A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had been looking forward to making Connie’s Lemon Olive Oil Cakes found over at Whisks and Whimsy. I didn’t want to make them till I managed to get myself a mini bundt tin pan just like Connie’s as they were too cute to do them any other way.
I rectified this purchase oversight of mine a few weeks ago and in celebration of Mothers Day, set myself the task of making them for Scott’s mum Elaine, only with a little twist. Elaine loves lavender so I modified the recipe and added dried lavender (the edible kind) and a tad honey.
“As a member of the same family as many of our most popular herbs, it is not surprising that lavender is edible and that its use in food preparation is also returning. Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried. Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage, and thyme. It is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.” What’s Cooking America
Cooking with lavender yields wonderful results – as long as you stick to some basic rules:
- Lavender is extremely fragrant so it is super easy to go overboard. Be careful how much you put in. You can always add more lavender so start with small quantities and work your way up from there.
- Dried lavender is much stronger than fresh lavender so you will only need to add about 1/3 of the quantity if you are using dried instead of fresh.
- Whatever you do, don’t eat lavender from plants bought at florists or garden centres as this lavender has usually been treated by pesticides and should not be eaten. You can eat lavender grown in your own garden as you know what goes into it, so why not keep a bush around!
This recipe was already fabulously light and airy and the addition of lavender made them extremely fragrant. The best bit about this recipe is that the lemon does not overpower the cake so if you don’t go overboard on the lavender and get the mix just right, the resulting cake is just wonderful!
I made a whole tray of them and between Scotty, Elaine and I they were gone in no time – an unmitigated success methinks.
LEMON, OLIVE OIL AND LAVENDER CAKES
Adapted from Whisks and Whimsy
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 tsp dried lavender
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup milk
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
5 to 6 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius with the rack in the middle of the oven. Brush a 12-cup mini Bundt pan with melted butter and dust it with flour, shaking out any excess flour.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and lavender and set aside. In a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar and lemon zest together until combined. Pulse the eggs in one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil, milk and honey, pulsing until the batter has emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds (be careful not to over-blend a this point or else the cakes will be too puffy).
Add the reserved flour mixture to the food processor or blender in two batches, pulsing until just combined both times. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup only 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pan and spring back when touched. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting them onto a rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, lemon juice and melted butter—if you find that the glaze is still too thick to work with, add more lemon juice or water until you get the right consistency. Coat each of the cakes with glaze and let the glaze harden before serving.