown lavender with a dash of lime to cut through the sweetness in the glace icing. We ate it today accompanied by warm cups of tea infused with home grown lemon balm.

My own recipe

for the base:
200g butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
half a teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 ml half fat creme fraiche
1 and a half tablespoons grated lime zest
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh lavender florets (or half a tablespoon only of dried lavender)

1. Turn the oven to 170C (150C fan oven). Grease and line a round 20cm baking tin. I used a decorative one from Lakeland, which is still for sale on their website. If like me you use a decorative one then it will need just greasing not lining.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for at least 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the first beaten egg, vanilla extract and lime juice to the creamed mixture, then sieve in a little of the flour and stir gently before adding the other 2 eggs, and beating well.

4. Stir in the lavender and lime zest before gently folding in the rest of the flour.

5. Spoon in the creme fraiche, and give the batter a final gentle stir until it is well combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for approx 50mins, until the top bounces back under your thumb and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before taking out to place on a wire rack or plate to cool completely.

for the icing:
250g icing sugar
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 or 2 tablespoons water
4 fresh lavender florets, chopped, optional (or a small amount of dried lavender)

8. Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon at a time of the lime juice, whisking with a fork until the icing is glossy and runny, but thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.

9. Ice the top and sides of the cake. Scatter the lavender florets over the cake while the icing is still wet, then leave the icing to set for at least half an hour in a cool place.

10. Serve for tea with a good cuppa.

This cake was idly baked while listening to the Tonight programme on BBC Radio 4

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