August: Naked Lavender Cake and End of the (Lavender) Season

Naked Lavender Cake

We had another great lavender season and truly appreciate all of you for your support and interest! This summer has been exceptionally dry which isn't typically a problem for drought-tolerant lavender, but some of our perennial flowers didn't fare so well. Our farmers market days are finished for the year and we'll soon be gearing up for planting fall cover crops AND more peonies. Have you noticed any signs of fall? I have! Our muscadine grapes are coming and the farm's warm season native grasses are blooming. You probably noticed a problem in the last blog in that the photo(s) were apparently missing. Sorry!! Hopefully by the time you receive the next post, the farm's website and blog will be completely updated with a whole new look!

Those of you who know me know that I like to eat and cook with flowers, especially lavender! Here's a recipe I'm excited to share! I found just enough lavender in our field to make this work. It's quick and easy and I love the naked cake concept. Hope you do, too! Enjoy!


Naked Lavender Cake Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole milk
2 to 3 stems fresh culinary lavender
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Process

Place milk in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave just until very hot; add fresh lavender stems, completely submerging the stems in the milk. Let stand for 30 minutes or until completely cool. Combine sugar and lavender in a food processor bowl; top with cover, and process for about 60 seconds. Cream butter until light and fluffy; add lavender sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; add flour mixture alternately with milk (remove and discard the lavender stems) and beat until well combined. Stir in lemon zest.

Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line pan with wax paper. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove cake from oven; let stand on cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely. To serve, garnish with fresh lavender stems or other assorted edible flowers.

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