I love using fresh herbs to cook with, but I especially love using them in baked goods because they're unexpected and deliver amazing flavor. Fresh rosemary and thyme are my favorites for cookies and cakes.
This past weekend I did some baking for my niece's college graduation party and decided to try a new recipe. Ever since I made Nigella's chocolate olive oil cake, I've been wanting to try a lemon version of it and I've noticed dried lavender paired with lemon before, so I knew it'd be the perfect addition to this cake, and it was. I will definitely be making this one again.
The single-layer cake tasted like something I would imagine is served during Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel. If I had a daughter, she would be serving this to her dolls with a miniature tea set. It's very light with a subtle lemon-lavender flavor that isn't too floral or too sweet. Just lovely.
If you don't grow and dry your own lavender, you can find dried lavender in the spice section of your grocery store. Target's Archer Farms brand is actually pretty good (and the one that I use). Although I used mostly almond flour with a small amount of all-purpose flour, you could use all almond or all regular flour. If you can't find almond flour, you can make it by grounding raw almonds in a food processor. Really, any flour will work in this simple, easy recipe.
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup natural cane sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried lavender
- powdered sugar to dust top of cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan with olive oil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and trim it so it lays flat.
- With the whisk attachment of an electric mixer or an electric hand-mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they are light, fluffy and pale yellow - about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and vanilla extract. Beat well.
- Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda
- Mix just until combined and then add the dried lavender.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top no longer feels jiggly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs attached. The top of the cake will be quite dark.
- When the cake is cool, remove the outside of the spring form pan. Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar shaken through a small sieve or tea strainer.
"The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Roman Poet Virgil
"Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food." - Hippocrates