What to get the baker who has everything – well a cake calendar of course! This one hangs pride of place in our kitchen, and proved a great inspiration for this cake, which I made for my Dad for Father’s Day a couple of weeks back (we celebrated early this year due to various trips away).
For some reason, a quirky disconnect in my blonde brain, I didn’t choose to follow this recipe, but instead borrowed from this wonderful National Trust recipe. As a lifetime NT member, I’m sure my Dad will approve! Scaling down the recipe to fit my size of tin, and replacing the ground almonds with some essence, I adapted the recipe as follows. The lemon, almond and lavender are a great compliment to each, making a floral, fruity and balanced cake. Finish with a lavender syrup and a crunchy lemon icing for a super spring and summer treat!
125g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of almond essence
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 heaped teaspoon of fresh lavender
1 tablespoon fresh lavender
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
100g icing sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Lavender sprigs and/or lemon rind to decorate
Although you can buy cooking lavender, I used some fresh from my garden, pulling the flowers off the stalks, and crushing gently to get more flavour. You can use any fresh lavender plants, as long as you’re sure they’re chemical free (so homegrown is best).
– My favourite kind of method – put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well!
– Spoon into a well-greased tin, I used the smaller size of my Ikea Sockerkaka round silicone bundt moulds, which holds around 500ml
– Bake at 150 degrees C, until baked through (test with a skewer, when it comes out clean it’s done). Time will depend on the size and shape of your mould, anywhere from 45 – 75 minutes. Mine took around an hour, in a fan oven.
– Once the time is nearly up, place the syrup ingredients in a heavy bottomed / non-stick saucepan. Heat gently and allow to bubble for a minute or so. The sugar should start to thicken into a sticky syrup. Remove any large pieces of lavender
– When the cake is cooked, removed from the oven, and quickly (but gently!) prick small holes all over with a fork or skewer, so the syrup will absorb in
– Put the cake on a cooling rack, with a drip tray underneath, and spoon or pour the syrup all over the cake
– Set aside and allow to cool completely
– Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice to form a thick paste, that will slowly drip off the back of a spoon. Spoon or drizzle over the cake, finishing with lavender or lemon decorations
I had great plans to take some beautiful photos in front of my lavender plants – but sadly the great British weather put paid to that. Soggy cake is not a good look!
Nevertheless I still managed to snap a couple of shots through the patio windows – and the rest safely in the dry of my own kitchen.