“Ladies fair, I bring to you
Lavender with spikes of blue;
Sweeter plant was never found
Growing on our English ground.
– Caryl Battersby “
I love the colour, aroma and aesthetics of this beautiful plant. Lavender is my favourite colour and the plant is beautifully featured in my garden. I love the idyllic image of vast lavender fields and the mini rolling hills that they portray; it is a very calming sight to behold. Lavender has many relaxing qualities. The plant is often used in aromatherapy, homeopathy, candles, perfumes and teas. The scent of lavender is said to help combat insomnia, anxiety, stress, muscle pain, depression, headache, dandruff, bloating, upset stomach and skin irritation. The list is quite long and the popularity of this beautiful plant is justified. Lavender is beautiful in every way.
The other day, I was in my local grocery store, stocking up on the basics such as bread, milk, eggs etc. I headed over to the herb section to find some mundane dried parsley and there “it” was staring right up at me… a little jar of lavender. Of course I immediately and impulsively added it to my basket! There was no chance of leaving the store without my beloved purple flower petals. I’ve never cooked with lavender before, so I had no idea what the plan would be, I just knew that I would figure it out. Guess what. I figured it out!
I am delighted with the result. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet but this is quite possibly, my best, or at least the most interesting, sweet creation thus far; Lavender Lemon Cake
300g self raising flour
200g flora light (185g for the batter & 15g for the icing)
220g caster sugar
300g icing sugar
1 lemon; juice & zest
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Warm the milk in a small pan on a low heat. As it starts to heat up, add a small handful (about 1 tbsp) of lavender to the milk. Be careful not to burn the milk.
Melt 185g of flora and add the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs.
Add the flour to the mix and alternate with the milk/lavender.
Finally, stir in the lemon zest.
Place into a loaf tin, or cake cases and bake until golden. This should take approximately 40 minutes. You should be able to poke the cake with a skewer and lift it out of the cake clean and dry. Leave to cool.
To make the icing, melt 15g flora and add the icing sugar and lemon juice. Leave this on a low heat and keep stirring the mix to avoid lumps. Remove from the heat and decorate the cooled cake(s). I decorated the cakes with a thick layer of icing, but a small drizzle for a less sweet style tea cake also works. I then added a small sprinkling of extra petals on the still soft icing for decoration.
This cake is absolutely perfect with a delicate and citrusy black tea such as Earl Grey, Lady Grey or Darjeeling.
Until next time… 🙂