Dessert of the Month- Lavender, Lemon, Almond Cake

In the spirit of the change of seasons into spring, I went with a light dessert this month.  It’s also my first shot at a recipe, not a recipe from scratch mind you, but adapting one that I’ve had success with before.The base of the recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian on the Food Network, you can find the original recipe here.  The additions I made were adding in the lemon juice and lavender flowers.  I also adjusted my cooking time based on the size of cake pans I had available.  Her original recipe calls for an 8 inch cake pan at 35 min.  The local ingredients I used were butter, eggs, sour cream and lavender.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.  Then mix together your cake flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

Then, cream together your butter and almond paste until it’s nice and smooth.  I scraped down my bowl a few times and spread a bit of it against the side to make sure it was well mixed and I didn’t have any large pieces of almond paste left behind.

Next up, I added in my vanilla as well as fresh squeezed lemon juice.

When its it well blended, slowly add in your powdered sugar, keeping the mixer going until it’s light and fluffy.

Next start adding your eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is incorporated before adding the next.

When your eggs are incorporated do a quick scrape of the bowl before you add in the sour cream.

Finally, slowly add in the mix of dry ingredients until incorporated.

Once the batter was fully mixed, I measured a tablespoon of lavender.  It’s important to note that I bought the lavender at the co-op in the spice section.  Make sure you use lavender that’s meant for cooking and not anything that’s been treated for home decor use.  Probably not the best idea for your stomach.  I ran my knife through the dried flowers to chop them up a bit, then slowly folded them into the batter little by little to make sure they were evenly distributed.

Then I poured the batter into the prepared cake pan and smoothed the top with a spatula before letting it bake for 30 minutes.

When the top of the cake is golden brown and the edges are pulling away from the pan its done.

I let it cool in the pan for a bit before turning it out onto a cooling rack to bring it to room temperature.  To dress it up, sift some more powdered sugar over the top before you cut and serve.  You could also sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest or more of the lavender to really make it shine.

You’ll end up with a fairly dense cake that’s subtly sweet and gives you a nice blend of flavors.  Enjoy!

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